Unlike the Calvin Klein perfume by the same name, obsessions are not very sweet. And, much like the 1976 Hitchcock movie with that same name, filmed here in NYC at Collegiate Church (among other places), obsessions can have severely unpleasant consequences.
But these days, I’m obsessed with a mid-way-between-those-two-extremes obsession. It’s not particularly sweet, nor do I expect it will result in any dire consequences. You see, these days, I’m obsessed with work.
Now, I can hear you say, “But, Beth, that’s nothing new! Reread your own posts-half of them are about work!” And you’re right! But the last few days have been over the top about work – I’ve been either working, obtaining new work, talking about work, planning/investigating/applying for future work, or just thinking about the meaning of work!
I just finished leading another Spiritual Gifts workshop, with its focus on working out of our spiritual gifts. It’s deeply satisfying work for me where I get to watch folks explore their vocations in what is for some new ways and hear their excitement about divesting themselves of church work that doesn’t energize them so that they can take on the work they are gifted to do!
I also just had an interview for a church position – a part time bit of work that could be a meaningful and productive addition to my life. But it would require me to take something off an already full plate to make room for it! Like my workshop participants, I have to think through what doesn’t use my gifts, fill me with joy, or energize me – what I can eliminate – in order to use my gifts in this new way. (I’m thinking along the lines of cleaning and laundry, by the way….)
And then I have this Indiegogo campaign for a new Study – and a conversation yesterday with my son about his new job – and another with someone else about ways to put the 30+ years of spiritual gift study to work in new ways – and my head is just full! As I started out this post saying: obsession!
I wonder where you are on this topic right now? Are you obsessed with your work? Finding work? Completing work? Surviving until 5:00 when you can escape work? Adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing work?
When we start life, play is our work. As we approach the end of life, our work is about transitioning. Throughout the middle of life, work can become an obsession. If we don’t love what we do, if we don’t find joy in it – find the sweetness of it! – then there are probably dire consequences to that.
I pray for you (and for me!) that our obsession is well-centered in joy and our work uses our gifts for the good of ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world. Amen!