Tag Archives: Jobs

Doing, Being, and Identity

Two Questions

Would you take just a second and think about something? Take a second and think about the following two questions:

  1. “What do you want to be?”
  2. “What do you do?”

When would you ask these questions? I bet I can answer that for you.

The first question (“What do you want to be?“) is one that you would pose to a young child. It would be asked with the qualifier of “when you grow up.” I’ve asked kids this question many, many times, and the answers are always entertaining. Children want to be things like firemen, doctors, cowboys, baseball stars, movie stars, even school bus drivers. Some even want to become the mythical, like super heroes, monsters, or unicorns.

When you ask a child what he wants to be when he grows up, all you are doing is opening up before him a world of possibility – the sky’s the limit. The question doesn’t limit him in any way. On the contrary, it affirms his potential to be anything he wants to be.

The second question (What do you do?) is one that you would likely ask an adult. Think about it, you wouldn’t ask a 10-year-old, “What do you do for a living?” Obviously, the child is just a student and preparing for the riggers of future employment as a “safe space” attorney, not an actual lawyer, or doctor, or super model.

But when you pose this question to an adult, instead of offering him the opportunity to dream big and affirming his ambitions, you cause him to face the here and now, the cold reality, the fact of what his childhood dreams have turned into. Unfortunately, affirming and praising one’s potential is a whole lot easier than affirming one’s present state.

When you ask a child what she wants to be when she grows up there is the possibility her dreams will come true. When you ask someone what he does for a living the answer is what he is doing, not what he is dreaming, and what he is doing might be all he ever does.

Is Doing Being?

I have always struggled with the temptation to find my identity in what I “do.” In other words, I’ve never wanted to just do things, I’ve always prided myself in being things. Do any of you feel the same way?

I have been a pest control technician, an industrial engine builder, a Sunday School teacher, an adjunct professor, a Level I Nuclear Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) Technician, a sales manager, an eyeglass maker, an insurance salesman, a preacher, a pastor, a chaplain, a song writer, and an author. Right now I am a school bus driver and driver trainer, along with being a bi-vocational pastor.

No, I wasn’t a pilot. I just flew a lot when I worked in the nuclear field. (circa 1989)

I have always liked name tags, badges, lapel pins, and titles…because they give me identity.

But in reality, honestly, none of those things are really me, are they? They are only what I do. If I were to quit pastoring or driving a bus, would I cease to exist? Of course not! Even if  you were to take away my freedom, I might be labeled an “inmate” or “refugee,” but not even those labels would be me, only the condition of my existence.

Yet, I still find my deepest self wanting to be identified with something, to be known for something, to have a title, to find worth in what I have done or am doing.

I do what I do, but I am what I am. On the other hand, I do what I do because I am what I am. So, what am I to make of it?

What I Am

I am created in the image of Almighty God, so I am intrinsically valuable – my value is based on Who made me.

I am loved beyond measure, first by my Lord Jesus Christ (because He loved us first), then by my family.

I am a child of God, not by my own works, but by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ – that is my identity.

I am a soldier in the army of God, for He called me to serve in battle against the spiritual forces of wickedness in high places.

I am a Christian, because I’ve been given that title as one who identifies with Christ.

I am priceless, because of the price that was paid on the Cross to redeem me.

What I do doesn’t make me a child of God, a saint, or anything of the sort, but what Jesus did for me, on my behalf, thereby crediting those works to my account, is what makes me those things.

And all the things I do – whether it be drive a bus, be a husband, preach a sermon, mow a yard, or be a dad – I do for the sake of the one Who makes me His own, and I do it in His strength.

So, ask me what I do, and no matter what I end up telling you, I will no longer stress over the answer, for what I do is not what I am…

I do what I do because I am what I am, because of the Great I AM; my identity is found in Him.

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Filed under Christianity, Depression, God, self-worth, Uncategorized

Ending Terror Through Job Placement

WARNING! The following post is full of political opinion and satire. 

Pontificating Pundit 

Marie-Harf-Marie Harf, a spokeswoman for the U. S. State Department, knows what it will take to stop ISIS from continuing their head-removing ways. Yes, she is smarter than the rest of us, and she is ready to prove it.

In a recent interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on “Hardball” she said: “We need … to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups…” And what is one of the root causes?

…lack of opportunity for jobs…

Forget the fact that Osama bin Ladin was wealthy long before his cave-dwelling days. Forget the fact that most ISIS recruits from western nations actually leave jobs in order to fight. Completely forget the fact that no amount of earthly gain can compare to the hope of being martyred, thereby entering a paradise with scores of virgins to satisfy your eternal desires. No, jobs are the answer.

According to Marie Harf, if ISIS fighters only had places where they could earn a decent wage, enough to feed one’s harem and groom one’s goat, then there would be no need for them to wage holy war against civilization.

Jihadi Job Fair

So, just to be helpful, I found a website that listed 10 left-wing companies where liberals are encouraged to shop. These companies are considered beacons of progressiveness, ones that not only support every left-wing agenda, but also give nearly 100% of their political donations to Democrats. In other words, companies who love Marie Harf’s boss.

job fairIf job creation would stop terrorism, then I think the first ones to test the theory should be the progressive companies who support the thinkers in the State Department. The following are the 1o progressive companies listed on Liberals Unite: the 24-Hour News Magazine for Discerning Liberals and what I suggest they could offer the young liberals of ISIS.

  1. Levi Strauss & Co. – “In 2010 they were even awarded a GLAAD award for their positive depiction of the LGBT community in their advertising.” Really? Along with sprucing up ISIL’s style, I’m sure there are a few jihadists who would be GLAAD to take a stab at advertising.
  2. Costco – Billed as the “anti-Walmart” and a company that promotes “equal rights,” I’m sure they could offer plenty of jobs in retail to both men and women. We know how much those ISIS guys love working side-by-side with the opposite sex.
  3. Starbucks – This company, at least according to Liberals Unite, is also a huge supporter of gay marriage and LGBT rights. Think of all the jobs they could create! The last I heard, ISIS and the gay community were meeting regularly on roof tops. Anyone for a cafe grande with a view?
  4. Always – Not that women are allowed to work outside the home in any area ruled by ISIS, but what an opportunity for advancement! “Most recently they launched their ‘Like a Girl’ campaign which directly challenges the stereotype that girls are weak.” I’m sure thousands would leave the battlefield to work here!
  5. Sonic – Gotta love those hot dogs! Take off those combat boots and put on those skates!
  6. Microsoft – Since the “JV team” has proven their ability to capitalize on multimedia and is becoming more proficient with video production, I’m sure a few high-paying, high-tech jobs would stop ISIS from hacking military websites.
  7. Calvin Klein – Underwear. Sexy clothes for men. The applications should come in like a flood.
  8. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia – Every ISIS fighter loves a strong, female leader. Extremism would come to an end the moment decorating classes began.
  9. Heineken – Just because alcohol is forbidden, that doesn’t mean a good liberal Muslim wouldn’t want to brew a few. And this company is really big-time against global warming, so… I bet those guys in black get pretty hot out there. I bet they’d love to be combating global warming instead of killing infidels.
  10. Trader Joe’s – Never mind that ISIS fighters have blown up everything of cultural significance in their march to Rome, every good jihadist is environmentally conscious. They would be thrilled to wear an apron and sell cage-free eggs. Anything for the environment and a paycheck.

I know this isn’t funny, but sometimes I don’t know what else to do but laugh at the insanity of it all.

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