A blog whereby I motivate myself, and my readers, to punch me in the mouth.

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  "The consumate rocker's rocker. Charming, personable... a sucking void of inescapable inner turmoil."

Monday, January 30, 2006


Maybe we want our jobs to matter because our lives don't.

And if our lives do, then our jobs will suddenly cease to be so important.

Just a thought I had. Couched in a huge bed of thoughts about my generation, and how we relate to work, and to family, church, community.

We want a simpler life. Unfortunately, we also seem to want all the trappings of a more complicated one.

But we want to be chicken farmers who laugh with friends and run not-for-profit outreach missions. We want not to be enslaved by debt and lifestyle. We want to matter. So we try to find our calling in the workplace, as designed by God--very rarely considering that perhaps the workplace, as we know it, was not designed by God at all.

Also we would like a jacuzzi. Stat.


At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First we notice work is pretty mundane. And then we see Jesus doing stuff in mundane situations. Getting a drink at a well, strikes up a little convo with some woman, etc.

That may be a tangent, I don't know.


At 6:01 PM, Blogger caparoon said...

I don't know, either.

Actually, for you, it seems a little unfocused.

But perhaps the depth of your insight has just taken such a leap that I am unable to follow it on its murky way. ; ]

I *think*.. at least it seems.. that you are saying basically the same thing that I did. That the work isn't necessarily really that important. Or the workplace. Rather, the meaningful life is important, in order to put the rest in its proper place.


At 9:22 AM, Blogger mr_eric said...

i went through a lot of this last year. my 20s was a pretty hungry time, trying to get established (career/marriage/home/professional licensure testing). My 30s found me slowing down, catching my breath, looking at the loooooong road of employment ahead of me, thr corner i had painted myself into and asking "whoa, is this it?"

Is this all there is?


Felt real trapped. Change would mean taking ALOT of chances that responsible people don't take. Add a divorce to the mix and you've got the blues.

I know a lot of people who go through this (if i'm reading you right) at this point in there life.

No answers here. just sympathy.

now get back to work

At 9:58 AM, Blogger caparoon said...


Thanks, Eric.

Yes, a lot of that is true. Good ol' fashioned midlife crisis stuff (which is actually a crisis of identity.. but that's a different story). I personally began my midlife crisis somewhere around 24, and it shows no sign of stopping.
: )

It seems like in your life, as well as mine.. plus a gob of other people's.. what we are doing is realizing that the life (or lifestyle) that we are living out is simply inconsistent with our priorities.

It's not so much that the occupations themselves are a problem. More that the priority we give them is a problem. Adds up to a lot of stress and discontent. That's what's kind of driving my past couple little blog entries.

Also coming to work for a few days and wanting to be ANYPLACE but here.. : ]

And, of course, no creative outlet for a while. Which, as I mentioned, poisons my brain.

Anyway.. did Jesus minister while doing the mundane? Yes. But was his life mundane? No. He just had to get a drink now and then along the way to saving the world. I'm sure even Napoleon had to take a pit-stop occasionally while conquering everybody, but that's not a straight parallel to an inside sales job at a paper mill. Their lives weren't *about* the mundane--they just had mundane things in their lives.

On this same track.. I'm saying that I think there are a lot of us who are not content with the life-model that we were handed. We're not so excited about two cars and 2.5 kids and a house in the suburbs.. we're hanging on to those things.. the trappings. But we're realizing that maybe we'd like a different model, entirely. Perhaps something, as I said, that involves raising chickens.. I don't know. I just think there are a lot of people besides myself who are starting to get pretty concerned about having life mean something, and having everything else.. careers and whatnot, be secondary.

And thanks a lot for your comiseration. Comiseration is ministry, for sure. Even better if we're having a barbecue--which we REALLY need to do at some point.

I'm going back to work now.

At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get the impression a lot of what Jesus was doing was kinda everyday, hanging out at a party, walking, sleeping on a boat, etc. We get the highlights, but the context for those highlights hint at a lot of everyday stuff, I think.

The human experience is all about repetitive work, so I think there's the ol' contentment issue here. To that end, I happily offer all the insightful solutions that have worked nicely for me below:


At 2:33 PM, Blogger caparoon said...

I get what you're saying. However.. it seemed like maybe from your first comment here that you were coming at this from a "this is how Jesus approached the mundane, so this is how we should approach the mundane" viewpoint.

To which I think the counter would be.. The mundane things that Jesus did were not the main focus of his life. They took up a lot of his time, yes.. but they were ultimately all just things that he had to do while he was out saving the world.

So doesn't it make sense that we should be following Jesus' example of how to save the world, and letting that influence how we approach the mundane, rather than following Jesus' example of how to approach the mundane?

Why was Jesus at the party? Why was Jesus in the boat? The "why" of his being there defined the "how" of his being there.

Probably semantics, I'm sure, but it makes a difference to me. I'd rather focus on how to win the Indy 500 and change tires toward that end, instead of changing tires with an eye for how to win the race.


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