Honest Labor

For those of you who follow my blog, perhaps you will have noticed that my last post was many weeks ago in November. I have been busy! Prayers were answered and much to the relief of all concerned, I finally have a real job again. The call that I mentioned in my post on Genteel Poverty led to a very good job.


On New Year’s day I had occasion to converse with a long time friend of my husband’s who had been aware of my job search. He inquired about the nature of my job as my husband had told him that I finally had a job but hadn’t filled in any details. As he listened to my description, he moved his hands, one over the other, and said that he thought the job a very odd choice given my interests and talents. Indeed. The kinds of work I have done all my life have almost nothing in common with my present job. The interests and skills that have gotten me promotions and encouraged several former employers to try to lure me back to work for them couldn’t be less important to this job. All the things that I feel I am good at seem shelved at present and I am having to work hard to master something that is only of interest to me because it provides a paycheck. When I have allowed myself a brief wallow, this has been painful.

However, on the subject of paychecks, they are not a minor thing. When you desperately need income, when you have been under-employed for years, nearly any job that comes along seems a Godsend. In the absence of being independently wealthy, there is really no adequate substitute. My husband has given me thoughtful pep talks. He has been right. It may be a huge learning curve but day by day it becomes less stressful and slightly easier (or as I like to say, less awful). I have no choice but to be exceedingly thankful for it. I am grateful for the two people who led me to it. I am thankful for my husband who keeps telling me that I can do this.

Protecting a good investment and making money concept

It is, I guess, a lesson in humility. As my mother had to learn when she was in her eighties, lessons in humility never seem to end. Pride goes out the window when you are on the receiving end of care for things you once could do for yourself. My pride has gone out the window learning to do this job. Once upon a time I hardly had to look for jobs. Some excellent jobs fell in my lap. Two promotions were presented to me that I had no idea were even being considered. This present job is entirely different. It came after nearly six years, and what seemed like endless applications and letters of inquiry. It came to me, through nothing I did, but because someone knew someone else who could help. Thankfully that proffered hand up translated into a job.

CS Lewis

Now I get to practice the catechism. As I mentioned in the blog post on Genteel Poverty, we are not to steal. That means, when applied to this job, that I am to work hard to understand the company’s mission and provide the best work I can give. I am to represent them honorably, and be the best public face I can be in executing their tasks. In other words I am to be a good steward of that with which I have been entrusted.

I trust that as the days go by, that task will become easier.

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