• Kara Abernathy

Case of the Mondays

There is no way I could even count the number of sayings poking fun of an adult’s first job. We have a case of the Mondays. We made it over hump day. We need coffee before talkie.

In reality, the excitement of a new job dissipates quickly. After we get off a bad conference call, experience a trying customer, or for me, deal with an angry parent, it’s easy to lose sight of why we were excited about our job in the first place.

Our relationship with work is complicated.

I see it every day as a teacher. When my students find purpose in the task at hand, they are way more likely to engage and care about their outcome. When it seems like yet another assignment or boring practice, they tune me out or produce less than their best work.

I don’t blame them. It’s the same for me. When I lose focus on the reason behind my career choice, I get sucked into the negativity and forget to appreciate all of the little “wins” of the day.

As humans, we crave purpose. We desire to put meaning to all that we do.

Sometimes, the logistics of life get in the way of that. We can’t see the bigger picture behind the temporary problem. We don’t get the recognition we deserve, or we feel unappreciated.

I couldn’t imagine if I was working a 9-to-5 job with the sole purpose of earning an income. If I had no other reason to work other than making money, I would constantly wonder if all the effort was worth it.

The good news of work in light of eternity is that our jobs are not just a means of making money. Yes, they provide for us to meet financial needs. That’s not all though.

In the days following Easter, it’s important to remember what Jesus told His disciples in Galilee after resurrecting from the dead. He was about to ascend into heaven, and He answered the question all humans face: “What is the purpose of life?”

In other words, Jesus called humans to a life of purpose that extends way beyond our career.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19-20).

Jesus tasked us with a job that carries eternal weight. He didn’t call us to a life behind a screen. He didn’t call us to sit at a desk and file reports. He didn’t call us meaningless work.

The Great Commission provides our life with the most significant work. We are to tell others about Jesus. We are to share our love of the Lord with those we love in order to spread His name.

So returning back to our earthly work – our jobs. Those are important, but our careers are not our life purpose.

I’m a teacher, and I am proud of my career. Each day, I get to work with students, witness their growth, and celebrate their success. My students challenge me to find new ways to connect skills with their interests and passions. I find a lot of joys (and struggles) at my job, but that isn’t my calling.

When we treat our profession as our calling, we are left feeling resentful and frustrated. We didn’t get the promotion. We had a rough encounter with a coworker. We forgot to finish the presentation.

Thinking of our career as our calling forces us to put far too much weight on it. It also causes us to find our identity in our job performance instead of in Christ.

We must recognize our calling is to spread the name of Jesus. Our calling is not our career.

Placing our career in the proper priority slot in our hearts will prevent us from placing our hope in a false god. Our careers will never fully satisfy us. They are not meant to be our main job.

When I have a case of the Mondays, I remember my true calling.

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© 2019 Kara Abernathy

Disclaimer: my thoughts do not necessarily reflect the thoughts of my employer.

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