Often and more times than not, we find ourselves searching for satisfaction that never seems to come while falling into the rut of life and the routines that we create each day. And if you are anything like me, you will agree that the responsibilities and duties that we place on ourselves end up becoming the very thing that we focus the most on. Our job, the chores around the house, the responsibilities of being a parent and all of the people expecting more and more from us, makes up the essence of our daily lives. We allow the very things that we create to become the most important and critical tasks of our day; sometimes even to the point of taking away from what is truly important in our lives….our faith, our family, and our fun!
Facing the Challenge
Some of our previous posts discussed the concepts of finding a balance in your life and not allowing the small things to consume us. It’s those tasks or chores that end up consuming our lives until the point that when we are old and grey, only wishing we would have done it differently. But there are responsibilities that we cannot run from and must face the challenge. One for instance is our job or career. Many of us love our jobs and even many love it so much that they tend to make it the number one priority in their lives. Then there are the other group of us that dread the morning rush-hour traffic and the long day at work only focusing on the hour when we can return home to our families.
Regardless of our stature in our careers, it is our responsibility to our families and to ourselves to work hard during those hours on the clock. It is our duty to find satisfaction in your work. By doing so, you will begin to see the people around you seeking that same joy. As the bible says:
“Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor and to accept his lot and be happy in his work – this is a gift from God.” – Ecclesiastes 5:18-19 (author paraphrase)
So where do I go?
As discussed by Richard E Simons III in the book “True measure of a man”, our society has shifted from a production driven economy to a consumer driven economy. In the traditional social order, work was seen merely as a functional means for providing for your family and improving the quality of life within the community. Work did not define a man’s life worth and value as it so seems to do today.
In other words, if we can wrap our hands around this concept and focus more on our true identity…the essence of who we truly are and what we were put on this earth to do, we can then begin to find our work, our chores, our responsibilities as more satisfying. We can then realize that in the end, they really don’t matter. Sure, they are important, but they do not make up who we are or how we will want to be remembered.
I get it! Life isn’t easy and I am the first to admit that I struggled to take control of those very things that I was responsible for creating. I allowed my job, my chores, my daily duties and routines to take control of me instead of controlling them. I lost any and all satisfaction in what I had in my life, not realizing that God called me to use these experiences as a place to grow, touch others, and make a difference in our society. I’m not saying that I have all the answers or that these struggles will just disappear with a change of mind, but I do believe that with a constant focus on owning your duties and focusing on what is truly important in life (God, family, and friends), that satisfaction in all that you do will find its way into your heart, into your work, and into your home.
I will leave you with one final thought from Richard E. Simons’ book and the Poet E.E. Cummings: “We live in a word that is doing its best, night and day, to make [us] just like everybody else.” Be different. Focus on giving more than receiving as we are seldom taught that the key to experiencing a meaningful life is to make a difference in the lives of others. Love God, Love others, and joy will come!