Written by Lillian Daniel
"Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it…" - 1 Peter 4:10 (MSG)
There was no big crisis, but my colleague and I were both in that rut where you feel like you are working really hard but never getting caught up. Everyone has those times but this one was going on a little too long and didn't show any signs of magically correcting itself.
One day he suggested that no one at church really wanted us to be miserable. In fact, there was a pretty good chance they wanted us to be happy. Maybe there was something we could do about our situation.
When you're burnt out you think these things are impossible, so he had to bribe me with breakfast at the Glen Oak diner. It was there that we looked together at our job descriptions and talked about what was easy and what was hard.
Well, it turns out that some of the things that were tortuously time-consuming for me were easy for him, and vice versa. So we swapped a few duties like trading cards and both walked away feeling like the trade had been to our advantage. It never hurts to review your job description.
We probably should do that in more areas of our lives. We should sit down with family members and talk about the job descriptions at home. For you, laundry might be calming. For me, it is an opportunity to turn everybody's clothing pink. For me, paying bills online is something I can do while I watch TV, stress-free. For you, it is an invitation to stress out about money so much that you send the wrong amount on the wrong date to the wrong person, thus causing real stress.
If the heart of the gospel is that everybody gets to grow and change, our various job descriptions should always be open to review. Sure, there are some jobs that nobody wants to do. That's why we call these things "jobs" and not "hobbies." But more often than not, we view these things differently. A brief review can provide a world of change.
Help me to be honest with my struggles and generous with my gifts. Amen.
Lillian Daniel, author of When "Spiritual But Not Religious" is Not Enough, has a chapter in the new anthology, What My Mother Gave Me: Thirty-one Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most. Follow her on twitter @lillianfdaniel.