Posts Tagged ‘work’

What Do I Want

September 21, 2009

When it comes to the world of work, I think our default setting is “What do I want?”  We ask children from a young age what they want to be when they grow up.  However, while what we like and what we are good at are similar most times, questionnaires and tests to find out what we like may be asking the wrong question when we are trying to find out our vocation or calling.  It is indeed useful to know our talents and gifts, but the next question ought to be, what kinds of things are God and his people doing around me.  When I see a field of work or organization or ministry that grabs my passion, then I need to ask what is my fit in that place.  What can I do to advance the work of this entity with the gifts and skill sets I possess.  We ought to be asking, “where can I be the best I can possibly be for God?”.  We love God and the more we love Him, the less we want to give him mediocrity.  Asking how to give Him the very best development of everything He has given me, is a different question than “What do I Want?”  Its a God-centered and God’s work centered question rather than a “me” centered question.

How to be more productive in retirement

January 1, 2009

Retirement is a wonderful thing.  It is a time to be ones own boss and set one’s own goals.  At the same time one may find oneself undirected, having fuzzy goals, and eventually becoming bored and depressed as days become less meaningful.

It helps to stop and think about ones purpose in life.  We were all gifted in some way, have values and interests, and these things were meant to be fulfilled.  When we determine our larger purpose, the area where our abilities, values and interests intersect, and we see a need we can fill with our unique purpose, voila, we have our calling, ministry or meaning.

Now, we have to stop puttering.  We need to look at our days in light of our meaning, and set some goals for ourselves.  If we still seem to be drifting, it helps to look at each day and see where we spend our time.  Are we getting distracted and frittering away our time on useless things like long-winded phone calls that go nowhere, surfing the internet with no purpose in mind other than entertainment, watching too much tv, playing games etc.  We need to look at how we spend our time in relation to our overall calling, and our general callings such as family needs, and see where we simply waste time.  Then we just have to be mindful of the big picture as we organize our days now that we are our own boss.  Being our own boss still means we have a boss.

“Giving Back” or “giving back what?”

February 26, 2008

I think the seventh most important thing in life is “giving back”.  Now the “giving back” comment is one you hear so often it really sounds overworn and overdone.  Sounds like an advertisement for the United Way or some volunteer bureau.  I have actually heard people ask “giving back what?”  of “giving back to whom?”  So, I realize the saying might not adequately reflect what I am trying to convey.

I’ll just say there is joy in giving.  No matter how grateful you feel for the blessings you received, or how ungrateful you feel for the troubles you’ve had, there is still joy in giving.  Something about giving makes you feel richer, kinder, more powerful and more significant.  You couldn’t give if you were too poor, too weak, to mean or too invisible.  But no one is any of those things.  Everyone has something to give, and because we do, we are necessarily blessed. 

Have you ever noticed that when you act kindly, you feel good?  When you act generously, you feel powerful and rich?  When you act with compassion, you feel loving?  Whatever you act, the emotions follow.  There’s a whole biological theory built around this, but I’m no scientist.  I just know what I see and experience.

Have you ever felt so poor you felt you had nothing to give?  How about giving a smile?  Unless you’ve just had your face frozen at the dentist, you can smile.  Come on now, you don’t feel like it?  Smile anyway.  Nine times out of ten, the smile will be returned.  You have not only added a bit of sunshine to someone’s day, but now they have added some to yours.  Maybe someone needs a hand–a door held open, something dropped that they can’t pick up, being “let in” to a long line of traffic.  You might not see the smile or wave of the hand, but you made someone’s moment a little easier.  Doesn’t that make you feel powerful?

What about the gift of time?  I have heard it said that people would rather give their money than their time, because time seems in such short supply in this busy world.  But what would you rather do, watch television, surf the internet, or give an hour to someone who could really use the helping hand or the company.  We all have time, its just a matter of choice how we spend it.

We can give time to organized activity, and some of that can be really fun and uplifting.  I believe, that just as we should work within the circle of our “calling”, we should also volunteer where it makes us happy to do so.  When we get to the point where our volunteering stresses us or wears us out, we should do something else.  After all, we’re doing this for love, not pay, and therefore we ought to love what we are doing.  The more we love what we are doing and have fun doing it, the more we refill our “giving pot” so we can give some more.