Once again I ask: Am I worth what I’m paid? Am I paid to get exhausted or live sustainably?
Today let’s move from worth to exhaustion. I was trained to work hard, work responsibly and become vital to my employer. Were you too?
From my distant childhood to 2016 I think the pace of the world increased. Trouble is those values of hard work remain engrained within me. I get older and older, and the pace around me gets faster and faster. From globalization to information glut to constant changing, time demanding and soul-crushing technology, I can feel invaded. The culture tells me I have to be busy, working really ‘hard’. I found I was justifying myself and would say how busy I am or how hard I’m working, or how long it has been since I had two days off in a row. Last fall I hit a particularly difficult patch and felt overwhelmed by the amount of work and the difficulty of it. I was hardly able to be productive and much of the work I was doing was internal. One more time in my life I got exhausted.
I don’t think exhausted, or even constantly stretched workers are giving full value. I don’t think exhausted and stretched workers are reflecting a Christ-like approach to life. I’m sure I’m not breathing Jesus air into the world when I’m regularly exhausted. I’m sure my value as an employee and as a priest increases when I’m in a sustainable flow. Then, I’m living my worth as a human being and giving my best, and earning my salary appropriately.
Perhaps some of the people who contribute to my salary carry those same core values of a hard, responsible, always busy, work ethic. They can fire me if they want. I want to model a sustainable life. I know people pay my salary, but I want to live accountable to God’s Spirit within me and offer my employers and my community a different way to be Human. The Big One I caught this summer relates to that lifestyle and I’ll share more in the coming weeks.
I can see a new way forward and I know my pre-programmed vulnerability. I need people around me who share this vision and want to walk with me as I find my way to be a contemplative in a crazy chaotic world. Do you want to find a different way to live? Or have you already? Are you walking with me?
Breathe deeply and enjoy.