Monday, September 15, 2008

Should You Take That Job

by Donna L. Watkins

Max Lucado's book, Cure For The Common Life, Living In Your Sweet Spot, tells this:

© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - White-Neck Jacobin (Hummingbird) On Nest - La Selva B.S., Costa Rica

You've seen it happen. The popcorn peddler (mentioned in Having It All) has one stand and one job and manages both with skill. But though his daily sales meet his needs, they don't meet his tastes.

To make more money, he buys more stands, to supervise the stands, he abandons his own. The street vendor no longer sells; he manages. Which is fine, if he was made to manage. But suppose he was made to sell. Suppose he swaps the open street and river of people for four walls and a desk. Will he give up more than he gains?

It's illustrated by a Bible story in Judges (9:8-15): "The trees went to anoint a king over them: and they said to the olive tree: Reign thou over us. And it answered: Can I leave my fatness, which both gods and men make use of, to come to be promoted among the trees? Both gods and men make use of. And the trees said to the fig tree: Come thou and reign over us. And it answered them: Can I leave my sweetness, and my delicious fruits, and go to be promoted among the other trees? And the trees said to the vine: Come thou and reign over us. And it answered them: Can I forsake my wine, that cheereth God and men, and be promoted among the other trees? And all the trees said to the bramble: Come thou and reign over us. And it answered them: If, indeed, you mean to make me king, come ye, and rest under my shadow: but if you mean it not, let fire come out from the bramble, and devour the cedars of Libanus."

In this parable, Jotham warns the Israelites against thorny Abimelech ... and God warns us against greed-driven promotions. The olive tree, fig and vine refuse to pay the price of promotion. They've made the choice to be who God made them to be. To 'bloom where they're planted' and not seek green or lush grass on the other side of the fence.

Be careful, the story instructs. In a desire to be great, one might cease being any good.

Not every teacher is equipped to be a principal. Not every carpenter has the skill to head a crew. Not every musician should conduct an orchestra. Promotions might promote a person right out of his or her sweet spot. For the love of more, we might lose our purpose.

David rejected Saul's armor and instead took stones to knock the giant dead. This should teach us a powerful lesson: what fits others might not fit you. Indeed what fits the king might not fit you. Just because someone hands you armor, you don't have to wear it. Just because someone gives you advice, a job, or a promotion, you don't have to accept it. Let your uniqueness define your path of life.

"You, Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you." (Is. 26:3)

Consider these statistics:
• 1/3 of Americans say, "I hate my job."
• 2/3 labor in the wrong career.
• Most suicides happen on Sunday nights.
• Most heart attacks occur on Monday mornings.

Examine your gifts and know your strengths. Romans 12:3 says, "Have a sane estimate of your capabilities." Don't let anybody bump you out of your sweet spot. Don't let the itch for things or the ear for applause derail you from your God-intended design.

In his book, Money: A User's Manual, Bob Russell describes a farmer who grew discontent with his farm and decided to sell and move somewhere nice. He called the real estate agent and a few days later they called back to get approval for the ad to sell the place. It described a lovely farm in an ideal location - quiet and peaceful, contoured with rolling hills, carpeted with soft meadows, nourished by a fresh lake, and blessed with well-bred livestock.

The farmer said, "Read that ad to me again." After hearing it a second time, he said, "I've changed my mind. I'm not going to sell. I've been looking for a place like that all my life." Can you hear Paul's applause? The man who said, "I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content" (Phil 4:11).

Before you change your job title, examine your perspective toward life. Success is not defined by position or pay scale, but by this: doing the most of what you do the best.

Parents, give this counsel to your kids. Tell them to do what they love to do so well that someone will pay them to do it.

Spouses, urge your mate to choose satisfaction over salary. Better to be married to a happy person who has a thin wallet than a miserable person with a thick one.

Reprinted from published book, Cure For The Common Life, Living In Your Sweet Spot, by Max Lucado

1 comment:

Char5 said...

Thank you for this lovely jewel, Donna. I have posted it to share on my Facebook page.

Hugs,
Charlotte in WV

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