After completing my first week at my new job I have only one word: humbled. At my previous position, I felt competent. Certainly I made mistakes, but for the most part I did a good job. Learning a new job, even though experienced in many ways, is a steep learning curve. My reading in Streams in the Desert L.B. Cowman, touched on this. God throws in curves to keep our attitudes balanced. Coming into a new position, with a new industry, is definitely unbalancing, as well humbling and frightening.
Adding to this is the desire to do well, which in turn adds even more pressure. Every mistake becomes a character flaw in my own opinion. I chastise myself and try harder. The end result: I can't relax and this is good fertilizer for even more mistakes.
After some reflection, I realized it all stemmed from fear. Fear of being let go because of a poor job performance. I really, really need this job and do not want to jeopardize it in anyway, especially for failing to perform my duties as expected - or preferably, above expectation. By week's end I just wanted to curl into a tight ball and well, bawl.
Then God stepped in and stopped this unhealthy cycle. My devotions in the booklet, Living Faith, included Matthew 17: 1-9, the Transfiguration of Jesus. Father Paul J. Rassano pointed out Peter was impetuous, excitable, quick to anger and often selfish, and yet God chose him to become head of His Church. God saw past all of his flaws to the man he would become. As I am too often just like Peter, his story gives me hope.
In the book, He Loves Me! by Wayne Jacobsen, the author states something I had not considered. The Apostles didn't know who Jesus was when they first met Him. He was a stranger to them, and as in our own experience with new people, it takes time to become comfortable. At first everyone is on guard, careful what they say and how they act. At some point the relationship became comfortable, safe, and the Apostles let down their guard, no longer worried about being judged by what they said or did. And, that was the answer to my own dilemma. My new bosses obviously saw potential when they hired me, and they know it takes time for a new employee to adjust to a new position. I need to let go of my fear and relax. The number of mistakes will plummet.
As if to emphasize this, Daniel 7:9-14, Daniel's vision of God, was also included in my listed devotions. This scripture (the book of Daniel) has been a personal messenger to me many times in the past, especially in regards to my career. As a captive in a foreign land, Daniel rose to prominence not because of his faith, but through hard work, and he became widely known as a man of high integrity, not just competency. That was a light- bulb- moment for me. Daniel's success didn't happen overnight. It took time. Daniel did not try to impress anyone. He went about his job, doing what he knew to be right, following God's will.
I feel comforted, encouraged, and ready for Monday. Like Peter, I may not always respond as I should, but with the right intention, it will all work out according to God's plan for my life. The secret of this success? Not giving up, not giving in to fear or despair. I can trust God to give me the grace, strength, and wisdom I need. I doubt I will become a great Apostle or a prodigious prophet, but I can certainly be a good wife, mother, and employee - His representative right here, right now, right where He has placed me, and I take great comfort in that.