I work at a radio station and it’s an awesome job. I realize that and I take no credit for it. It’s a gift from God and I’m thankful. It’s rewarding, interesting, and fun.
But it’s not perfect. In fact, it can be a challenge sometimes. I’m called upon to be on the air at 5 a.m. The hours can be long and sometimes I take heat for saying things perceived as out of line.
But it’s not the job. It’s me. I’m the one who falls short. And I know many would love to have my problems. Because on the whole, this job is awesome. Maybe too awesome.
I get it.
My mom was probably the first to say it. When I was 18, I quit school after the first semester of my freshman year. College was too hard. I couldn’t hang. I’d been washing cars the previous summer and I wanted to go back. She said, “Nope! If you don’t go to school, you’re going to “get a real job.”
So I did.
I started at General Motors in Norwood, Ohio, as a 19-year-old-hippie. It paid well. But my coworkers were rednecks, senior citizens, and several mixtures thereof. We got up real early, we worked real hard, we got real dirty, and by and large we weren’t real nice to each other.
It was “a real job.”
From there, I went to GM Shreveport at 23. I struggled. Have you ever been to Shreveport? Do you ever plan to go back? Not me.
My apologies if you’re from Shreveport. It wasn’t Shreveport’s fault. It’s a fine city. It’s just where I resided in my tumultuous twenties. I wasn’t yet a committed Christian, and it was a “transitional” time in my early adulthood. I thought, “These people talk funny.” Turns out I was the one who talked funny. They had a southern accent. I had a snarky one.
After 13 years of “occupational disdain,” the back of my head finally caved in. I’d trusted my life to Christ in 1986, certainly a huge factor in sustaining my sanity. But by spring of 1989, I was on the verge of psychological collapse. I ran from the building screaming and begged Gary Lesniewski to hire me at KVNE. He gave me a part-time gig, and by January 1990, I was on full-time.
It wasn’t GM pay and I had to uproot my family to Tyler, and my supportive, lovely wife and life partner Lois had to go back to work outside the home. But it was a sweet gig. It still is.
Is it a “real job”? Definitely! You have to show up on time, do what you’re told, and be nice. That’s not always easy for human beings.
But if you enjoy what you do, it doesn’t feel like a “job.” It’s more like a “passionate pursuit.”
But you don’t have to work at a Christian radio station to make your work your calling. Whatever you do for your “job,” it’s helping somebody. There are no exceptions. So make your job your joy! It’s not always easy, but you can be a light right where you’ve been assigned!
You too can “get a real job!”
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit.” ~ Jesus, John 15:16
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