Tag Archives: work

Dear God, I’m Tired of Growing!

I’m not one to throw a pity party for myself but this needs to get off my chest. I’m up at four o’clock in the morning today, tossing and turning with this rolling around in my mind:

“Dear God, I’m tired of growing. I just want to be left alone for a while. Thank you very much, amen.”

I’ve tried over the last several weeks to put on a brave face within these blog posts. I’ve written what I perceived as positive, uplifting messages to those who deal with doubt or those who question the very existence of God and/or His purpose for them in their lives, or if there is a purpose at all. I guess all along I’ve been trying to convince myself as much as anyone else.

I’ve read several books over the past months that have dealt with the question of God’s purpose for life, or of the indwelling and prompting of God’s Holy Spirit, and of leveraging “gifts” for the greater good of the  community, be it for your family, your neighborhood or the church community in general. They’ve all been well written, well documented, and well meaning.

But I sit here now more confused than ever.

I have a beautiful little girl who happens to have a learning disability that, for the first time in her young school life, is beginning to adversely affect her performance and her very enjoyment of school. It’s getting increasingly frustrating for her to master some of the most basic learning skills. Not that she isn’t capable of learning them, but as we’re only beginning to understand, her little brain doesn’t quite work the way ours does, and she’s feeling the frustration of not getting it. Why is it that she can be so proud to write on her little white board that 1 +1 =2, and even that 2 + 2 = 4, but the concept of writing 1 + 2 frustrates her to the point of refusal?

Every day I go in to work, it gets harder and harder to find fulfillment, enjoyment or even motivation in being there. All I feel lately is trapped. I’m a middle-aged man in a middle-management retail position that someone younger, smarter, and faster could probably do cheaper, and maybe the company knows that. There is no longer any opportunity to step down from this level of responsibility (and growing workload as our store’s hours shrink and shrink), because our company policy is now to no longer hire anyone at full time. All I know is there is still a certain level of workload and a certain expectation of customer service, and fewer and fewer employees to fulfill those requirements. Meaning those of us with a “guaranteed” schedule must pick up the slack. Morale is terrible, both for those whose hours have been cut, and for those whose hours haven’t… But in this economy, what can you do? I’m in a season of doubt, a season of questioning. And, yeah, I’m mad as hell. I’m tired of this crap.

I’m tired of “growing.” If there’s a purpose to all this, I’ve been waiting several YEARS to learn of it.

I know that the life of a Christ follower is not going to be all rainbows and roses. I know test and trials and persecutions are a part of this thing called faith, but if I’m supposed to be living a life fulfilling to the body of Christ, pleasing in the eyes of the Lord, and satisfying to the Holy Spirit that lives within me, I have no idea, after several, SEVERAL years of following God and listening for His prompting, what that life is supposed to be.

All I know is that this isn’t it. It can’t be. I’m miserable, which I can live with, but I’m making those around me—friends, coworkers and, more importantly and maddeningly, my family—miserable as well. I’m becoming ineffective in my position at work, as it pains me that I’m no longer able, physically or mentally, to be the caliber of employee I know I should be. And this mental drain at work spills over into my home life… That’s not right. That’s not the way it should be, this I know!

So, I’m sorry, God, but I’m tired of “growing.” I’m tired of thinking, “Well, I must be here for a reason, for a purpose. Hopefully, soon it will be revealed.”

It’s NOT being revealed, and I’m tired of waiting. I don’t know what I’m supposed to be learning. I don’t know how I’m supposed to be growing. But I’m tired of looking for it.

If you want me, God, I’m here for you. But I’ve got a family that deserves more from their dad, and a wife that deserves more from her husband, than I’ve been able to give them—for too many years now—because I’ve been too busy pursuing the currently intangible.

If you have a purpose for my life, I’m ready for it.  But I need a break from the looking. I need a rest from the pursuit.

I’ll always be here for you, but I’m tired: tired of being tired. My family deserves more. You deserve more. I deserve more. More of me, more quality out of my time, and more out of this life.

Amen.

 

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Incidental Anger Management 2.0

I had a blog all ready to go entitled “Incidental Anger Management”. It was all about those people in the world that just seemed to go through their day . . . mad. Their P.O.’d pistol is all cocked, locked and ready to unload on the next person that crosses them with even the most insignificant “wrongness”. And, as many of you know, I work within the wild jungles of retail customer service, so this type of subject is near and dear to my heart. I was all up in their grill with my self-righteous piety and “respect” this and “patience” that. I felt gooooood writing it. I felt all high and mighty in my condemnation. Then I looked at it after I’d finished and thought . . .

That’s not right.

So I worked on it . . .

And worked on it . . .

And worked on it . . .

Then, after I’d worked on it some more, I stepped back, looked at it again, and I thought . . .

That’s still not right.

Then Sunday came and I’m sitting in church listening to Pastor Mike talk about “community” and it hits me . . .

He’s talking to me! He’s talking about community. My community. Not just a community of believers, but the real, honest-to-goodness community around us: our friends; our neighbors; the people we work with; the people we work for. And in doing so, he’s rewriting my blog.

He says, “In community, we learn how to love.”

Honestly, there are days when I go to work and I genuinely don’t feel like loving my customers: Especially the ones that come in already mad and looking for an outlet—not a resolution, an outlet.

And you know who you are.

He says, “In community, we learn that love is a choice, not a feeling.”

So, in spite of (or sometimes because of) circumstances, I have to choose to love you. Yet, there’s also another choice I’ve made; the choice to follow Christ. So that, in choosing to love you, I can enter that choice neither alone nor unarmed:

1 Corinthians 16: 13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. 14 And do everything with love. 

1 John 3: 18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. 20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.

To me, there’s something calming within those words. I don’t know of too many people who have spent a majority of their employed lives working within the public sector—whether in retail, teaching, public safety, support services, etc.—who don’t have a definite opinion on . . . humanity; people; “them“.  But love is a choice, not a feeling. You don’t have to be a Christ follower to understand that. Still, it’s something we have to learn how to do, and it’s something we have to continually practice. There are times that we’ll feel we’ll never master it. That’s not the point. The point is to choose . . .

And choose again . . .

And again . . .

That choice may not matter to them . . .

It’s not for them anyway . . .