By Brenda Groves
The Post Newspaper Contributing Writer
Dear Readers, I first wrote this column over 10 years ago, but the message is never truer then today. It has blessed me to be reminded how God sees us, and how it is possible to remain positive in this negative world.
Who can forget their first job?
I had the greatest one ever! My best friend and I opened an organic food cafe
in our neighborhood back home. I remember the decor was done in earthy tones and we were quite successful.
Okay, so we 6-year-old entreprenerds who sold mud pies out of my dad’s deer stand. But it was an income, and it paid the car notes (We collected Hot Wheels miniatures).
Since that time, my employment history has been somewhat diversified to say the least. I have worked at a convenience store, a floral shop, dog kennel, veterinarian clinic, a couple of department stores, an insurance agency, and newspapers.
When I first became a sales representative over 26 years ago, I worked for a company where my schedule was very challenging, but I really enjoyed my job.
I was a newborn again Believer in Christ Jesus, so I was actually
experiencing life for the first time through His Spirit. I was alive the way God intended for all of us to be. I had faith, hope and love working within me and I wasn’t doing anything by myself or in my own strength anymore.
One of my first appointments was with a business owner who was very nice and straightforward. He had owned his company for quite a while, so he was also extremely knowledgeable.
At our meeting, I was bubbly and very enthusiastic and rambled on about the products we offered along with some ideas I had on how to market his business. The man never spoke a word and listened with absolutely no expression on his face, but I’ll never forget his response.
When I finished up the presentation I sat back with a wide smile.
He leaned forward and looked me square in the eyes.
“Brenda, do you know what your company does?” I quirked my head sideways and with a puzzled look replied, “Uh, no Sir, what do you mean?”
“Here, I’ll tell ya. They get a fresh energetic eager person like yourself in there and they will … USE … YOU … UP!!! They will work the life right out of you and push you so hard until there is nothing left. Then they will get rid of you and just get another new one.”
Leaning back in his chair he casually added, “I’ve seen it happen time and again.”
I had no response (Hmmm, I don’t think this was in the ‘overcoming objections’ section of the sales manual).
So I chose to ignore the remark. Maybe he had recently switched to decaf or something. Sadly, over the following years, I found his statement to be true. But I also discovered something later.
Remember how I said that the job had always been demanding, but I quit having an excellent attitude. It wasn’t the company’s fault at all.
I got into sales because I loved people. That was my favorite part of the job. It wasn’t about making money as much as getting to know my customers and along the way meeting their marketing needs.
And because of my relationship with God I was now “joint heirs with His Son, Jesus (Romans 8:17), so I could trust Him because He promises that all of my needs will be supplied.
It was a no-lose situation.
But then I started getting caught up in the doing of my job and not the being, and it started becoming a huge burden. I began working long hours and spending less and less time with God. I had stopped abiding (meditating on) His word. I started trusting in myself/self-dependent, so I felt the need to work harder to try and keep up.
You know, I heard someone explain the Christian life, and our relationship with the Lord Jesus like this: “It’s like riding in a plane. Here you are, flying hundreds of miles per hour, way up high! But if you ever forget that you are just the passenger in that plane and began to think that you’re the one doing the flying, and step out of the plane, you’ll crash. It’s not the pilots’ fault that you stepped out of the plane.”
Well, that’s exactly what I had done! I had forgotten that my Heavenly Father was carrying me, along with all of the burdens of that job, and becoming self-reliant affected every part of my life. As a result, I started resenting the company I was working with at the time, even to the point that I dreaded coming to work each day. I also took my grievances out on my family coming home in bad moods. Saddest of all, I quit being thankful to God for all the good things in my life. Number one, the wonderful gift of His Son.
In the same aspect, even though God has a good plan for each of our lives He never wants us to get so caught up in the doing part that we forget the real reason for our existence: To experience an intimate, loving and power-filled relationship with the only true living God through Christ Jesus.
He wants each one of us to experience Him in such a way that our lives, and the works we do for Him will be fruit from our fellowship with Him and not a route to a relationship with Him. Big difference.
I have heard it put this way, “God does not want to use us up like a tube of toothpaste,” as that customer so many years ago had described my employer’s attitude toward their employees.
But you can’t give away what you don’t have.
Receive the goodness of God today by faith in what He’s already provided for us by grace, and your life will not be just a daily routine, it can be an ongoing adventure in Love.
And you will have an excellent attitude at the job, home or wherever you are. (The apostle Paul was in prison when he wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice!”)
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matt. 6:33 Contact Brenda Groves at: email@example.com