It’s been a while, I hope everyone is doing well. I have just recently started a new job as a receptionist/administrator for a charity in London, which I am so grateful for as this is my first proper full time job since I graduated last year. Finding a job has been really difficult, but in that time frame of 12 months, I really had to learn to be content in that season and to depend on God to provide, which was sometimes quite hard for me. I liken it to being blindfolded whilst being led along a path by a person more mature than I am; someone who knows what they are doing and where they are going. The anticipation can can be fun sometimes, other times draining. That feeling of knowing its coming but not knowing when or where. “Am I here now?”, “ooh this feels right, this must be it!” but then the disappointment that follows, the feeling of rejection when I’m being told, “No you’re not there yet.” However, I have managed to settle well in my new job and I am now in my 4th week and already seeing how the things I do at work, really relate to how things are in my relationship with God. These are as follows:
1. How easily we tend to forget
Working as a receptionist has shown me just how forgetful I can be. Having to answer and transfer calls on behalf of other people as well as responding to queries via phone and email, requires taking down a lot of information; who’s calling, who is the call for and what is their reason for calling, who is the right person to direct this call to. It does not seem like a lot, but when you have to do it every 2-5 minutes for the whole day it becomes a lot. Learning the ropes, all the software and all the systems can also be a lot to take in especially in your first few weeks of work. When I started I tried to remember everything in my head, then I would forget as soon as I had to pass it on. How embarrassing! So now what I do to make sure I don’t repeat the same mistake, is I simply jot down every little piece of information I am given so that I won’t forget in order to complete my tasks properly.
Why its important not to forget God
As humans we tend to forget a lot especially when it comes to things to do with God. Just like with work, keeping note of the things you’ve learnt, helps you overall to do a better job. The small things we tend to forget and overlook; when you really think about it, they all add up and make a big difference. Remembering the little details you’re learning at work can help you better your performance in your department, and you’re reliability to do things in a well organised way. In the same way with our faith, the small things, such as: prayer, having our quiet quality time with God, encouraging someone, doing something nice, sharing our faith with people in our environment, praising God etc. They add to our faith, we can make them seem so insignificant sometimes, when really they have a much bigger impact in our lives as we become more committed to God.
Add to your faith:
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
When you forget, you disconnect
As Francis Chan nicely puts it: “In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him.”
When you forget to seek God or when you don’t add to your faith, chances are you are probably taking away from it. It will become very easy to compromise your faith, and convictions, but making the conscious decision to remind yourself of who God is and what he has done, often rectifies that. One suggestion is to keep a gratitude journal, write down a couple of things at the end of each day that you are grateful to God for, even if it is just one thing, and develop an attitude of gratitude. Write down each of the qualities mentioned in 2nd Peter 1: 5-9, and think about how you can grow in each of these qualities see how your faith is strengthened while you pursue each one.
2. It’s important to prioritise
Work can get very demanding and busy, you will probably have plenty of tasks to complete, maybe you won’t, it depends on the kind of job you are doing. Either way, something is going to take priority during your shift, and it is up to you to know how you will get things done. It is the same with life, we can get so occupied with things, it will help to have a little structure somewhere, just so to avoid the stress of build up in your life. What takes up most of your time? what is important in your life, and what do you give priority to? Is God included in any of those things?
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:25. Jesus lived a life poured out, we all know how busy he was, he hardly had time to himself but in this verse we can see how important his quiet time was with God because he made it his priority to pray early in the morning. If anyone deserved to rest until sunrise it would have been Jesus, but his early start to the day was intentional. Before the sun came up, he intended to spend time with God, because that was where he knew he could draw his strength from. He knew how hectic that day was going to be for him so he sought God out because he didn’t want to lose sight of God during the course of his day. God wants to be included in every aspect of your life. Just as prioritising at work can set a good pace for the rest of the day or week ahead; you are also guaranteed to have a much better day when you choose to seek God first.
