Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Get Perspective for Life

The Art Institute of Chicago. Taken on my first day of work at Highland


Work is a bit crazy this week. This is one of the challenging pieces about this role I have at Highland. It isn't so much my role, though, as it is the nature of our technology services and consulting industry. One day you can be looking everywhere for work to do, reading a book for research, looking through old leads to try and drum up some hidden business, and perhaps having a few more office chats than usual. Then the next day, somehow, after two conversations, you find that you have enough work to last you weeks or months! The ebb and flow, the up and down, can drive those who like all aspects of life steady and predictable insane.

And each place, whether searching vast wastelands for work or being buried alive by it, has challenges. When you're trying to find the work, you may be tempted to ask questions regarding your value to the company, if they'll keep you, if you'll meet quota, if this is the right type of work, if you'll get a paycheck. They are questions of survival and purpose. And when things are chaotic, you may be tempted to ask questions regarding how much you can handle, if you'll burn out, if it'll all get done, if it will be good work. So, in a different way, these too are questions about survival and purpose.

Perhaps I'm the only one like this, but most likely not. I've talked to all kinds of people people in all kinds of industries with all types of roles, and while the questions may not be exactly the same, the motivation behind them is. So what do we do?

When I'm tempted or succumb to a world of endless questions of survival and purpose, when I get to a point where I begin and end with questions, sprialing deeper and deeper, never arriving at a confident place of action, I get perspective.

Often I do this by reading the Bible, being reminded that of the endless truths of God's love for me in Christ, my adoption into His family, and the eternal life that's been granted by Him and confirmed by His Spirit. This the usual and most powerful way I regain a proper perspective of my life, my family, and my work.

To supplement that lately, I've been going to the Art Institute of Chicago. Our office building is right across the street (though not for long; we're moving next month) and when I started working at Highland I got an annual membership for super cheap, allowing me to go anytime I like. I usually go during the workday to work from the Member's Lounge there. What's beautiful about this is I have to walk past art installations representing ancient Asian and Middle Eastern societies, as well as Greek and Italian antiquities.

I walk past all of these pieces of art -- these paintings, these vases, these statues, these coins -- all of them crafted by someone centuries, if not millennia, before me!

I'm reminded that our time here is short.

I'm reminded that most of us will not make anything of lasting existence on earth like that. That surely includes me.

I'm reminded that even if any of us do, it is rare that the name of the artist surpasses the art.

What do you do, if anything, to get perspective or do you find yourself constantly in that spiral of questions?

All of what I just may seem morbid, but I'm reminded that only a few aspects of life truly matter. And while I want to work on my craft as a sales professional, even writing that now as I share about ancient worlds and cultures, makes it all seem silly. The questions of survival and purpose disappear into what is truly important to me as I gain perspective of my small place and short time here, looking at the few places where and people with whom I can make a biggest impact.



By His Grace.

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