Total Pageviews

Friday, March 16, 2012

The partition

I would hazard a guess that most all working folks have a pretty good bead on what they do. I started a job in the last year that still has me in the unenviable place of being uncertain about my day-to-day tasks. By that I mean because I'm still learning the ropes at work. There are still a significant number of to-do items that come into my email or develop as action items out of meetings or phone calls that I do not intuitively know how to resolve. I have to THINK about them; I have to ponder all the questions: Who do I need to work with to complete this task? Who can help me move this project along? What department even covers that?

There are over 1,700 folks working here - so there is a lot to take in. Those people are spread out over three large buildings on our campus, as well as all over the country and even internationally.

                              The four stages of learning

Folks that have college degrees, technical qualifications, vocational training, the advantage of longevity in their position or any other path to competence, likely do not fret overly much about how to do their jobs. They might fret over a specific deadline, a conflict with a co-worker, a new HR policy; but they are comfortable in their job - they are competent - either consciously or unconsciously.

My last job was certainly like that. I was what people refer to as a SME - a subject matter expert. Folks came to me for answers. And if I didn't know the answer, I knew where to find it. Most of the time, I didn't have to think about how to arrive at a solution, I just knew the steps I needed to take or I knew the answer off the top of my head. I was unconsciously competent.

I suppose that's the place where most of us strive to be in our working lives. I know that for some people, work does not drive their identity. And that's a good thing. But especially in this economy, having work is important and being merely adequate doesn't make the grade. My hypothesis is that in a poor economic climate, working harder, smarter, faster, longer - nights, weekends, etc. - is almost a given. If you want to remain employed.

Unions hate that...but that's a discussion for another day.

I often pray on the way to work in the morning. It's dark, there's not much traffic. I can let my unconscious driving competence [see image above] take over while one side of my mind contemplates the things we have to be thankful for, things that we need to put before God and things for which we need to seek His forgiveness.

Yes, I keep my eyes open while I'm praying and driving

This morning a question struck me: Why do we partition off a huge part of our lives and make it separate from God? We seek God in emotional places and we seek God in spiritual places. We may even seek God in sports, in finance, in love, and in general every day living.

But how often do we seek Him at work?

There are 168 hours in a week. I usually spend about 60 of those at work. If I'm lucky, another 45 or so I spend sleeping. I definitely give my spirit over to God before I go to sleep. And I do try to seek His guidance during the remaining 63 hours of my week when I'm not sleeping or working. So why wouldn't I want to be in relationship with God at the office?

The large majority of self-proclaimed Christians I know can probably quote Philippians 4:13, which reminds believers that we can do all things through Christ.

So, if we can pray to God that our NCAA tournament bracket doesn't get busted on the first day, or that our team wins the Super Bowl, or that the person we like won't shoot us down when we ask them out, or that our kids will make good choices at school today, or that our car will make it one more day without breaking down...why don't we seek His wisdom, perseverance, strength, kindness, and other key qualities when we are at work?

Sure, we might pray that we get that promotion or we might pray that the person in the next cubicle will discover the joys of personal hygiene. But do we really seek God's will and purpose at the office?

Do we strive each day to do our jobs the way He would have us do them - or do we shut Him in the car with St. Christopher and hit the lock button on the key fob, secure in the knowledge that I got this?

What do you think?


1 comment:

Thanks for visiting the Stream. What do you think?