I Could Have Lost My Job

Elaine and Cadence, Cruising. October, 2010.
[I’m humbled that TheHighCalling.org chose to include this post in its weekly list of resources.–SSL, June 6 2011]
Why do I Work?
Last month I discovered a significant error I’d committed at work a few months earlier. While researching a problem that had surfaced, I discovered that back in January, I had failed to forward a critical email to my boss. That failure could materially impact the outcome of the current problem.
I forwarded the message to her when I found it, adding, “You can fire me now. I just saw this.”
My boss gave me grace instead of a pink slip.
I did not expect that she would fire me for this mistake. But she could have.
Then I read Bradley J. Moore’s post You’re Not Being Funny Enough. Bradley writes about professional performance anxiety; as I read his words, I realized that, this recent incident notwithstanding, I don’t worry about whether I’m “good enough” at my job.
All the same, my discovery that I’d made a major mistake led me to consider why I value working–and my job.
Our Street. July, 2009.
My thoughts went first to our stuff: Our home, our boat, the means to indulge our grandchildren now and then. My paycheck helps provide for us, especially as we live in expensive Southern California. If I didn’t work outside our home, we could manage on my husband’s income, but we’d need to make some serious adjustments to our lifestyle.
When I considered my work more deeply, I realized that I love my job. I’m paid to think, to solve problems, to find efficient solutions to tasks. I work with kind people. Ethics are important in my company. It’s a great place to work.
Ayden and Me. July, 2010.
But like a late-night infomercial, the deal gets better. That thinking and problem-solving and solution-creating is challenging. Sometimes the work is really hard.
Our office culture calls for godliness, though it isn’t described that way in the employee handbook. Whether I’m addressing a major challenge or focused on a routine task, I am expected to work in a way that honors God.
And that privilege can’t be reflected in a paycheck.
10 Do not trust in oppression
And do not vainly hope in robbery;

If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them.
11 Once God has spoken;
Twice I have heard this:
That power belongs to God;
12 And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord,
For You recompense a man according to his work.
Psalm 62:10-12 (NASB)


  1. I view my work as something “I hold on loosely” to. In other words, I know I can be fired due to my error, downsizing or other market craziness. That’s the reality. So, I try to live simple and count every day as a blessing.

  2. Open hands, simple living, counting blessings daily.

    Sounds like a great approach to just about everything, David! But especially to jobs in these times…

  3. So happy to hear someone say they love their job. And making money while we’re at it- not a bad thing either. Add godliness to it, and I would say God is pleased with this scenario.

    Thanks for this, Sheila!

  4. My pleasure, truly, Brad. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. What Brad said. 🙂

  6. So glad to know there are gracious bosses in this world who respond with forgiveness and generosity.

  7. Thanks, Cheryl! So glad you stopped by.

  8. She’s pretty amazing, Ann! I’m really blessed.

  9. Sheila, glad to see this featured over at THC. You know, I’m paid to think too, and sometimes I miss the mark. 🙂

    I’m in an industry that requires copious amounts of documentation for all of my work on any given case. Can’t tell you how often my file log will say something like “Failed to blah blah blah” or “Neglected to do this thing or that thing” because I’ve erred in some way. I’ve always found that owning up to my missteps works so much better than trying to bury it.

    And I get to sleep at night!

  10. Lyla, I hear you!

    I too, enjoy going to bed with a clear conscience. I also have an amazing boss, which helps.

    My industry is SEC-regulated. So we have some interesting–and everchanging, since Mr. Madoff was exposed–documentation challenges, too.

  11. And where are my manners? Thank you for your kind words, and for stopping by.

  12. That was a very bold move and very positive even thought it looked dangerous. It shows how much you value yourself being God’s child than saving you job. You got your priorities right! God bless you.

  13. My husband’s health would not allow him to work, and his Social Security did not go far, so I went to work. Now we did not need to dip into our savings, and I did enjoy the job and the people. Plus I was able to share Jesus (one on one) so that was also a blessing.

  14. Thanks, you two, for visiting and your comments.

  15. “I am expected to work in a way that honors God.”…well said…to do all our work heartily, as unto GOD.

    Since GOD would have us be humble servants,
    our mistakes
    often leave us flat on our face
    hoping for Grace

    oh dear…I teach preschool and I’m afraid my brain is stuck in rhyming mode.

  16. Connie, thanks for coming by. There are worse places to be stuck than in rhyming mode 🙂

  17. Great sense of security displayed here, Sheila. Glad you kept your job!

  18. Thanks, Sam.

    I’ve worried about plenty of things in my life, but finding/keeping work has never been one of them.

    I’m probably living in a fool’s paradise…but I like it.