#ThirtyThankfuls Day 7: Work.

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The insidious danger of complaining is that it often occupies a mouth that should instead be filled with praise and thanksgiving.

It’s easy to complain about work. It’s almost expected in our culture to talk about how terrible your job or boss is, how you are underpaid, how your customers are obnoxious.

To be honest, my attitude toward work isn’t always what it should be. I struggle with complaining about this or that situation or person, or how the upper management should be running things differently (based on all my great wisdom and insight, of course). I still fight the long-instilled idea that I should instead be “following my dreams.” Thankfully, the good thinking and preaching of faithful believers and pastors (including some men I know personally), as well as the wise insights of secular writers like Cal Newport, have been slowly disabusing me of that Disney-minted idea that simply “following your heart” is anything other than childish and disastrous.

I’m not working my dream job. Of course, my “dream job” would be to be given a comfortable leather arm chair, a bottomless cup of coffee, and all the time in the world to be left alone to read. I’ve looked into it, and in most cases, no one pays you to do that. (Also, if The Twilight Zone has taught us anything, it is to be careful what you wish for.)

By the grace of God, I don’t have a dream job, but I have a good job in which I can apply my skills and abilities with reasonable success. While there are still thorns and thistles on a regular basis, and there are days that are more drudgery that delight, I can apply myself, take care of my customers, and provide for my family. We have good insurance, flexibility, and top-tier benefits. I can afford housing, food, clothes, and some small luxuries for those under my care. God is kind.

The best part of my job is the commute: I walk down a hallway to my home office. After over 15 years of cars and buses and trains and traffic, the unexpected blessing of the #ForeverPlague is that my employer pays me to tap a keyboard for 9 or so hours a day while sitting in my house in sweatpants and a tee-shirt. I get a hug from my 1 1/2 year old every morning. I give my wife a kiss when I walk in to pour a second cup of coffee. God is kind.

So I am thankful for work. I’m thankful for the work that God has given me that will provide for my family and for the good of others. I’m thankful that He has given me the skill, ability, and strength to do good work and earn a living. I’m thankful he has given me a job that is pretty unique in its benefits and flexibility.

And on the busiest and most frustrating of days, I need to remember that this blessing is a gift to me from a loving Father who is teaching me how to lay my life down for others in a thousand tiny ways, so I can better reflect the Savior-King who came not to be served but to serve.

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