Something I observe multiple times throughout my week is that people fall into two camps, either they are “go getters” or “resisters” and in most cases, people attempt to take the “path of least resistance”. In nearly every job or role I’ve been placed in I’ve seen this phenomenon, and I’m guilty of it as well… “what’s the easiest, fastest, and most ‘avoidant’ way of getting X done?” and man it irks me. It seems to be an especially strong disease throughout my generation.
This is even stronger when it comes to relational dynamics, I see it so many times, people going to all kinds of lengths to avoid a possible “conflict” or “situation” – in my mind though, this kind of avoidance makes waters down our relationships, and actually breaks down the desire for strong friendships and family that we actually want. It certainly takes guts to overcome our cultural boundaries, and most of the time takes courage since most of us have not been shown how to healthily confront awkward (or simply saying no) situations.
A lot of the time when I’m faced with the decision to resist or “go get it” I have to ask myself, what is the pro-relationship path I could take? What will build up the relationship? What decision might tear it down, or leave it flat? As a person who looks to Jesus for direction, I usually can’t choose to skim past a relation-building choice… (of course if it’s unhealthy and not safe, then that’s another ball-game which actually might be just as challenging to make the choice to step away from a relationship). Often times I find myself wanting to avoid talking to someone because it’s harder than just making my own choice to “skim on by with what’s acceptable” – however, I’m not so sure this is how Jesus goes about ministering to us, and I want to reflect this. I want to go above just the “satisfactory” and I want to be a servant, even when it’s not exactly pleasant for me.
Picture was taken at the central Library MAX stop downtown Portland waiting for the train home. Mobile post ahead, spelling and typo errors ahead…
I work with a lot of people, both in ministry and in my vocation. A lot of these people are fantastic hard working people, and…. well a lot are just not. Now when I say hard working I’m not talking about the work-aholics, that’s a different breed. I’m talking about people who have good work ethics, people who take on what is theirs, don’t blame shift, and look for solutions. When people opperate like this then I’m glad to work along side them, past mistakes, and help accomplish the bigger goal.
When I’m working with the type of person who is constantly blame shifting, covering up mistakes, and not looking for solutions then I begin to get frustrated. This is always a hard line to walk, because ultimately I need to walk the high road and love the person through the conflict without enabling them to live/work on in dysfunction. The issue and temptation I run into is paitience within myself to work with God and find the teachable moments.
Whether Christian or not, people are in one of these two categories, to varrying degrees of course. Living in harmony as Paul instructed the Romans is key to my walk with Jesus, so a value I live out is having a strong work ethic, working alongside others who don’t share that is frustrating, but not a license to micro manage, freak out, or ignore the issues. Nor is it the time to become demotivated and give up on humanity, it’s exactly the opposite, it’s time to act and be who I’m called to be and work in my skills and gifts.
I’m being reminded throughout my days that even the small acts of giving are huge for many people. Giving a smile, or holding the door just a moment longer, sticking your hand in a closing (old) elevator door for someone far down the hall, can speak volumes to people. For some reason though my “default” mode of “thinking ahead” often times hinders me from catching these moments to serve and give a piece of who my God. When I am in the right mode though, and I am thinking beyond what I need to do next, it is an amazing thing to watch how listening to God on these things opens doors into the soul of another person. My soul thrives when I give up myself, when I choose to burn a bit of my needs for those of another, my soul thrives to water others.
Life is about God and people, and His love in ourselves and in others is what I want to focus on. Most days though I am simply “in default mode” – my prayer is for “default” (read as doing what I’ve always done and don’t really like to do, but do it anyway) to redefined to reflect a life of giving in the little areas.
Yeah, thankfully I didn’t do anything like this, just everyone else around me did… I guess that’s what happens when you’re the IT guy trying to get an entire network back up.
On most weekday mornings I loath the thought of going to work. It isn’t that I hate my job, in fact, my job is pretty cool, my co-workers are great, and most of the work itself is pretty good as well. However, for some reason I just hate the thought of going to work. A lot of it is the fact that I do not find any kind of fulfilment in my work, servers are not the most social entities. There are relational perks, but I must work hard at seeking out those opportunities. As a follower of Christ I find it very difficult to find Christ’s purpose in my line of work. Nonetheless though, He has shown me favor amongst the powers that be, in pay, and in fringe benefits.
