Friday, April 3, 2009

Where's your Spark?

It's hard to stay upbeat and energetic when you just don't feel like it. Today I was asked by an associate if I was ok? She says that I'm tired looking and I just don't have that spark the last couple of weeks. She says I'm still professional and friendly and all that, but I just look, well, stressed and tired!

News flash... I am stressed! My job is stressful in nature. Budgets to achieve, along with operational expectations and demands, can take a toll on you. No one really cares that it's stressful either... those above you just want results and after all you are in a position to figure those things out. I accept full responsibility for my career and I hold myself to a very high standard. Basically, I can stress myself out by holding myself accountable, rarely do I need someone else to do it for me. I know if I'm meeting expectations or not, and when I'm not... I'm stressed!

Saying that however I realize that if I appear stressed I can affect the people that I supervise into feeling stressed just because I'm stressed. My stress, my anxiousness, unsettles others around me and I understand the affect this has on others. I appreciate her saying something to me so I can be aware of this. I know she's concerned about me and that means a lot to me. The problem is however, even after she said something to me, I was still stressed!!!! Sure I was more aware of it, but the stress is still there to be contended with and my only hope today was to try and cover it in someway, which honestly I'm lousy at doing. My face always has reflected how I feel. I can't really hide it. So what course should I take now? How do I eliminate my stress so that I once again have that "spark" in my eyes that my co worker misses seeing in me? And quite frankly... needs to see in me as her leader.

I believe most of my stress comes from worry and the bible has a lot to say about worry. There are many verses that help us on the subject of worry and I know in my life, when I miss budget, when I miss sales projections, when I miss the mark on expectations or goals, I worry about the consequences of it. Worry comes from fear and God says we should not be afraid but rather but our faith and trust in him. those of you that know me know I struggle in this area and you know what? I'm not alone. You know how I know I'm not alone in this issue? The bible speaks too much about it for it not to be something all of us are going to struggle with from time to time. The good news is, that this worry, this fear can be overcome and it's something that should not take the spark out of our life. My focus is in the wrong place for me to have lost my spark.

My first plan of action needs to be... "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness."

Jesus teaches about worry... Matthew 6:25-34
25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

My job has always had a lot of stress in it, but lately I've been really worried and concerned about my results. I've always believed and know that I must strive to do my best and use my God given mind to think my way into improving my results. But sometimes everything you try just doesn't deliver the results you had planned. What do you do in this situation? I don't know about you but my tendency is to work harder and harder and before I know it, I've left God out of the equation. Not completely of course, but to the point I'm focused more on what I can do rather than what God can do. The points is this, God promises comfort, peace, and security in all situations and circumstances. My problem is to be mindful of that and seek God's kingdom and His righteousness, and God will then meet my needs. he will guide my steps and encourage me on my journey of ups and downs.

Prayer: Dear God, forgive me for forgetting to seek You first. I ask that You give me strength, energy, and the desire to seek Your will in my life and then through my obedience, You will provide. Whether I ever accomplish all the goals and expectations I set for myself at work, one thing I do know, I don't need to worry about my life. Worrying only makes me sick and unhealthy. My hope and prayer is that as I seek You and follow You I will perform as I live for You. May others see a spark in me, and that spark reflect the light of Jesus. It's in Jesus name I pray. Amen

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