Friday, March 16, 2012

A lesson in cynicism

Apologies for the lack of posting. There's a ton of stuff going on, and the blog just falls to the bottom of the list. Sadly, cooking has too, so I don't have any fun recipes to share. And as most of my life is right now, this post is about work, but there's more to it than just work.

One of the things I love about this job is all the different things I get to do. When I get bored of doing one thing, I have something entirely different I can do. Of course, during a week like this when I have deadlines on all of these things, it's overwhelming.

But one of my responsibilities is opinion editor. It's a very interesting role anytime because I try hard to balance viewpoints. But there's a local election coming up, and I have been flooded with letters to the editor. I've been dealing with a lot of comments and criticisms about the fact all the letters support one candidate. I know it's not personal, and I don't take offense. But on Thursday I realized it had really been building on me.

I had a long to do list and kept getting interrupted with questions about the opinion page and was quickly losing patience with the whole thing. I got another comment about the letters I had to respond to, and I had pretty much had it. Fortunately, my co-worker saved me from being too blunt in my response. But I walked out of work in quite a mood that I couldn't even describe.

I'm in a Beth Moore study on Thursday nights, and I was in such a bad mood I was talking myself out of going. But I went (about 30 minutes late), and I'm so glad I did. Beth's message was on cynicism, and that's exactly the point I had reached in all of this work stuff. Her message was exactly what I needed to hear. It's hard not to become cynical about some stuff at work, but it's a real problem when it spreads into the rest of my life. She gave five reasons not to get cynical:

1. Jesus is still flagrantly changing lives.
2. Real people are doing the real thing all over the real world.
3. The appetite to study Scripture is increasingly ravenous.
4. Some long-standing barriers are breaking down.
5. God will kick your tail.

I'm thinking this list needs to be up on the wall in my office.

And with the letters, I should be proud to live in a community where people are civic-minded and involved in the democratic process. It's a privilege to work in a job where I play a small role in allowing people to share their voice, but some days I need God to kick my tail to remind me of it.

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