Complaining Is Fun
From time to time the challenges of being bi-vocational start getting to me and before long I find myself sliding down the slippery slope of complaining. For me, knowing that this ‘other’ job was only seasonal and that I could quit anytime was somewhat of an ace up my sleeve, at least in my brain anyways. It’s like when you know you’re not committed to something long term you end up retaining this small amount of freedom and power that comes with the lack of buy-in. Not to mention it gives you the ability to complain more freely too. I don’t consider myself a big complainer but if something on the job warranted it, I guess you could say I put in my two bits worth! However my whole ‘Complain freely/no buy-in factor’ took a serious turn a few months ago when the company brought everyone in and laid us all off. We were offered a decent severance or the opportunity for a portion of us to have our old jobs back but with new parameters and a new pay structure. But in order to be numbered amongst their ‘chosen few’ applicants were asked to reapply and pass through the gauntlet of 2 managerial interviews. Really and truly, this should have been a blessing for me as a way to cut tail, run and move on towards spending more time in the ministry. But the underlying problem was the timing. I believe God had opened the door for me to work at this job and even though I was technically laid off, I knew that door was not yet closed. Which meant I was not yet done. It took less than a minute that day for me to realize I was going to be one of those employees begging to have my job back. With that I was not well.
For me to ask for my job back meant I had really wanted this job. Which if I really wanted this job it meant I needed to fight for this job through the two interviews. That was tough. This meant a new level of commitment. It meant buy-in. I was losing the ace up my sleeve and as much as I don’t want to admit it what it really meant was a change of attitude. Let’s face it, it’s easy to complain about the job when you’re not bought in. But our attitude takes a drastic turn the day we choose our path and set course towards a desired outcome. Think about it. It doesn’t make sense to complain about something you have the power to change. Or as somebody once put it, ‘Don’t complain about what you permit.’ Hey I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes complaining helps get things off my chest. But in all honesty, I’m complaining about something I could do something about. Believe me, complaining doesn’t solve the problem but it definitely can add to it. More times than not it leaves me feeling like the victim of a system. As though I’m powerless, hopeless, mistreated and helpless. All because I let something or someone get inside of me. Nobody enjoys feeling like that or listening to someone like that.
That’s why asking for my job back meant I owned it. In essence I was saying, ‘I want this.’ That started with my attitude. Instead of a renters mentality I became an owner. It didn’t mean I had to like everything the company did but it did mean I could no longer get caught up in it. This was God’s provision and my choice to own it as such. As in the story of Elijah, this was the brook God provided me with, giving me the sustenance needed each day. By the way, I apparently passed the interviews with flying colors. I was even thanked by one regional manager for being the glue that had held the team together. Pretty nice compliment. I told him I appreciated it but in my heart I knew I could do a way better job of it with a buy-in attitude.
It’s amazing how perspective will change when we own it. Something we all need to remind ourselves of from time to time.