April 20, 2012

on the job

This morning, as my husband loaded his man purse messenger bag at the door, I said, "Bye, Babe.  I love you."  Then, with a look around the apartment at the breakfast mess and all the rest of it, I added, "Sometimes I don't like my job."

"Sometimes I don't like my job," Daniel said, "but in those moments I ask myself, 'Is it worth it?'"

With that, he was gone, and I was left with my lukewarm coffee and my bedhead and four kids with four thousand needs each.

There are lots of jobs out there, and they all have their pros and cons.  Take my job at the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, for example.  I LOVED that job.  I literally couldn't wait to go to work in the morning.  Still, even that job had its downsides.  I had to go to Sam's Club for a birthday cake every time someone in the newsroom had a birthday.  It was a big newsroom, and I hate Sam's Club.  Without fail, I would end up in the checkout behind someone buying 45 boxes of frozen shrimp and 100 crates of insulated disposable coffee cups, or something like that.  The smell in there always bugged me, too, like a combination of freezer burn and dirty cardboard.

We all have a job to do.  Some of us, like my husband, can see very clearly the importance of his job.  If he didn't tell them, they wouldn't hear.  Others of us, like me, can see fairly clearly the importance of our jobs, though the gratification is delayed considerably.  Still others work blah jobs simply to pay the bills, or to put their kids through school, or to keep their wives (or husbands) from having to work. 

In the country where we live, people don't like their jobs.  Most people hate their jobs.  The government tells college students what their majors will be, based on what kind of jobs need to be filled.  If mathematicians are needed, a musically-inclined individual will be told she must major in math (unless she is an amazing musician, and then she will be told she must be a musician).  Daniel has asked several people if they like their jobs, and they just look at him blankly, as if he just asked them if they chose the weather that day.  In many ways, this aspect of the culture here is sad, but in other ways, it seems freeing.  The pressure is off to find a job they "love," and they can focus instead on why they are working, and who they are working to bless.

Which brings me back to my lukewarm coffee/bedhead moment.  The question isn't, "Do I love my job?" but rather, "Is my my job worth it?"  Oh, the answer to that question is easy.  Though it is so hard it sometimes feels like it will kill me, my job is certainly worth it, because those who are blessed by what I do every day (Bright, Zion, Brave, Jubilee, and especially Daniel) are worth more to me than everything else in the world.