Do you ever wonder why we must have times without purposeful vision? Or times without inspiration? In the midst of times like these I am prey to wonder what is the purpose of this? Why must I go thru times like these?
Over the last several weeks, I have found myself vacillating in and out of times just like this. And it seems to me, although my perception is not always reality, that it’s happening at a time when I desperately need vision and the inspiration to carry it out. I have the fortunate responsibility of being at the helm of a rapidly growing company and times without vision or inspiration just seem to be an unnecessary stall in the grand scheme of things.
But let me tell you the flip side of this same coin. Work has always been a place where I could isolate from living life, all the while thinking I was living life. Funny how we can delude ourselves! It was so easy to conjure up delusions of grandeur about how I was making a difference with my work, all the while relationships with people I cared about the most were going unattended. Long story short, I had wrapped up my identity in my work so much that the two became inseparable. Somewhere along the way, work was no longer just work, it became who I was. The unfortunate nature of finding yourself in this place is that when you realize that your “works” have become your life source, you must also admit that you are without faith. Faith without works is dead and works can’t substitute for faith no matter how many times you attend church.
So in the midst of coming to truths with this realization, I began praying earnestly for relief from the bondage of work. This has, no doubt, been a process and not an event. And for as long as I was work-identified, it will most likely be a life-long process. But more is always revealed.
And more has been revealed. During these times without vision or inspiration, I have discovered it is a really awesome experience to become aware of how God is answering your prayers, but still be experiencing the change. Most of my experience before now has been the realization of a prayer being answered after the fact, not so much during the process of change. And I am always in awe of how my prayers get answered. It is never simple, it’s always complex and much richer and deeper than I expected. Answered prayers always catch me by surprise.
So I now unequivocally understand my truth about this drought of vision and inspiration. As someone who, for the better part of my working life, has always been blessed with vision and inspiration, I learned to over-rely on that gift in the vein of seeking my identity thru work. In the process of earnestly seeking redemption from the bondage of work and being willing to do things differently, these times of drought have been a blessing. While I have felt disconnected without vision and inspiration, it has also left me with nothing to which I could attach myself. It is almost like God’s gift of time-off, so that I could start to learn what it feels like to have balance between work and rest. To learn work’s proper place in my life. To have work, but not be identified with it. To know that being grateful for work is not the same as being identified with work. To learn that being responsible for my contribution to the finances is not a license to work to the detriment of important personal relationships. To learn that a life’s work does not mean I must spend all of my life at work. To learn that time-off from work is just as critical work as the work itself. To learn that work is a part of life, but being a part does not make it the whole.