Bringing God to Work

My team at Whirlpool for the Service 2K Project
My team at Whirlpool for the Service 2K Project

It took me awhile in my spiritual walk to bring God to work. I don’t know why, but somehow I thought God didn’t really care about Corporate America, the way I make my living and all the stupid political games that go on there. The problem is, I struggle in that area a lot. I am good at my work, don’t get me wrong. But, I struggle with the politics and the people issues that just thrive in such a competitive and highly sensitive environment. At times, I’ve tried to ignore that stuff and just do my work. I finally realized that thriving in the environment is part of my work, too. It’s all part of it, whether I like it or not.

Me at FedEx in my cubicle
Me at FedEx in my cubicle

When I finally did bring God to work, I think He was really excited, because He really showed out! It seems as if He wanted to really reinforce the fact that He wanted to be there. In this particular situation, my boss and I didn’t get along. And, that’s fairly unusual for me. The fabulous codependent that I am can usually find a way to get along with anybody. I may not like it, and I may suffer, but I get along pretty well. I tried all my tricks with this guy, and nothing worked. I didn’t trust him. He didn’t trust me. And, as in any stressful situation, we both defaulted to our worst behavior. We tried talking about it, but, because of our underlying trust issues with each other, we could never get to the root cause of the problem. And, we never REALLY talked bout it, because the issues were deep. This horrible relationship went on for a couple of years. We finally got to the point where we just avoided each other as much as possible, and that’s not an effective working relationship.

My co-worker Melinda and I at Whirlpool
My co-worker Melinda and I at Whirlpool

I didn’t want to leave the job because I needed it. I didn’t want to make a big job change because I was dealing with some heavy personal things, and I didn’t want my professional boat to be rocking, too. I finally got the idea to bring God into this. “God, I don’t know what the hell to do about this. I’m sure you do. Help me with this relationship.” I prayed that daily. I’ve prayed for my enemies before, and it always changes me, so I was expecting to see some change. Nothing happened.

This went on for about 3 months. The relationship still sucked. I still prayed. One day, my boss called me into his office. I shuddered because every time he did that, I was in trouble, and dealing with him was like walking in a minefield. He told me that he had been re-evaluating his life because of a significant birthday. He had been looking at all of the different areas of his life. He emphasized that he had not just been doing this over the weekend. This process had been going on for several months. Hmmmmmm….several months, huh? One of the areas he wanted to change was his relationship with me. But, he needed to know if I was committed to doing the work that we needed to do. OMG….yes! This was so much better than changing my heart! But, I actually had no idea how hard this would be.

We had a series of meetings where we used a guide on rebuilding trust to guide our discussions. I had to hear some hard things about the way I had treated him. I had to share some hard things about the way he had treated me. I wrote about emotional triggers yesterday, and we were both triggering each other. As that happened, our behavior got worse, and we reacted in ways that were not in our best interest. And, as those behaviors triggered new reactions, we got worse. Finally, we just gave up and tried to protect ourselves from each other. But, we were both committed to this new course. We both had to commit to changing the way we talked to each other. He had to remind me when I wanted to throw in the towel that we had promised to deal with these issues instead of just walking away. And, I had to remind him when he was forgetting that our intention was to heal this relationship and not just work together. The thing is, we REALLY liked each other. We complemented each other well. We had the same values. We needed each other desperately to accomplish the work we needed to accomplish. And, the relationship not only got better, he became one of my best friends in the process.

My team at most recent position before FedEx
My team at Accredo…my most recent position before FedEx

I learned that God does care about my work. I think He cares about my work because there are people involved. It’s one of the places that people interact, and it’s one of those places where our worst behavior can show its ugly head. It’s a place that can cause us a great deal of pain and angst, and that’s God’s playground. When we’re hurting and broken, we are totally ready for help. So, now God gets packed up with my lunch and my computer bag when I go to work. I ask Him to help guide me in my projects. I ask Him to show me who I need to know to excel. I ask Him to show me where I need to change to be a better employee. And, I still pray about office politics….ugh…..I just hate it. But, maybe one day that will change somehow. Until then, it is a motivator for prayer.

Oh, and to that boss that I’m referring to….thank you…you are a rock star.

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