This post is part of the Five Minute Friday blog link-up! Each week Kate Motaung provides a one-word writing prompt for participants to free write for five minutes flat and share their work with the online community. This week’s prompt is LAST and I lost track of time.
Last month, which was only yesterday, I wrote a 31 Day Devotional Series on the Fruit of the Spirit. It was the third year I participated in the October writing challenge and managed to post every day. Yay! 100%! That’s me, I’m a 100% kind of girl.
Always wanting to perform at my best, to perform at the highest level, to out-perform my male counterparts in this male-centric work environment of mine. An environment where there is little meaningful access for women if any. The only vehicles for advancement available are extra-excellent work performance, extra-extra hours, extra-outstanding academic performance. Oh! Let’s not forget the most important, a demeanor of sweetness and light. At least that’s what I thought.
That’s why this last year and a half at work has been so tough. Years of high performance (you can see that performance the keyword in this scenario) caused the sweetness and light to fade a bit. I was tired no, I was finally burnt out. Then, through a series of circumstances, some my fault and some not, I suffered work set-back there is no coming back from. Same company, different job. At 60 that can be extremely hard to take. Especially for someone like me.
Now what? A faithful employee. Endless hours of work. A tarnished career. NOW, WHAT?
There’s no one left to outperform. It’s just me. How can I prove myself capable, competent and a contender for the next promotion? Promo-what! How painful it is when we’re rejected by those we seek to please. A lesson I hope you don’t ever have to learn.
I began thinking, “Is this my last job? Maybe it’s time to retire.” That was the selfish me wanting to run away and hide.
No. Not yet. That’s what I heard down in my soul. You’re going to have to tough this one out.
God in His wisdom placed me here and hasn’t moved me yet. It’s not like I haven’t prayed for that move. In my misery, I sure did. Since I’m still too young to retire (there is an upside here), I stopped counting down the days (James 4:13-17). If God still wants me here, who am I to make different plans?
You see, that performance-centered work-life, it’s not what God intended when He provided the job. It’s not what He intends for any of us (Matthew 11:28-30). I used it to prove that I was good enough because I assumed everyone knew I wasn’t. I worked so hard I lost sight of the blessings right in front of me. A great husband and family, loving parents, a caring church family, good health and, most important, a God who loves me and calls me His child (2 Corinthians 6:18).
I still want to perform at the highest level, but I’ve learned not to over-dial.
My focus has shifted toward Jesus and at last, I’m learning to smile again.
God is teaching me that when I am at the foot of the Cross, Jesus provides all the job satisfaction I’ll ever need.
Bible reference is from the New American Standard Bible(NASB).