I have always been an advocate for the expression “be carefull what you wish for.” A couple months ago I wrote a comment about work being bleak, boring, unsatisfying and heck, we don’t even have windows!! I had wished for a change that would challenge me, capture my attention and give me an opportunity to voice ideas in my organization.
Two weeks ago I walked into work expecting an ordinarily bland day. My boss stopped me on the way to my desk and asked: “how do you feel about traveling to Seattle?” “My families in Seattle so I am always up for a trip,” I said. “I thought you might say that. Headquarters wants you to run a new 75-day campaign. When can you leave?”
36 hours later I was on a plane to Seattle for a two-month campaign. I guess that is the benefit of being in your twenties without any real ties or responsibilities. At the same time, it was a little weird making such a life changing decision in less than five minutes. I have only recently had a chance to list out some pros and cons.
Pros: 1) A huge opportunity to get a new job offer in the midst of an economic crisis. 2) Shuts off my social life and forces me to focus on work and Law School applications 3) I get all of my gas and meals paid for 4) No longer need plan tickets home for Thanksgiving & Christmas 5) Being separated from the opposite sex somehow removes 90% of all distractions 6) I got to see both my sister and her boyfriend 7) My parents recently remodeled their house. It feels as if I am working out of a resort. 8) I got to spend time with my Goddaughter who is now the love of my life- sorry ladies.
Cons: 1) I am working like a dog- 50/60hrs @ work, 8hrs of commuting, 30hrs of LSAT work. Dang those are almost investment banker hours. 2) It is lonely working all the time 3) I have no one out here to challenge me spiritually 4) It is difficult to leave so many friends on such short notice
Last night I decided that I needed rest. I spent the 45-minute car ride home in complete silence trying to listen to God. Working so hard makes anyone question, is it worth it? What do I really want out of life? What is this leading to? Etc. I used last week’s sermon on Sabbaths as an excuse to spent an hour in my parent’s hot tub looking out at the stars and an amazing view of the lake.
I realized that the reason I enjoy work when I know that I have given my full effort and I have seen tangible results. I realized that it didn’t matter as much what I was doing or where I was doing it, but more that I could pour myself into it. Unfortunately, I am at a stage in life where I am looking for answers and more freedom wasn’t the answer I was looking for. I wanted something more concrete: “Go do Law.”
I began to look at what was most important to me: Family, Friends, Church and realized that work really is not that important to me. The reason I put so much stress on it is because I feel like I can be doing something for God. I want to perform. As obvious as this is to everyone else, it became abundantly clear that he cares more about who I am. I reversed the question: “What job will help me be the person you want me to be? Why am I doing the job I’m doing?”
I realized that the reason I work so hard now is because I want to know my limits. I want to test myself. I don’t want to look back thirty years from now and wonder whether I could have done more. I hope that this testing process will bring out the qualities or characteristics that God deems most important. If not, I am sure that he will bring me to my knees and it will all be one large lesson in humility.
In the end, my original wish has not changed that drastically. I hope to continue to push myself forward, consistently out of my comfort zone, in hopes that I will consistently be dependent upon the strength of God. I must see this time of overwhelming work and responsibilities as an opportunity to be sustained past my own strength by His internal spring.