The Drudgery of Life

Let’s face it life on this planet can sometimes be pure drudgery. Many of the things that we do each and every day are repeats of same or similar things that we did yesterday and the day before. Most of us really do live lives of quiet desperation. I don’t mean desperation in that there is no hope (more on that in a minute).

What I do mean is desperation in that we do things that many times don’t seem to add up as far as making any impact on the world we live in. After all, even famous people who do great big things see those things result from many little things that don’t seem to make much of a difference until they were some together and the end result is seen.

I work from home. Most of my day is spent on teleconferences in meetings. When I’m not doing that I’m monitoring the workload of my team or completing administrative work that my company seems to need in order to keep functioning. Most of the time the things that I mess with appear to have no real purpose. And most of the time I’m not given their purpose if they have one. All that usually happens is something is needed and it’s needed quickly by someone for some reason. And there is no time to really discuss why it’s needed because it’s already due by the time we get the assignment.

Most of my day’s are also spent eating sitting in my office, walking some on my treadmill desk, then going up stairs exhausted to eat dinner to lie down and read a bit and then fall asleep. The next day repeats itself. So it really does seem and feel like desperation.

I wish I could say that Jesus makes all the difference and that in spite of my life repeating over and over and over again (or so it seems) that I’m getting better and better in every way, every day. But that just isn’t the case.

Who Am I, Why Am I Here

Those old enough to remember Ross Perot’s presidential campaign remember his Vice Presidential pick opened a debate with “Who am I? Why am I here?”

Do you sometimes wonder why you are here? I do.

There are several reasons for this in my case.

At work I am a cog in a huge wheel in a multi-national country that is so large it fits the Tommy Lee Jones comment in the fugitive: “that company is a monster!”

As well, I seem to make no difference in the lives of others, mainly because my job consumes so much of my time that I have very little left over to spend outside work pursuing any relationships. My wife is in the same boat by the way.

Most my time is spent sleeping, walking on a treadmill, working, eating and then sleeping again. When I finish at work I am sometimes so beat up that I haven’t the energy to do much of anything. Blogging here is a miracle actually when you consider my time and energy demands.

So I have often prayed out loud, “God either take me home, or give me something with some meaning to do while I am here!”

Here’s what I’ve discovered after the jump

Vacation Winding Down

I’ve been on vacation this week and it has been wonderful. I’ve used the time to get some much needed rest (we didn’t go anywhere), do some long put off reading, and take in a few movies.

Since it is now Friday, I am already thinking about going back on Monday.

Here is a list of things that have been running through my head today:

Performance Reviews and the Gospel

I just finished up on delivering nearly 30 performance reviews to my team members. I am exhausted. The only thing more tiring than delivering that many performance reviews in the space of about a week is working in a “performance oriented culture”.

“Performance oriented culture” is a significant business buzzword these days. Kind of like “people are our most important asset”. That one got a lot of traction too, until someone realized that “assets” are things like filing cabinets, carpets and lightbulbs. You put paper in filing cabinets and then forget about it, you walk all over carpets and you burn out lightbulbs and once you do, you simply unscrew them and plug in another one. So the “people are our most important asset” phrase is no longer in vogue. And with good reason.

I suppose I cannot argue with the idea that businesses do have to perform to stay in business. As long as team members remember that they are performing against the competition and not each other, then it is somewhat healthy. With the provision, too, that the CEO understands that work force reductions are never to be the easy way out to doing their jobs. The problem I see so often is that companies turn this performance thing in on themselves with things like forced distribution ranking and rating systems for their people. Where senior management expects the performance of individuals on the teams to follow a “bell curve” with some at the top and some at the bottom – and they force managers to rate people accordingly.

There is not a day that goes by though, that I do not thank God that He is a “manager” who doesn’t use a forced ranking system. Oh, He is demanding. He is demanding of perfection actually.

You see the thing is, I have Someone to stand in my place that meets all of the demands God has placed on me. His name is Jesus. He was and is perfect and according to 2 Cor 5:21, He became sin for me so that I could become the righteousness of God.

This means that when God looks at my “performance review” I get perfect marks.

There is no “bell curve” for believers. All of us are at the top – not because of anything we’ve done you see, but because of what has been done for us.

If you work in a “performance oriented culture” remember that…. remember that until you die… or at least until the next “business buzzword” comes along.

Question: Do you find yourself “performing” for God to gain His approval? Do you have difficulty separating the need to perform on the job from the lack of need with God? What about your motivation for doing things for God? What are you doing about these areas?