For the past few weeks, I’ve been looking back at my 10 years of working here at the Times-Tribune.
I first gave a shoutout to the many coworkers I’ve had the pleasure of working with who have come and gone. Then last week I tried to take you all behind the scenes to show you what my job is like on a nightly basis. This week, I wanted to conclude the trilogy with lessons I’ve learned along the way that you all might be able to apply to your lives as well.
When I first got this job, I looked at it as many of us would. It was a chance to make a living on my own and finally put my college degree to use. I could start saving a little money here and there and pave the way for my future, whatever that would entail.
I’m sure those types of things are what go through many of our minds when you get that first full-time job.
From there, your job just becomes part of your everyday routine.
You wake up, have your coffee, get dressed, spend 8-9 hours at work, come home, do your chores, head to bed, rinse and repeat. For me, it’s almost the reverse of that as I don’t go into the office until the evening time, but the principles are still the same.
Then while at work, we have days that go by smoothly, days that seem to drag on and on, and days that are so busy and hectic it gives us a migraine. That’s certainly been the case for me over the past decade.
Some nights at the office, everything clicks and everything is right on time. There’s a nice, steady pace, and I get in and get out in seemingly no time at all.
Other nights aren’t as pleasant.
Late night stories that come in or breaking news can really be stressful when trying to meet a deadline. Or if there happens to be a power outage or an internet outage, it goes without saying that that can make things interesting around here. And then there are times you make a mistake, and even if you don’t get in trouble, it can still leave you in a bad mood knowing you messed something up.
Those are some of the situations I can find myself in around here and I’m sure it’s not unlike the ups and downs all of us face at our own jobs.
However, I’ve learned that you have to look at your job as more than part of your daily routine. You have to look at your job as more than a place you just want to get in and get out of as quickly as you can. And yes you even have to look beyond the stresses of your job to really see the bigger picture.
Whatever job it is you are doing or wherever your place of work is located, you have to remember that God put you there for a reason.
If you work in a place like a factory that might require a lot of teamwork, then it’s likely God has placed you there to help lead one of your co-workers to Christ.
Or maybe you work at someplace like a clinic or rehab center where you get a lot of one-on-one time with different patients and customers. It’s possible God has placed you there to pray with someone who might be facing some serious health issues or has a long road to recovery.
As for me, writing this column was never a part of my job description. I was hired here mostly to design and edit the newspaper and to do other tasks of that nature. But after about four years of working here, God opened this door for me. And now I have the opportunity to share my stories, share my testimonies, and share some scripture with anyone who reads my work.
If anyone knows me well, you know I’m not the best speaker in the world. So having this chance to write out all of the wacky things that go through my head has truly been a blessing.
That’s not to say, though, that I couldn’t be a better co-worker. When I’m facing stresses similar to the ones I’ve already mentioned, I can certainly let the flesh get the best of me. So oftentimes that's the subject of my prayers is to just not let stress get the best of me and to grant me that peace that only our Lord and Savior can provide.
Colossians 3:23 says, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the LORD, and not unto men.”
Wherever it is you work or whatever it is you do for a living, we should always strive to do our jobs with grace. Yes, it’s important that you work hard and try to be an exemplary employee, but it’s also important to remember that you might have been placed in that position for a reason. You might have been placed in that position to do more than just your 9-5 shift.
It’s easy to get caught up in the stress that comes with our jobs, but don’t get so caught up in the grind that you miss an opportunity God may have placed before you.
Brad Hall is the nighttime editor of the Times-Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.