Saturday, August 31, 2013

Dirty Jobs? - Labor Day 2013

The graveyards are full of indispensable men.   - Gaulle, Charles De - See more at:
The graveyards are full of indispensable men.   - Gaulle, Charles De - See more at:

Young man, as you perambulate down the pathway of life toward an unavoidable bald head bordered with gray hairs it would be well to bear in mind that the cemeteries are full of men this world could not get along without, and note the fact that things move along after each funeral procession at about the same gait they went before. It makes no difference how important you may be, don’t get the idea under your hat that this world can’t get along without you —Abilene Reporter. (reference: quote ) In 1909 a newspaper in Oklahoma printed the phrase as part of a larger passage that carefully delineated its implications [OKCF]

I've thought about this a lot and figured Labor Day (early even!) is a good time to write it. This will probably ask a lot more questions than it answers, and hopefully, make us think and discuss.

Who determines how much a job is worth? Whatever the market will bear? The boss? The stock market? The Board of Directors? The employee? 

If everyone could get paid the same, would that defeat the purpose of a higher education? Should people receive more just because of a diploma? What about on-the-job experience? How do you get on-the-job experience when you're trying to get your first job?

Some people would consider their job important, regardless of their job title. Some people would consider themselves a cog in the machine. They can do the job, but someone else could just as least with some training. Some people are at their job just waiting for the next and better thing.

If you've watched the show Dirty Jobs, maybe you have come to realize that there are jobs you never knew even existed! (and are glad you don't have that job!)  On the show Undercover Boss, a CEO, usually in a disguise, follows a few employees in their company. By the end of the show, the CEO understands more about those employees....and the jobs they do. Personally, I find it most amusing when the CEO has no idea what the job entails or how to do it.

Ideally, a supervisor should work their way up the ladder so they can truly lead and understand the employees positions. At the very least, a good leader should keep in mind to listen and accept input from the person actually required to do the job.....before they commit to the task....not tell the employee this is what needs to be find a way to do it.

Some jobs are very necessary, but often under-appreciated. One that comes to mind is a custodian/janitor/custodial engineer. Often dealing with messes that someone's own mother probably would not clean up (ATTENTION: Your mother does NOT work here!), able to whip out a mop bucket and place a caution sign so unsuspecting citizens don't fall on their *ahem*, and clean up bodily fluids from who knows what orifice. All with a smile....and their name on their shirt. (really? what other job requires this?) However, since this job often occurs behind the scenes or after hours, we may not appreciate the true value of this job. Could you imagine using a bathroom that has been used hundreds of times....and not cleaned properly? Enough said.

Some jobs we do, there is no way to compensate monetarily. I'm thinking of parents. Moms (LABOR day...whole different meaning) and/or dads that stay home and take care of their kids....and everything else in the home that needs to be done. Sometimes, it's easy to feel inadequate when the topic of jobs comes up and a mom or dad is staying home with the kids. How do you describe all you do in a day? There's no way to describe the frustration of a child with a cold....or siblings are fighting AGAIN(!), but the joy of hearing their laughter when they feel well, they are getting along....or when they say their first words and take their first steps. NEVER underestimate your worth as a parent!

There are many more I could cover (CEOs, Government, unemployment/laid off etc), however, this is getting rather long. I don't want to make it a job just to read this! ;)

Kind of funny that we celebrate our taking the day off. Enjoy your day. Work at enjoying your job. I pray that you may find fulfillment in whatever you are called to do.

Colossians 3:22-25 (MSG)
Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Pit and Hope: The Rock

I have had these thoughts rattling around in my head for awhile now. Trying to decide the best way to write them...and not step on toes....or sound preachy. However, sometimes I need preachy...and my toes stepped on to wake me do with the following what you will (praying that you find some answers to whatever you may going through too!):

Now that I know more about anxiety and depression, I have little doubt that I have dealt with both for most of my life. Well, at least from 7th grade on for sure that I remember. Over the years, I have found help with counseling and medication. Over the years, I have struggled because, as a Christian, I SHOULD be able to beat this with God's help, right? Ahhhh, the infamous SHOULD. grrrrr.

I believe depression is probably different for each person. For me, on the really bad days...when I feel like I don't even want to get out of bed....or even after sleeping LOTS, I do not feel rested. I would probably describe the feeling as being in a pit. It's dark, dank, DEPRESSING! The worst thing is that it FEELS like there is no way out without digging deeper. It doesn't feel like falling. Just stuck. In emotional muck and mire. At the bottom. Trapped with thoughts of everything I've ever done wrong. trapped on the hamster wheel of perfectionism or wasted time or, or, or.

There have been references to pits in the Bible. Some physical (Joseph: Genesis 37 ). Some mental: Lamentations 3:55-57 I called on your name, Lord, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.” You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.”

A couple of things I do know...and on a good day, remember: The pit has a bottom so I don't continue to dig deeper. There is a firm rock foundation. I am not in the pit alone. I have family and friends that support me and help me feel better about myself and my circumstances.

In the meantime, I will be grateful for the pit-less days. I will be thankful for hope on the rock of God where I can stand and gaze over, but not fall in. 

Psalm40:2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

 Lamentations 3:19-26 I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.