This Week…

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So, you might have noticed that you didn’t see much shaking on ZackRiesland.com this week…

There’s a reason for that. The short explanation is that I worked about 10 hours of overtime. If you’re interesting in what’s been going on in my head this week, or if you’re a fan of dilbert, or if you’re just bored, then please, read on…

This all started with the new year. Even though I haven’t listed it with my official ‘resolutions’, I have committed to work harder when I’m at work. I believe that I was giving more than enough before, but I think I was approaching work with the wrong attitude — or the wrong perspective.

I think I basically felt like my job was something I had to go do in order to pay the bills, but it was sort of ‘external’ to the rest of my life. I put on my ‘I want to be like Jesus’ hat when I woke up in the morning, but seemed to take it off early in the work day — presumably so that I would have the strength to put it back on after I left.

Over the course of the year, I think God really convicted me that this is really hypocritical, and a waste of the most obvious ministry He had given me: the one where I spend at least 40 hours a week.

So I committed going into ’08 that I would work as hard as I could, and try to let my work AND my attitude reflect Christ, and trust God to give me enough energy and joy to come home and still love Stephanie well.

So it’s three weeks in… and I’m struggling.

Wednesday afternoon, my team leader asked me to meet with him for a minute. Our conversation went something like this,

Him: “Zack, as you can see from these numbers, we’re not going to meet our commitments for this week.”

Me: “Commitments for this week? I thought we only made monthly commitments.”

Him: “Well, we do, but I broke our monthly commitments down into weekly ones, so that we can make sure we meet our monthly ones.”

Me: “Oh. So what are our commitments for this week?”

Him: “This stuff.”

Me: “Gee. I wish I had known that, ’cause I don’t think me or the rest of the team have been going on that understanding.”

Him: “Yeah. I know. The team seems to follow your direction, which is why I need you to get everyone excited about meeting the commitments for this week.”

Me: “This amount of work isn’t reasonable for one week. You make it sound like we’re falling behind, but we’re working really hard and really efficiently. It’s just not a reasonable amount of work.”

Him: “Well, it would be nice if we lived in a perfect world, but we don’t. This has to get done this week. It won’t always be this way.”

Me: “Well. There are two days left, and it looks like we have at least three days of work to do.”

Him: “Exactly. So how will you motivate the team to get the work done?”

(awkward silence)

Him: “For example, you could work extra today and tomorrow and Friday, or you could work this weekend… you have options.”

 

You get the idea… I left pretty frustrated, especially considering that I already had a few hours of overtime in at that point.

Then it got worse…

I came home, and let’s just say that Stephanie was very unhappy about the prospect of me working over the weekend. And then I found out that she had plans for a “Lady’s Night Out” Friday night. So I thought, ‘win-win’. I’ll just work really late Friday and then I hopefully won’t have to work over the weekend.

So Friday, I’m at the office, and I get called in to another meeting.

Them: “Zack, we heard that you’re not planning to work this weekend.”

Me: “No. But I’m hopefully going to get everything done tonight.”

Them: “You have a lot of work to do.”

Me: “I know. I’ll stay as late as I need to. My wife needs me this weekend.”

Them: “We’ve decided that you wouldn’t have this problem if you worked more hours throughout the week. We’ve determined that you will need to work at least 52 hours next week to get all your work done. How do you plan to split that up over 5 days so that we don’t have this problem again?”

 

So yesterday morning I left the house at 8:30 am and I got home from work at 11:30 pm. No lunch break. No dinner break. And not even a pat on the back. I got reprimanded.

And the sucker punch of it all is that I think this is the thanks I get for demonstrating what I can do when I work really hard.

So that’s the week I’ve had, and the week I’m looking forward to next week.

I know this is from the Lord, and that there’s plenty to learn in this.

I keep thinking about the scripture that says ‘If someone bids you to go one mile with them, go two.’ Jesus said this at a time when the law allowed a Roman soldier to force a citizen to cary something for them for up to one mile. It didn’t matter whether the person was busy — if a soldier forced you to help, you had to drop everything and help.
I really think the point of Jesus’ teaching was, “When someone inconveniences you, assume that it’s from the Lord, and go along with it with a good attitude.”

It’s been really convicting these past couple of weeks to see how bad I can be at that.

The upside has been that Steph has been very supportive. She brought me french toast in bed this morning, and we went for a long walk, and… did other things that husbands and wives do.

Please pray for me this week. I really want to be a good witness through this….

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6 Responses

  1. So, why was it that we couldn’t do lunch on Friday?

    On the real, I feel you on this post. I have been working on my attitude/perspective about work, but it’s a struggle when things like this happen.

    We really should do lunch soon, but I understand if you can’t fit me in with your 52 hours. Dinner is a possibility, too.

  2. .next time tell them that you coulda got a heck of alot more work done that week if you wouldnt have spent countless hours listening to them tell you how much work you already knew you had to do.

  3. You guys are both funny.

    Shannon, I’m digging the new theme over at your blog.

    John, you need to start a blog buddy! It’d be a great way to show off all those videos!

  4. Thanks. It is still a work in progress.

  5. you don’t want to hear it any more than I do, but since we’re supposed to let the word of Christ dwell in us, admonishing one another, I’ll give you what I learned in Greek today.

    1 Peter 5:6-7 is translated in most English bibles in a way that is not fully accurate.

    “6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” (ESV)

    the word translated as “casting” can actually be translated in a way that is more helpful to understand the flow of Peter’s thought.

    how is it that we humble ourselves before God? do we talk less? do we pray more? do we fall on our faces? maybe… but mostly, “Humble yourselves, therefore under the mighty hand of God… BY CASTING all your anxieties upon him”

    he will lift you up, bro… at the right time, he will reward your faithfulness… keep casting

  6. Thanks for the encouragement bro.

    It matters a lot this morning!

    Whanna hit up St. Arbucks tonight?

    I should get off sometime before Leno starts….

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