Friday, September 25, 2009

"How do you like your new job?"

This has been a common question lately, which is fare since I started my new job only about two months ago now (I can't believe it's already been two months this next week, wow). How do you normally answer that kind of question? Well, for me, it is not as easy to answer, confused? Let me explain.

You see, similar to my post earlier about the lyrics to the song "American Dream", most people in this world - especially here in America - think of success or happyness (misspelling intended) as one thing... a good job and good amounts of money to go along with it. I know that there are some that don't view it this way, but a LOT do. I can understand why so many view life this way, heck, your job does take up a majority of your life. But I guess with that reasoning, maybe we should all consider those who sleep the best to be the most successful, right? Ok, maybe not. Beyond this reasoning, I think a more realistic reason behind this world/life view is the fallen desire in all of us for selfish gain.

Is a good job or money inherently evil? No, I don't believe so. But I do believe that when we make those things our idol (or if we make anything our idol for that matter), when those things consume us, when we do all we can and dedicate our whole life to them, then yes - I do think that is far from where we find true success and happiness.

I, on the other hand, am one of those that don't view life this way - or at least try not to - which is why it is sometimes hard to answer this somewhat easy question of "How do you like your new job?" You see, usually when someone gets as great of a job as I just got, they leap out of their skin in joy. So when I don't give that reaction - even though I know I "should" - I know I basically come across as some ingrate that is never content with anything. I guess I need to learn how to share more of where my true joy comes from... God.

So, yes, my new job is going quite well. For a Project Manager job in the residential construction industry, you could NOT ask for a better place to be. The people I work with are great, the projects we work on are amazing... it is a good job. Above and beyond that, I am still amazed by God's timing on providing what our family needed. Not only did I get a job, but I did just in time before my unemployment ran out, and just before Michelle's company did pay cuts - both of which would have put us in a position that we probably would not of been able to afford our house... but now we will be fine as far as finances and be able to save some money again. Although we have learned to live with much less, which is definitely not a bad thing.

Ultimately though, I have a hard time explaining to just anyone that asks this question to me that the job is going like any good job should - there are good parts of it, there are parts (like with any job) that are not so enjoyable (sitting at a computer screen many hours a day for instance), but it is "just" a job. It has definitely been bitter sweet going back to work... mainly because over the past 11 months that I have been unemployed, 10 of which were spent being with my first child, now I am lucky to see my son 2 hours a day. I know this will change, but it is still an adjustment either way. I also really enjoyed how much growth I experienced with God over that time that He gave me, and I already now recognize the distraction that work requires of me from things that are so much more important in life. I know in time I can learn how to balance it all the best that I can, just like every person that works at a job for a living has to do.

I guess what I am continually learning more and more, is how much more important the real important things actually are compared to things that are just parts of life. Who knows what the future holds, Michelle and I were seriously considering ministry opportunities and that desire is not gone now that I have a job - so who knows if that will come about someday. Who knows if that does come about, if it will be more enjoyable than a secular job like I imagine it would be. I think of the idea of getting paid to focus on what my ultimate passion is: God, and that excites me. I have to bring my self back to reality though, which tells me I am still in this world, and nothing here will ever compare to what I really long for... to be in the complete presence of God... for now I just have to be content with the shadow of His glory that I get to experience here.

So what does this all mean now? Do I just mope and be depressed that "I'm not doing what I want to do"? NO! That is not what I want to do. My hope is that I will not let my circumstances control my life. My hope is that I can allow God to lead me no matter where I am in life. That I can allow Him to have complete control, even when I am doing "secular" work sitting at a computer screen having no interaction with people at all (I think that is the hardest area for me to see God move, but He's bigger than that!).

That was a longer thought process than I thought it would be... but if you have read any of my posts to date, you know I can be a bit wordy when I type on here. Funny I'm sure for those who know me in person as someone that doesn't talk much. Feel free to let me know what you think.

American Dream

Heard this song from Casting Crowns this morning when it came up in my mix on Pandora and thought it had an interesting point in the lyrics. What do you think?

“American Dream”

All work no play may have made Jack a dull boy
But all work no God has left Jack with a lost soul
But he's moving on full steam
He's chasing the American dream
And he's gonna give his family finer things

“Not this time son I've no time to waste
Maybe tomorrow we'll have time to play”
And then he slips into his new BMW
And drives farther and farther and farther away

Cause he works all day and tries to sleep at night
He says things will get better;
Better in time

So he works and he builds with his own two hands
And he pours all he has in a castle made with sand
But the wind and the rain are comin' crashing in
Time will tell just how long his kingdom stands
His kingdom stands

Well his American Dream is beginning to seem
More and more like a nightmare
With every passing day
"Daddy, can you come to my game?"
"Oh Baby, please don't work late."
Another wasted weekend
And they are slipping away

'Cause he works all day and lies awake at night
He tells them things are getting better
Just take a little more time

So he works and he builds with his own two hands
And he pours all he has in a castle made with sand
But the wind and the rain are comin' crashing in
Time will tell just how long his kingdom stands
His kingdom stands

He used to say, "Whoever dies with the most toys wins"
But if he loses his soul, what has he gained in the end
I'll take a shack on the rock
Over a castle in the sand

Now he works all day and cries alone at night
It's not getting any better
Looks like he's running out of time

'Cause he worked and he built with his own two hands
And he poured all he had in a castle made with sand
But the wind and the rain are coming crashing in
Time will tell just how long his kingdom stands
His kingdom stands

All they really wanted was you
All they really wanted was you
All they really wanted was you