Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Fear is a question. What are you afraid of and why? Our fears are a treasure house of self-knowledge if we explore them.

Oh, God, why don't I remember that a little chaos is good for the soul?

Both by Marilyn French

Lay-offs, terminations, down-sizing... The news is full of thousands. My dear friend just lost her job. Her first reaction is relief and acceptance--the full force of the loss will hit soon. We, the good workers, take such ownership in our jobs and careers that being made redundant is a tsunami. We see the wave coming, even assume it will make a direct hit, but still think there will be no devastation. After all, isn't hard work and loyalty rewarded?

The first rule for grief is to grieve, and the second is don't set a time limit. The third is that we will repeat the grief cycle more times than one can guess. And, months and years later we may be tempted to ruminate through the circumstances leading up to and following the loss.

We have work friends--friends because of proximity and shared experience. These friends don't usually make it into a world outside of the workplace. We will miss them. And, the stories... every day in the workplace generates stories. Some are ironic, some bitter. Some are just downright laughably ridiculous. We will miss these stories.

There is comfort in the routine, the familiar and predictable. Even if the workplace is dysfunctional--it is dysfunction we have learned to live with. And, the environment must have worked for me or why would I have stayed?

Ah-h-h... The truth is that we stay even when we are in pain and are frustrated beyond belief, because we fear change. We fear the tunnel of chaos that surrounds change. Even if we can be guaranteed that life will be better, simpler, less emotionally draining, many times we continue to hold on to the known rather than to take that step into thin air required by faith.

I remember a John Ortberg message--I think in his original series on Flow. He addresses just this topic saying that we stay in situations long past the time they work for us just to avoid taking the risk to step out in faith and trust that God will lead me through and teach me along the way. He will help us uncover lots--our character, priorities, and dreams. He will sustain us by his unending and unconditional love. And, we will find him sufficient. Every single time.

No comments: