Staying the Course: Why 5 Years is [Kinda] a Big Deal

So yesterday I [finally] received my 'Five Years of Service' award from the State. 
























Yeah, yeah...I know what you're thinkin': five years...big whoop; trust me...I know it's not the grandest of accolades. 

At the same time, I can't help but feel somewhat triumphant.

'Cause truth is: to work five years at the same place these days means something1.

Granted, my inner youth may be showing here; however, this doesn't mean I can't sense something far transcending mere marketplace mileage when I look at what many would consider a borderline frameable piece of paper.

Thus, I suppose the $64,000 question is: Why write about a little certificate anyway?

Well, for starters, the truth behind the text hits a nerve near and dear to my heart...which makes sense when you consider "how to faithfully stay the course at all costs" (i.e. being patient and perseverant in the face of disappointment, discouragement, disillusionment, etc.) is actually one of me and Lyssah's biggest life messages. For to coast through the motions is human, but for those who dare to be dissatisfied, knowing how to press through when life doesn't make sense is worth discussion2.


Yet, as for my wall trophy, while some may see it as just another award, I’m compelled to see it as something more - specifically, a declaration of my commitment to keep fighting…even when I'm tempted to pit my dream against someone else's, to view my day job as a necessary evil, or buy into the lie that my identity/worth is nothing more than a title3.

For a time will come when I burst out of this comatose and bid adieu to my stale, cubical vacuum…and the vertical bar shadows five years of sunrises have cast beneath my feet.

But for now, I rejoice and boast in God who has empowered me not to quit…and to love in a life/grace/hopeless4 place where some make a living by not living at all.

After all, it was never supposed to be easy.

So here’s to a symbolic representation of the biggest challenge in my life…and the next five years of my occupational career regardless if the setting changes or not.

 ‘Cause while the struggle, the heartache, the disappointment…has been real…

…undeniably, incontestably, penetratingly real…

 …I consider it all worthwhile…

…as it’s surely equipped me for bigger, better things down the road.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Perhaps you're reading this with some sense of resonance, whether you're struggling to justify your weekday life, have been victimized by unholy prejudices and tolerances, been unfairly criticized by authority figures, or simply find yourself in a cliqued environment where you don't fit. If so, I encourage you to stay the course, to be fearless being you + set apart, to trumpet thanksgiving into the voids...and to ask the Lord to renew a steadfast, relentlessly yielded heart within you.

Yes, there may still be setbacks. Yes, there may still be hurdles to clear.

Again, I'm not saying it's going to be easy...
...but I am saying it's going to be worth it.

Selah. 

Footnotes

1) Especially for pre-Millennials/Millennials
2) Not to mention one of the main reasons 'His Girl Fryday' was born as a resource to brighten the light at the end of the tunnel for those in challenging vocational/bivocational arenas
3) Bullet points inspired by Jon Acuff’s “Quitter”
4) Seemingly

Photo creds: writerightwords.com

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