day 11: The Work Marathon

Let’s see, you come out school around 21 or 22 years old. You would like to retire around 55 – 60 (maybe later now that our 401Ks have turned into 201Ks). You understand that the days of get into a company, get stock options, get rich, get out, all by 30 years old, are over. You have a realistic grasp of the situation and you know you are in the work world for a marathon season or more. Yesterday, I used Romans 5:3 to talk about how we are to rise above our problems and trials. Today, I would like to reference that verse again as a verse that acknowledges the fact that we need to have a great amount of endurance to run and finish the race well. A career is like running a marathon. It is filled with times of warm-up, times of sprinting, uphills, downhills, running in front of, behind and side-by side with others, being caught behind someone too slow, being shoved and elbowed by someone you don’t know, sweating, and eating and drinking on the run. And most similarly, it is just hard to do well, much less finish the race. There is only one way you finish. That is with endurance. And there is only one way you obtain endurance; you have to train and be tried. In the work world, we get trials and problems thrown us every day, all day long. How we respond and learn from those challenges is how we will either build endurance or stay at our same level, which might not take us to the end. If we flinch and fear away from those hard challenges that will inevitably bring us more problems and trials, and if we respond when faced with these, with a grumpy and resentful attitude, we run the risk of missing the opportunities to strengthen ourselves and becoming more able to endure whatever might come our way. Paul says in Romans 5:3 to not run away from these trials but to rejoice in them. That means to have the “bring ‘em on” attitude and be secure in your faith that they are nothing more than the needed obstacles to build more endurance. Managing and making the most of your talents in your career is a lot about being ready and prepared for the next step up when it comes your way. If you cannot endure those things today, you certainly won’t be able to endure what is coming tomorrow and the next day, year, or decade. Start today with a new attitude towards the trials and problems you encounter. See them as the training you need to increase your endurance. Rejoice that you have God as a training partner who will show up at the gym of life each and every day for you. Build that endurance so that you make the most of the years of work you have in front of you!

Reference: Romans 5:3 (New Living Testament)

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