As well as it is important to plan ahead, it is also ok to not have everything planned out, it is ok to not have it all figured out there should be a balance of structure and also faith to be led by God. In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps Proverbs 16:9
3. There is still so much to learn
Life is all about learning. At work I feel like I am learning something new everyday,either it is learning someone’s name, or how to use a program. Even in the area where I work, I found some new places I can go to for lunch for the first time. The older I get, the more aware I become of the things I didn’t notice before and would like to pursue. For example, I have recently developed a new found interest in poetry, I love how people are able to express themselves in such a creative and personal way, I would love to be able to do that myself. We are starting to grow up and it is inevitable that we will learn things about ourselves along the way, what we like, don’t like etc. I have learnt recently that I have a fear of being vulnerable and that has robbed me of certain relationships in my life, which I wasn’t aware of before. As you continue to grow, there is so much you will learn about yourself. There are things you are yet to experience; foods you are yet to taste, and places you would love to explore. Think about how exciting it would be to go on this voyage of life and just discover all the things you had no idea existed. New experiences that will birth forth new desires and new goals for your life. Again it is the same with God. God is so big and sovereign there is so much about Him to learn that Francis Chan says will take us a lifetime to even scratch the surface. And what better way to learn than to read the 66 love letters he has given us. It is amazing to think that God in all his sovereignty has given all of himself to us, and in return our response should be to give ourselves wholly to him. Devote your life to expanding your knowledge of who God is, his nature, what pleases him and what grieves him. Do not be afraid to dream big dreams for yourself and for God’s kingdom, he gave us the ability to dream and imagine because he knows he can and will work beyond our wildest imaginations.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20
4. You won’t get everything right, you will make mistakes, keep going!
Before you know it, you would have mastered all the skills you thought were difficult in the beginning, because with every mistake is an opportunity to learn a lesson. So you entered the wrong details in the system, ok you got that woman’s name wrong at the office, you made a mistake with the transaction. Its ok, now you know better, you will do better. Do not beat yourself up especially if it is something you can’t undo, just ask for help seek advice on how to do it better next time, and keep it moving.
“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different…” C.S Lewis
Even when we mess up before God, and fall into sin, we tend to beat ourselves up. But as far as sin goes, we all fall short. However, once you acknowledge your sin before God and you truly repent he will forgive you, he is too merciful not to. The only way you can keep on going without bearing the guilt and shame is by accepting that as a sinner, you cannot do it on your own and by that you accept the grace God has given you. Repent and keep on going. Gods sees your heart and will help you. Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
How about when you are going through a challenging time, and nothing you do seems to work? just keep on pushing, James 1 tells us to take joy in the fact that these trials whether at work, or in life in general, are only for a season. I am not going through any hard times at work but let’s face it, there’s always that one colleague that’s always out to make it hard for you, or a situation you will face that would discourage you. But if you persevere long enough, and seek the wisdom to deal with things specifically, you will come out of it stronger, more mature, not lacking anything because you will only have so much to gain. If you were an impatient person before that challenge, you may come out of it more patient. If you were a stubborn person before that trial you may come out of it humbled. We as sinners; we have so much to gain especially when we go through trials, as we are being transformed into the image of Christ, as they deposit eternal characteristics in us.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
5. The more busy I get, the more I need to pray
It is important to make ourselves aware of how things in our everyday life can either draw us further away from God or closer to Him. Choose to make yourself more aware of how specific things can distract you from God and figure out how then you can use them to draw you nearer to Him . There are some places I dread going to, but knowing that I’ll be going with a close friend can make all the difference and that much easier to endure. Same with God, how will you make sure you’re including Him in your day? Will you talk to him or ponder on a certain scripture you read previously? Making time out of your busy schedule to spend with God even if its just one hour, is so worth it. If you feel overwhelmed with life, and are starting to feel the effects it is having on your relationship with God, your mind, your way of thinking, it will all become unhealthy for you. Take some time off work, book a day off or two (you’re allowed) take some time to rest, look after yourself. Jesus said come to me all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest, God wants you to rest in him. He wants to hear all about it. He cares.
As my dad would tell me, in his Nigerian accent...”my darling, take it easy.” lol
Images all taken from google