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Posts Tagged ‘jobs’

13-careers-for-the-next-decade

In our society today (and I expect in any society, at any time in history) there is an unwritten hierarchy of jobs and professions.

Of course the job of a doctor is more essential to our society than that of a garbage collector … until those garbage collectors go on strike, and garbage builds up in the streets, and rats are present in large numbers in our cities, and diseases begin to fun rampant.

Or that of a school administrator is more important than that of a school’s administrative assistant … what am I saying, everyone knows that those who work in the front offices of schools are the ones who really run the schools 😉 .

C.S. Lewis said,
“I reject at one and idea which lingers in the mind of some modern people that cultural activities are in their own right spiritual and meritorious-as though scholars and poets were intrinsically more pleasing to God than scavengers and boot lacks (shoe shiners).

… The work of Beethoven and the work of a charwoman (cleaning woman) become spiritual on precisely the same condition, that of being offered to God, of being done humbly ‘as to the Lord,’ ”
(The Weight of Glory)

What is it that makes us prioritize one person’s profession over that of another? What is it that makes one person’s job ‘essential’ and another simply supplementary to that more important role?

It makes me think of the scripture from 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 :

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”

Each person has a job, like each part of our body has a role to play. One only needs to stub their toe, a part often ignored, to realize how very important that toe is to our balance and our walk. The key is not the value of one profession or job over another, the key is who we are doing the job for, and the effort we are investing in the accomplishing of it.

As I was writing this post, I was listening to Chuck Swindoll speaking on Joshua. He spoke of years ago watching a television broadcast of a Presidential address from Ronald Reagan and how he heard little of what the President said, because he was trying to make out the words on a brass plaque on the President’s desk. The next day his secretary was able to contact the White House and uncover the words :

“There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go
if he does not mind who gets the credit.”

(Charles Edward Montague, English novelist and essayist)

Although those words deliver a good message, I would choose to re-write it, integrating into it the words of C. S. Lewis, as follows:

“There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go
if he will offer it to God, doing it all humbly ‘as to the Lord.”

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There are many important jobs in our world. To work in health care, education, religion, emergency responding and peacekeeping are among the first to pop into my mind. The most important job in the world is none and yet all of these. It is one that all of us, and yet few of us has the pressure and the privilege of fulfilling. It is the job of homemaker.

A more unappreciated job there could not be. In our society today, to be a homemaker is to not have a job, to not have motivation, to not have purpose. And yet it is a job which makes the fulfilling of all other tasks easier, more efficient, more purposeful.

To be a homemaker is to run, and manage, a house and household, often with few resources, little training and no down time. It is to awaken each morning ready to run, for the plans you took to bed to be upset, to probably not rest again until the end of the day when your feet slide back between the sheets. To be a homemaker is to have work clothes that range from grubby denims with holes (ones not made by the denim label, but ones that were ripped inadvertently), to our Sunday best.

A homemaker is one who may spend his or her days patching injured knees to patching holes in someone’s favorite t-shirt to patching holes in walls. A homemaker is one who may spend his or her days scraping hardened egg of breakfast plates, to scraping vomit off carpet to scraping old paint before adding a fresh coat. A homemaker is one who may spend his or her days making meals, making the lives of others in the home smoother, and making ends meet.

The most difficult task of a homemaker is living in a community, a society in which this important job is minimized, disrespected and disregarded.

Although it has been a few years (about ten) since I last proudly claimed to hold the position of homemaker, I still consider it the most important job I never got paid for, and yet the benefits package was the best I have ever encountered.

To all those who call themselves homemakers (and especially to the ones fulfilling that task with preschoolers in tow), I applaud you, and the valuable contribution to those around you, and especially to your children to whom benefit the greatest.

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As we continue with all of the last minute preparations for the ‘big day’ obligation, guilt and fatigue can begin to take over our existence and moment by moment lives. Our duties, our jobs can come to feel as weights upon our lives.

The guest post today is by Ann Volskamp, who was also my guest post two week ago. It is short, and sweet and will put breath back beneath your sails as you look for purpose in your tasks.

After reading The Best Way to do Christmas Cleaning I think you might just have a new understanding of what it is to do holy work.

Oh, and you might want to purchase Ann Voskamp’s book, for someone you love (or for yourself), “One Thousand Gifts

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Most of the time I like to think of myself as a progressive thinker (although my kids would probably not agree), but when it comes to one area I tend to be rather old fashioned, even archaic.

For those who are older like me, the song in the video below takes us back to watching the original movie, Footloose,  w a y  back in the 198o’s (for those not so old only back as far as a Shrek movie). It is the chorus that has been playing in my head lately.

The area that shows my age concerns young men.

As a mom of two daughters, one who is twenty and the other fifteen, I have started to observe young men from the point of view of ‘would I want my daughter to date him?’ It is not that either one (especially the fifteen year old) is looking to settle down, but more that I am always thinking ahead to the next step, trying to plan and prepare.

As I have observed young men, I have to say that I am starting to get really discouraged by what I see.

Now I know that I am a mom of daughters, and I am protective of them, and want only the best for them, and really there can never be a young man who is good enough for my daughters (imagine how much more so for their father). I also know that I am observing young men through the aging eyes of a thirty-nine (with three years experience) year old woman, and I do not fully understand the generation that I am observing. Fair enough! Yet, I feel so very discouraged in this!

Let me tell you what I have been observing:

Schooling and Jobs
There seems to be a lack of future goals. Post secondary schooling seems more to be just another phase rather than a vehicle to pursuing and attaining a future career. And many, upon graduation from university/college do not even pursue work in their area of study.

Mom and Dad Dependency
I have heard of far too many mid-twenty-something guys who are still living with, and off of, mom and day (and yes, I mean off of, as in no ‘rent’ is being charged to their working son OR ma and pop are still handing over cash to sonny boy who can’t find work). Certainly the financial circumstances of today require more young adults to still live at home, but parents who are allowing their adult children to completely live off of them are harming the next generation not helping them.

Undefinable Christianity
This one is just about Christian guys. I am all about Christian living within our world, and not segregating ourselves to only churchy activities, but seriously, there just has to be a difference in how we live our lives, if we say that we are ‘Christ-like’. Maybe this is where my ‘old fashioned’ side is most visible, but I really do believe that when a Christian guy is partying he should be able to remember what he did afterward, and that what he does with a girl(s) should be God-honoring.

I do believe that there are good men out there, and have even met some of them, but they really seem to be in the minority, and as a mom of a son as well, I really hope that we are raising him to be part of that vital minority. I hope too that our our daughters will hold out for a hero.

“In a desperate attempt to stay young forever
we have achieved eternal childishness,
rather than eternal youth.”

― Daniel Prokop, Leaving Neverland: Why Little Boys Shouldn’t Run Big Corporations

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