Isaiah chapter 58 verse 11 "The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing stream".
Some of you will know that I have had a variety of jobs. I make no bones about it; some were challenging – the good kind and some; not so great. I was not the kind of person who said, aged five "I want to be a dentist". I sometimes think that life might have been easier if I had!
The truth was that when I graduated from university I went from feeling secure in the knowledge that I was going back to learning and a defined Christmas/Easter/Summer break to facing a yawning expanse of something called my future, which daunted me more than I would care to admit.
I have always been the type to do and then think, which meant that my job journey has an air of a half working car. It runs perfectly well for a bit then fizzles into the side-walk. I have struggled to motivate myself to do some soul searching about my character and what would suit me, in part because I was more concerned about what others thought about me, rather than what "I" thought about me.
As I re-read this I am thinking of the parable of the talents and I think what are my talents and how have I/will I/ can I use them now and in the future?
What do I really want?
I went on a great workshop last weekend called "How to find a job I love". The coach was fantastic; warm, encouraging and authentic. She took twelve of us on a deep journey of our "job-lives" and got us to look at each of them objectively; thinking about what motivated us to move into each next phase.
In all of my jobs, what quickly became apparent was that desperation and earning a quick buck was the motivation for me. Hardly a recipe for success! It was an astonishingly illuminating day and I felt was money well spent. In myself I found I was surprised at how I let go emotionally that day. It felt as though I was deep in my searching and some painful truths were coming out.
For instance I discovered that the reason why I have not enjoyed my roles to date is because they have focussed on an area that I have a little bit of aptitude but no love for. I have had to work hard at these jobs, but there have been things that I can do so much more easily that I just...ignore.
Attitude, versus aptitude
I must however speak about my attitude. I think that God is way more interested in me having the right attitude then discovering what I have an aptitude for. Humbling no? I have found myself constantly challenged by God on my perspective.
I have been embarrassed to recall times when I thought "I work so hard "and "I wish that x or y would help me" when they appear to be looking on facebook / their phone / chatting to a friend only for them to come over to me and give me a solution to a problem I was looking at! Can't they just continue to be unhelpful so that I can wallow in my selfishness!
Or thinking that I am staying to the end and beyond, working to the point of distraction but NOT cheerfully, when my colleague sitting next to me manages to do his work and some of mine, all with a very light and happy spirit. I am reacting out of selfishness and he is reacting out of sacrifice. I do not have anyone but myself to blame.
But I can promise you that I have had a quite tough road to get here and that whilst it is not an excuse it is a reason. I guess the next step for me is to permission myself to ask for more. This has been a big learning. Am I enough and do I believe I am worthy of an enjoyable job and life?
I am worthy
I am not there yet. I have a way to go when it comes to understanding my own worth. I am worth a new and fulfilling job that excites me. It is not necessarily a "right" but it is something I am "worth" and have permission to want and to pursue. I do not know what flipped the coin in my spirit. Is it recent? Yes. But the process of developing your own self-worth is a beautiful masterpiece that gets painted over your whole lifetime.
I come back to my original point; that I wanted to come away from the workshop with a sense of my God given gifts and be able to use them in the workplace. I love to talk and I love to write. I love to bring people together.
I find that I always want to come up with a solution for a problem and think about what to do next. I do not know what kind of job I will have that could include some or all of those things, but I am beginning to believe that it might exist. For now – God is working on my attitude, as I discover my aptitude.
Rosie Robinson resides in Manchester where, in between feeding herself coffee and bagels she works for an international financial services organisation. She attends a lively church called Audacious, enjoys reading, running and watching films and slowly discovering life with Jesus.
Rosie Robinson's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/rosie-robinson.html