When You Chase Without Contentment

 

                 

dreamsWe’re in an age where tapping into ambition and taking action to work towards a dream is applauded. You’ll see me putting my two hands together for that, absolutely. You’ll see me cheering on someone to get what they’ve worked for, because, obviously. We’re also in an age where souls don’t seem to have toned muscles of contentment. We chase what we want NEXT without enjoying what we have NOW. Society has churned our minds to believe that until we reach OUR goal, what WE want, we haven’t fully succeeded.

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I was promoted last year and officially don’t have the word “assistant” in my title (yay!). Those with my title on other shows are typically 3-5 years older. There are people my age still desperately trying to get in a mail room and peers who’re packing their bags because they can’t afford to live in “Entertainment City” with a dime and zero interviews. Here I am with a desk, badge and parking spot trying to fulfill a position most have years of experience on me with.

So, yes, I’m ahead of the game and one fortunate person. But why is it that my mind automatically thinks, “so how long until I don’t have ‘Coordinator’ in my title, but ‘Supervisor,’ or ‘Producer,’ because those are the titles where I truly know I’ve MADE it?”

Or, why is it that even while I have a killer position, some people pause and ask where my job is taking me? I don’t mind that question — asking what path I’m on is fine. Wanting to know where someone’s ambition is taking them is normal. Ambition is, in my opinion, a strength. Not acknowledging their accomplishment NOW and focusing on the NEXT, however, could take away from the beauty of the present.

If you ask me where I see myself in 10 years, I have many answers. Not all my passion eggs are in one basket.

Some days I want to be a wife and mom.

Or be the next Harper Lee.

Possibly Shona Rimes’ next prodigy?

Les Moonves’ future replacement?

I don’t know where life is going to take me, but I do know where it has me now, and all I can do is strive to give my 100% and trust that by doing that, by giving all I can and being a good steward, my next step will be built before me.

WDon’t take my nonchalant, “give 100%” as something simple. 100% is requiring all mental, physical and emotional energy needed for what’s being asked of you. As a friend, giving 100% could look like making an air port at 5am, listening to them cry on the phone when we’d rather sleep, or going to their favorite restaurant despite our personal craving for the opposite. As an employee, giving 100% looks like deciding to be cheerful when crabby, going the extra mile on a project, and several other things. 100% is out of our comfort zone. Regret has a harder time finding itself in our hearts when we give 100%.

Work wise, it’s easy, natural and expected to deeply care about what our boss thinks of our performance. We’re under our boss’s authority so, naturally we preform for his/her approval. I’d like to appeal this mentality as being our primacy goal. Rather than strive for the approval of our boss, I believe our priority should be striving to care what God thinks of our performance. If we in all actuality executed this, peace and rewards will follow suit.
I hear it now…. “Mary that is the cheesiest thing ever OMIGOSH.”

CHILL.

Here me out.

Actually, no… I’ll let these verses defend me:

Colossians 3:23-24:
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.

Romans 12:11-12:
Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.

Proverbs 28:19-20:
A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty. The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble.

Working hard, never being lazy, willingly working with anything we do “as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people,” in addition to being enthusiastic….broadly encapsulates a great employee. I’d want to hire anyone who lived this out.

When I’m tired, crabby and irritable, the last thing I want is someone saying, “your reward is in heaven, Mary.”

Okay thank you, but BYE. I want ice cream…a hug…or a Monday off work….I don’t want the words, “be patient and keep on praying.” You got your good friend, Christian cliché encouragement comment for the day points, but bring me someone who will say, “screw all that, let’s go dance and forget about it all.”

Being honest y’all…some days I just want to dance and not think about my rewards in heaven.

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THAT is why I’m the perfect target for those scriptures. They’re FOR people like me who, after work, are susceptible to falling into the land of, “me me me” and not the land of, “for You, God, for YOU.” Fortunately, those verses have been engraved on my heart for several years and consequently, when I’m in the lowest of lows, they come to mind. It’s the best/worst. Worst because I am then convicted and feel awful, but that’s why it’s the best. Those verses are fuel to my motivation tank. My mind is haunted by them after a long day — reminding me of His promises to those who work for Him, to please Him. On days I’m chewed out… it’s okay, I did the best I knew how. But on days I rock it out and my boss is happy with me, yet my heart was motivated by his approval rather than God’s – my heart is off, I don’t feel satisfied. We won’t ever feel satisfied by fueling our heart with man’s approval.

Ever.

We just won’t.

Wherever you’re at in life –the CEO, barista, musician, plumber, stay at home momma or a student, I encourage you to hang in there and strive to give your 100% for God. If you chase work for you or man’s pleasure/approval, nothing but an empty bucket of discouragement will be at your door. God’s thoughts and plans are above ours for OUR best – your boss, friend, co-worker, significant other, whomever you may be seeking approval from, they don’t know your heart in the capacity God does.

They just don’t.

Purpose resonates where you are NOW and if you’re in the fortunate position I’m in with having a job title most have to wait years to obtain, the show could get canceled and I could be unemployed tomorrow. Nothing is promised in this world and we need to learn how to be content and cheerful with what we’ve been given.
I look back on previous seasons and, knowing what I know now, I wish I could go back and be more present. It’s easy, ESPECIALLY in Hollywood, to compare and worry about what step of the ladder I’m on. Now that I’m up a step since last year, I look back and miss aspects and people from when I was an assistant. I encourage (challenge) you to be soak in wherever you’re at and strive to obtain toned muscles of contentment. Because, no matter what step comes next, you wouldn’t have gotten there without the step you came from.

Give 100%, be kind, choose cheerfulness. Everything will be okay.

 

Start-Living-In-The-Now

 

 

 

 

 

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