Posted by: Heather | November 27, 2008

Stopping to Say Thank You

I worked graveyard shift at the boiler last night. I have not done that for at least 4 years. It has been about 6 years since it was my regular schedule to work graveyard on Thanksgiving eve. (from 1997 – 2002 I worked until 6am every Thanksgiving)

I am not complaining, just want you to know the circumstances that bring me to say this. I spent the night sort of going back and noticing that I am not who I used to be. There is nothing like going back to a quiet place, a place you have not been in a few years, to make you stop and reflect.

I went to the boiler “trade” because I was tired of people. At the boiler, no one came and bothered me. I could just do my thing, and if I did it well I was happy. If I had a bad shift, I could sit back and assess what went wrong and fix it without involving others. I used to say, (and still do) that when there is a problem, I am actually relieved when I find out it is something about me or something I did. This is because those are the easiest problems for me to solve, just do it differently next time. I was the “master of my own destiny” and I didn’t really care what went on around me.

Now I am a production lead person overseeing 27 other people. My “trade” is managing people now. Most problems I deal with involve not only seeing a problem, but helping someone else see it in a way that makes them want to fix it. The problem is rarely just me. Things have changed.

These changes in my life are because of changes in my heart. My values are different, I have grown. I have come to realize that God values people over anything else I can see. Boards, bark, ash, sawdust, and the like don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. But God chose to “esteem” us above himself. (Phil 2) Not that we are worth anything. He chose to place a value on us that is there only because he says so. So, if God values people, I should estimate their value above myself, too. Hence my change in career. The most valuable thing in my work place is the people. I work each day looking for a way to have an influence on something eternal.

Looking back, I realize that this growth has not been comfortable. But I also realize that I don’t want to go back. That was a comfortable life, but I don’t want to live it anymore.

This growth has resulted in being driven to revisit the estimated value of everything in my life, in light of how God sees it. Again, this has been uncomfortable, but I don’t want to go back.

In retrospect, I want to say that one aspect which has made this journey a pleasure is that God has chosen to put the same drive in Heather. He has given me a soul mate who truly wants to be conformed in the image of Christ, rather than just be a “Christian” or an “American” or whatever else. We have been involved in a journey together over the past few years where we have been questioning everything we tend to assume. We have re examined Christmas, Church, Homeschooling, leadership and church government, personal rights, the list goes on. Here is what I have found. The goal in each of these reassessments is not merely to answer the earthly question, but to get a glimpse of God’s eternal perspective.

I want to stop and thank God for the help mate he has given me. This period of re-evaluation would have been exponentially more difficult if my best friend and soul mate was more interested in being comfortable than being conformed to His image.

Thank You Lord!

Craig

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