Thursday, July 8, 2010

Why Do We Do What We Do?

Why do we do what we do for a living?  This is a question that I believe we all need to ask ourselves from time-to-time.

I think the answers would surprise those who know us.  I think that if we are truly honest with ourselves, the answer might surprise us.

I look back through the years at my "raising" as well as my education -- both formal and on-the-job -- and at my career(s) and can see that where I have been has shaped where I am.  I suppose that is only logical and is true for pretty much everyone.  But, what I really mean is that there seems to be a definitive "shaping" of who I am that prepared me for what I am doing.

Such a view obviously implies a belief in Divine Guidance.  Yes, I do believe that God actively works in our lives to shape us into what He would have us to be.  Does that include our career?  Perhaps, because it is such an integral part of our life and exerts tremendous shaping influences on us.

I become frustrated when I hear someone talk about how bad it is that when we visit with others the conversation almost always turns to work.  This occurs with friends, acquaintances and people that we have just met.  It is especially common in men.  Women often turn to the topic of family rather than career.  But, I believe God designed them uniquely for a nurturing role.

Our career is often a place where we can serve others.  Yes, many are very self-serving in their jobs, but, it doesn't have to be so.  Whatever we do -- unless illegal, immoral or unethical -- can be done in a way that others benefit.

If a person is unhappy with what they are doing, it is likely that there is something about their reason for doing it that is not right.  I suppose that some belief systems might refer to it as being in harmony with ourselves.  I think that it is a result of either not being in the job that you are made for or doing the job for the wrong reason.  Which brings us to attitude.

If our attitude is one of service to others, any job can take on a completely different complexion.  If we are sweeping floors and cleaning toilets, it can be with the attitude that I am providing a clean environment for others and therefore making their lives better.  However, if it is just for the paycheck, I will likely feel that it is a demeaning job.

I believe that God designed each of us with a purpose.  We are shaped by Him to serve others.  If we find what it is that He has designed us to do and pursue it with all of our heart in service to Him and to our fellow man, we will find joy and happiness in our life.  And, we will be successful.

I think that it was Sam Walton who said something to the effect that, "Success is achieved by serving others.  The greater the service, the greater the success."  -- and if he didn't say it, my apologies, he should have!

Psalm 139:13-16

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place.

When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me

were written in your book

before one of them came to be.

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