A much longer message today since I’m off work for two weeks. Sorry, this is what happens when you are off work, all your friends work during the day and you are already caught up on How I Met Your Mother and Downton Abbey.
I’ve been thinking a lot about part of the discussion we had on Sunday, specifically the part about our careers. There’s a belief that probably started with our generation that we are owed a job that is glamorous and makes each of us famous. Maybe it’s because our society is obsessed with celebrity or maybe because our generation has it easy and hasn’t had to endure the hardships of previous generations (The Great Depression, World War II, etc.). I thought about the Victor Frankl quote from the workbook, “Stop asking what you expect from life, ask what life expects from you.” When I read statements like that, it makes me think that maybe we are getting it wrong. We all have specific talents and gifts that we can use to tell a great story no matter what we do from 8-5 everyday.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 17-20, 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
There you go, “God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.” We don’t all have to be movie stars and rock stars to create significant subplots within God’s story. Obviously, God did not create me to be the lead guitarist in a rock band or Wimbledon champion (still trying to get over both of those), but my contribution to God’s story isn’t any less important. Conversely, Eddie Van Halen probably can’t help people invest for retirement and Roger Federer can’t create a bitchin’ playlist for a dance party.
I’m not suggesting that each of us stay in our current jobs. If you dread waking up and going to work everyday, ask yourself if your job needs to change or if your perspective and attitude needs to change. If it is your job, then by all means do everything you can to find a job that you enjoy.
Here are a couple of videos that came to mind during our discussion. The first is a speech by Mike Rowe, Ford spokesman and host of Dirty Jobs, at the TED conference a few years ago. It’s 20 minutes long, but it’s one of the best speeches I’ve seen in a long time. He talks about how we are getting it wrong with our view of work. It’s very entertaining and thought provoking.
The next is a trailer about Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle. These guys wake up at 4 am everyday and spend all day dealing with smelly fish, and they don’t make a ton of money doing it. Pretty crappy job by society’s definition. But they make each day as fun as they can, and this little fish market has become an inspiration to many corporations about how to change culture and engage employees. Think about it, they work in a fish market and became world famous simply because of their attitude.
I hope this helps you find your subplot.