Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Still Large, but No Longer in Charge

I recently took a new job. I've cut my participation in the family business back to almost nothing and have taken a job locally. My old work involved a ton of driving, but the new job requires only short trips around town. But there are many other differences too. One difference really didn't hit me until after I'd been on the job for a week or so.

My full-time work career began back in 1983 when I got a job at a radio station in Muncie, Indiana. I was just the midday disc jockey, happy to be getting a (ridiculously small) paycheck. Suddenly about nine months later, other staff members left the company leaving me as the senior member of the air staff! I was given the title of Program Director and put in charge of the on-air product. Pretty heady stuff for a 22 year old.

After I left Muncie, I worked for a year in Battle Creek, Michigan at a top 40 radio station. A year later I moved back to Indiana to take a management position at a different station. Since that time, every job I have had has carried with it a certain amount of authority. In radio I was a manager. In the family business I made many of the decisions and signed the contracts. As a pastor I was given a certain amount of authority. In all of those jobs, I held a position of importance. Decisions were rarely made without running it past me first.

In my new job, it's not like that. I do what I'm supposed to do. Sure I can make suggestions, but this time it's me who has to run it by someone else. That's a little strange for me. There is much that goes on at my new company where I am neither concerned nor consulted. It's been twenty years since I have had a job like that. It sure is different.

I think we all have a little "control freak" inside us. It's that selfishness portion of our sinful nature. I was discussing that with a friend last night. He claims he's a bigger control freak than most people. I didn't argue. I figured only a control freak would argue about something like that, right?

When the little "control freak" within is confronted with the notion that the world doesn't revolve around "me" the freak freaks. We all like to think that we are so incredibly important that the movers and shakers should care about every facet of our lives. Decisions should be based on "what works for me."

Of course we eventually figure out that's not the case. But the shrieks of the inner freak still echo through our heads every time we are inconvenienced.

It's a humbling experience not to be in control. But after careful consideration, I think I like it. I'm ready to serve. I've been giving orders far too long.

I am reminded that I am not in charge of everything, since I have a Creator who already holds that position. I wish that God would run everything by me for approval before it happens, but He doesn't seem to have my email address or phone number. And it's just as well since I've seen how badly I can screw things up.

"Lord, help me always to remember that You are God and I am not. Give me the faith and the strength to trust You more."


HeyJules said...

I remember when I first said, "Yes, God, I've made such a mess of things. You take over." It's beyond humbling. It goes totally against the grain of your ego. and - It's the most freeing thing I've ever said...

Pressure's off! You drive, I'll ride. Let's get this party started!

Jennifer said...

I didn't know you were a disc jockey! That's cool. When I left the investment business to become a receptionist 2 years ago, I took a big cut in both pay and ego. It's been worth ever bit of it!