Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Work Left Behind

I was reading in Ecclesiastes 2:17-23 tonight and it reminded me of my days at my last job.
17 So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 
18 I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. 
19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the work into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. 
20 So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. 
21 For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. 
22 What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? 
23 All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless.  
I actually did love that job, my life was just very out of balance in it because of all its demands.
A friend and former coworker called me yesterday to ask about a company I had audited because a relative of his was interviewing for a job there. Without breaching confidentiality, I gave my friend some defining questions to pass on and ask.  When my friend asked me if I would take a job there if offered, I answered no.  They were a decent company, but they didn't foster the organizational culture I would want in a place I worked.

These verses struck me tonight because this conversation brought back so many memories, both good and painful.  But I mostly was saddened in this memory. I had put heart and soul into cleaning up that company's audit. It was a mess when I inherited it, but I had whipped that company into shape in paying attention to getting the audit done.

When I resigned, I put a lot of effort into passing the torch on this specific audit to my successor. I found out later from another coworker that the next two years of audits went miserably.  I don't know where fault lay, but I was just sad.
This passage is an important reminder to me not to put my self worth in my job and the career legacy I leave.  I am only to honor God where I am.  A tough lesson I keep working on.

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