“This is one good thing I’ve seen: it’s appropriate for people to eat, drink, and find enjoyment in all their hard work under the sun during the brief lifetime that God gives them because that’s their lot in life.” “Indeed, people shouldn’t brood too much over the days of their lives because God gives an answer in their heart’s joy.” Ecclesiastes 5:18,20
Billy Ray Cyrus is most known for his song Achey-Breaky Heart, but that song is not the one that I enjoy the most. The song Busy Man has always been a more inspiring song to me. That song was playing in my mind when this inspiration came to me. This inspiration that rose me from my bed at four in the morning. This inspiration that I found myself saying, I’ve got a busy day tomorrow I need more sleep and tried to ignore for thirty minutes.
As a new father I am getting used to less sleep, but as a new father never has this topic been more important. I work in a demanding field. With the job you know that there will be long nights and weekends. You know that many times you will have to work when others are not so people can work when you are done. I knew this going into this field. I work on the server side of Information Technology. Specifically with things like e-mail and the other stuff that allows people to do their jobs.
In this industry, like a few others out there, work life balance is a constant struggle. You have a list of things that need to get done that continues to grow and grow, with limited resources behind them. On top of that you have all the new things to learn to stay relevant in the industry. So the lyrics in Busy Man rings true.
I would like to point you to a great book in the Bible that most see as a depressing work, Ecclesiastes. In this book it talks all about work life balance. No matter how hard you work and what you accomplish in your professional life, it really is meaningless. It is chasing after the sun. You’ll never catch the sun. Now there is still the importance of putting everything into your work when you are working, but the important things is doing what you were made to do.
We were made to love, praise, enjoy the creation that God has made for us. In this book you are told to enjoy the company of your wife and family. You are instructed to enjoy the life that you have been given and to do what makes you happy. The work that we do is our labor it is our curse. Many of us try to make it as painless as possible by doing things we like to do, but in all things this work is just that it is our toil. It is meaningless.
As I took a break from writing to feed my son and look into his eyes, it is even more apparent with every second that he is with me what the important things in life are. God will take care of us, he always does. We will have something to toil for and toil with. The words I write are not a toil to me, they are a way for me to show the appreciation I have for God and a passion that flows through. In a world without sin, this would be enough labor and I could focus on that completely.
There may come a day where that is a true fact and that is something that I pray for. My goal with my career has always been to make enough for Joy to do what she is called to do and to give my family stability. A few things this year has made me open my eyes and reflect on things a bit more. First was the birth of my son, that much doesn’t need much explanation. A child has a way of making you realize the flaws that you have in life. This was not enough for me however.
It was not until my Sensei, Paul Booe, passed that the fullness and realization of what my true dreams and aspirations were. Paul was dedicated to martial arts and spent all his life working towards his passion, but even in that he lost the things that he cared most for. This lead to a tragic end for him. There is a lot inspiration that you can gain from someone like that. Even things that you love, if you chase after them too much in the end it’s chasing after the sun.
After his passing, I have done a lot of reflection on who I am and what I want in life. I want to be a good father to my son. I want to continue to be a good husband to my wife. I want to continue to be a good friend to my friends. I want nothing more than to write and speak to show others what God has done for me. These are the things I want in life. These are the things that are important to me. These are the priorities that I have.
For me to accomplish this I had to make some changes. I had to get back into the gym like Paul would have wanted me to do because I need to become healthy so I am around for my friends and family. I need to focus more on my writing, to continue to spread my story of what God wishes me to tell and that I want to tell so much. I need to ensure that my work life balance in in check. This is a tough one for me, because my time management skills are pretty poor.
Don’t get me wrong when I’m working on a problem I work on it and draw in deeply on bringing it to resolution. I enjoy that sort of thing. I enjoy making other people’s lives better. That’s what I want to do in IT. But again, that is chasing after the sun.
I spent a time of my life when I was working 60 hours a week every week for months on end. During that time I decided to go back into IT so there was school on top of that and when I wasn’t working like that I was working to build a worldwide organization to combat Christianity. My toil was endless and Satan was never more proud of me. I was in the loving embrace of Satan by choices that I had made. That is when I was in the Occult the deepest. For that time I was sleeping less than 4 hours a night and life was toil, but we made sure there was enough sex and alcohol to give the illusion of a great time.
It wasn’t until I was put in my box behind bars did I start to realize just how wrong my life was. Never again will I go back to that kind of life. I will not sacrifice my family for my wealth. This world is a horrible one right now though. Never before has the outright worship of money been so apparent. We have a golden calf to worship and we are told by society that is the God that we are to worship. You are only measured by your possessions. It’s not even how much money you have it is how much debt you can manage to amass.
It is how much of a slave to money can we make ourselves. That kind of debt is not biblical either, but that’s exactly the point the world would say. We don’t need ancient texts written by imperfect people to tell us how we should live. Oh look something new and shiny, you need that too. It doesn’t matter if the last one came out 6 months ago, you need the new one. This world is drinking the Cool-Aid hard. I cannot be of this world.
You cannot serve God if you chase after the sun and do nothing but chase the sun. I want to serve God. But that is not without its struggles and frustrations. Going against the current is always harder. What is more frustrating is when you do not see the fruits of your labors. Like all the work I’ve done on writing these, it has only lead to me giving my testimony at the churches that I attend. I have not been asked to speak at another church to give my story. I have not been asked to speak to a group or anything like that. If my message is getting out there I have no clue.
It is frustrating, but I’m not the only one that has expressed frustration in not seeing what good they are doing. I hope these words will find people that need to hear them. I hope that there is a way for me to eventually do Gods work instead of working in IT, but that is eventually. Until that day I will perform my toil to the best of my ability, and continue to improve on the aspects of my life that is truly important.
So I have been told quite a few times in my life that even though I believe my message has been clear about something, it was not. If you are reading these words and have read the testimony of my wife and I and think you have an audience that could use our words in the flesh, please let me know. I review all the submissions of comments that come through, even all the spam and attempted hacks. I want to speak and share the messages that I have here and even more. There with that out of the way let’s get back to things.
I don’t know where you are in life’s journey, but even recently I have heard the advice of a man that just sent his daughter to college and regretted not spending more time with her before she grew up. There were almost tears in his eyes saying don’t let this job swallow you up. We all have heard these stories. Even now I see it in the eyes of my father, who worked his butt off to give us a good life. He too regrets that he did not spend more time with us. Even most of my fondest memories of time spent with dad it was working on stuff. I know that if he knew that it would make him weep.
I did feel like my father did not approve of me and felt resentment for him not being there for me. I know why he was doing what he did and I have healed over the years, but his toiling to make my life better we missed a lot that we will never get back. Now I live hours away and don’t see him in person except a few times a year and that toil has not stopped. I am promising to myself to not do that to my son, as I know that my father wishes that he had made a few different choices in life.
So in closing I say this, we all have to toil and we will chase after the sun, but all of that is meaningless. What matters in life is what you do when you are not working. What matters in life is the life you live and that measure is not by your job, the contents of your wallet, the car you drive, or your khakis, to paraphrase Chuck Palahniuk. Love your spouse, enjoy them and the time you have. Love your children and enjoy the time you have with them. Love your friends and enjoy the time that you have with them. Love your God and enjoy the creation that has been made for you.
“Have you ever seen a headstone with these words, ‘If only I had spent more time at work.’” Busy Man by Billy Ray Cyrusby