However, the loathing continues, but I do praise Him anyway that I have a job, that it provides for my family, and that there is light at the end of the tunnel coming my way. Maybe this is why I’ve been so interested in the theory of Star trek economy (a society without money)… yeah can’t wait for the new Jerusalem!
Sometimes the written form of communication works, especially when emotions or money are invovled. I’ve had this thing at work bugging me, but due to a lack of face on face time I haven’t been able to fully explain the situation to those that need to know. So, instead I wrote an email, I cringed as I wrote it because I usually perfer to talk to people face to face… but it just wasn’t going to happen this time.
And you know what? I actually felt really good about, I was able to explain myself, and the best part was I had time to think it out, make it clear, and make my objective points. While sometimes, and maybe in most cases, face to face is better, I do believe at times written communication work best, than a clear line of communication can be opened, and hopefully a face to face conversation will have some good solid ground to work from.
Just a thought.
Okay I’m tired of letting myself down in certain diciplines, lately, for lack of having a study partner, I have been skipping my morning devotions. This isn’t good, because at any point in the next two weeks my life is going to change (for the better) when Emma arrives on the scene, and I don’t quite know how my schedule is going to work! I have got to stick to the priorities of life, find a way to be self motivated, albeit life is so much easier when you have someone to do it with (morning devotions, working out, being accountable, etc).
Just today I hit that lull in the middle of the work day, and all I wanted to do was go outside and run, bike, hike, something other than sitting in a cube making sure people’s servers are running (even the servers get to go running).
I just want to conquer the world, go travel, see places, people, hang out, let the world know I still care, and that there’s a savior who still cares too!
I think Mr. Dwight from The Office sums it all up, what do you think eh?
So, the last week or so I’ve been thinking that I’m a bit tired of doing proposals, regular maintenance, etc at work… I realized I actually like doing the “fire fighting” stuff (the emergencies, down servers, etc)… well out of the blue one of our clients loses their server, and everything with, despite the fact that they had redundancy and all of the precautionary things to prevent it.
The funny thing, I’m okay with it, yes it is a little stressful having them breathe down my back (their pretty nice about it though, not talking to the air, yet). I like it, weird eh?
PS… Also take a look at one of my buddy’s blog from my small group.
I know I’m in dangerous territory when I’m feeling discontent. Sometimes discontent is a sign of moving forward, desiring more from life or a person. But I know that in my current scenario, it is not that… I know my direction, I know where I’m headed, I’m just being impatient.
I’m tired of the IT world, I know there are many opportunities to see people and “be a light” in many different places, but my heart is for discipleship. I know that at any point in time the Holy Spirit could guide me to bring people to Him and he could use me for evangelism and I also know that my gift, my “sweet spot” you could say, is for seeing people grow to new understandings and depths in who they are with and in Christ.
I hate offending people, and I hate the awkward pause or looks when people realize that I’m a “church goer”… but I just gotta be me. Most of all I know that Jesus offended people, I’m okay with offending people with His truth… but I refuse to offend people in the name of a “church” or “organization” that calls itself a house of Jesus followers when really all they are doing is shaming people rather than setting them free with God’s grace and truth.
So I’m discontent because computers are 1. Not very responsive to God’s truth 2. Certainly don’t understand grace and 3. Are not very open to discipleship.
Today at work, I went to open my lunch, and behold, I had no sandwich. I kind of laughed, thinking Alexis forgot, which was fine, I asked her in an instant message and she said that since we were running late she didn’t have time to make one. Okay, that’s fine. So I went to our break room and found instant “beef noodle” soup… yuck. It was okay, but, after about 3 min, it was yuck. Anyway, a co-worker asked me what I was eating and I told them what had happened, he came back a few minutes later and offered me half his sandwich… Awesome.
If God will provide my lunch through someone I really don’t know too well, who is a good man, not sure where he stands with Jesus, but none-the-less, he is my neighbor, then he’ll provide for the next $2,000 and much more for what he has called us to!