Saturday, February 3, 2018

Passionless Work: Why Bother?

She was finally settling down under the covers after much nagging on my part and lots of chattering on her part.  She smiled as her eyelids closed and said, "Goodnight, Mommy." The wind suddenly blew outside and a realization struck me.  My little girl - this larger than life free spirited girl who loves with her whole self and spreads excitement with her eyes - was tucked safely in her bed with nothing to fear and all her needs met.  So many others don't have that luxury, or worse, struggle under blankets of abuse.  I was so thankful for my girl's safety, but more than that I recognized how deeply indebted she is to her father who makes all of that possible.

I grew up championing passion and finding THE career or life calling that a person could get excited about.  Why do something for the rest of your life if you weren't passionate about it, right?   Well, I'm beginning to realize that passion is only half of the picture.  The nature of passion is that it burns hot at first, but can fade quickly.  The ability and willingness to work hard no matter what is something that you can depend on, finding passion and fulfillment in many places.  It is another case of emotion and truth having to work together for the best result.

Mr. Butler has wished many times that he had chosen a different career.  Engineering, while lucrative, is not what he thought it would be and not the most fulfilling thing he could be doing with his life.  I have told him so many times that I just wanted him to be happy with his work.  However, he is a fiercely committed man and has always sought to provide me - and eventually our babies - a safe and healthy environment in which to live and grow.  That has often involved work that might not have been his favorite but certainly took care of us.  For the longest time, I just didn't understand being okay with a job that you didn't just love.  I think the problem was that I didn't fully understand love at all.  Idealism and naivety can cloud your understanding.  Single parents,  two working parents, daycare, foster care, the list of not our first choices for a family situation is endless.  Life doesn't usually go the way you expect and then you find yourself making different choices.  Love for your family, more specifically love for your children changes the world as you know it and sheds a whole new light on eternity and God's provisions for us.

This man works hard, even on a Saturday morning when he'd rather take the day off.

Just as the way life goes, some things you just don't get until you're older and have been pushed around by life a little. All three of my little circus animals are safely tucked into their beds with full bellies, more clothes and toys than they need and have no fear of tomorrow.  With just a few different choices in life, that is quickly not the case.   My heart hurts for all of the innocent kids who didn't choose their lot, especially when it involves avoidable circumstances.  I still celebrate understanding ourselves and finding the career or hobby that makes your heart soar!  If you can get paid for what you love, that is a wonderful thing!  But more than that, keeping children safe (through a steady income or just being a good parent /advocate) and teaching them what love and security looks like is probably one of the most rewarding jobs someone could have.

So, to all of you who work hard and find yourself doing things that you don't exactly love in order to provide something for one of these little ones, THANK YOU!  What you are doing is changing the world for good.  And that's all anyone can hope for in this world, isn't it?

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