I love watching cooking, decorating, home improvement and fashion competition shows. I like how a group of people all come together with the same nervous anticipation of what the first challenge will hold. Will it be extremely difficult? Will it be a group challenge or an individual challenge? I also like how at the beginning everyone is on the same even playing field. No one has more of an advantage or disadvantage than anyone else and at the beginning it’s anyone’s game.
It’s only after the first few challenges are over that we start to see who is leading the pack, who’s in the middle of the pack and who is at the bottom of the pack and the awesome thing is that those positions change during the course of the competition. Someone who was leading the pack the week before can end of being the one who is sent home the following week and who will ultimately win the entire competition. Every week at the start of a new challenge is the opportunity to either pass or fail and every week it’s not about how you start but how you finish.
That’s how it is with our working life. Most of us begin our working career at the age of 16 either working in fast food or some sort of retail establishment. We are extremely excited because it’s our first job. We will finally get paid by someone other than our parents for the work that we do and we start to feel a sense of independence. As we continue with our working career some of that excitement starts to wear off but our sense of independence is still there. And as we draw closer to retirement we have two choices to make.
- Are we going to honor the commitment we made to our employer or are we going to start slacking off?
- Is our retirement going to be self focused or people focused?
Aside from the fact that the bible tells us to be honorable to the people we are working for and working with it tarnishes the good work we’ve done if we choose to think that our retirement is more important than being reliable. Also as with our profession our time away from full-time work should be garnered toward helping others. If we start to focus too much on ourselves we will lose our sense of purpose.
When we give more than we receive and we spend time considering others as opposed to thinking about how much we can benefit our lives become what God intended for them to be-filled with generosity, love and grace.
And then in the end people will remember our integrity and much more importantly how the love of Jesus flowed through our hearts.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/18090920@N07/4616170743″>finish line</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>