“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere (II Corinthians 2:14).”
I recently interviewed for an important job at work. I didn’t get it.
However, as my boss and I talked, he told me,”I’m happy you want to up your game.” I replied that in that context I also needed to support my family.
My boss pulled out a calculator. He then told me of another job coming up soon and asked me if I would be interested. It was an administrative type job that would fill out my resume in his eyes.
This week the supervisor in charge offered me this job. It’s temporary, but when she flashed the payment over the next couple of months I don’t think I believed it.
I had to contact her again and confirm it. She did.
I begin this job in a week and I am naturally a little anxious. It means a lot of work and the need to perform. However, what should I expect if I want to, as my boss said, “up my game”?
My career is not the only place I am working at upping my game. I am working really hard at becoming a better husband and father these days as well.
For instance, I am attending two early morning men’s meetings to get a handle on what it means to be a man. I have also met with a counselor recently. Last weekend my wife and I went to a marriage conference.
All this activity on my part is a surprise to me. I am by nature a pleghmatic individual.
I am more of an oberver. The less nice way of putting this is that I am a “couch potato”.
I think there is a reason for this desire to up my game. It comes from some news I received in the last six months.
I recently was diagnosed with a slow moving form of leukemia. Medicine is keeping it under control, but the news was a wake up call to me.
In my current thinking, I have to make a choice of what kind of legacy I want to leave. Do I want to be remembered as a mediocre person, even a failure, and one who might not be remebered at all? Or, do I want to be remembered as a good husband and father, and a person who impacts my sphere of influence?
Once, a few years ago, I shared my life story with a group of old age pensioners. After I had finished, one of them said, “Sounds like you’ve led a checkered career.”
This isn’t how I want to be remembered. I don’t want my epitaph to read,”He led a checkered life”.
I was somewhat offended by that remark, yet amused at the same the same time. The old guy was right, really.
The apostle Paul wrote of a man who had caused others much grief. In turn, this fellow had been punished by those who he had offended.
Apparently, however, the man had turned his life around.Paul asked that he be forgiven and loved again(II Corinthians 2:5-9).
I want to be like this man. Therefore, I am seeking to right the wrongs I have inflicted on my family, and on myself. I am hoping that for the rest of the cruise that I will be a man worthy of the love of my wife and children.
This won’t just happen. It will take a lot of work on my part.
For example, Robert Lewis says that living with a woman means having insight and skill. He notes to men that if you think you know what you are doing when it comes to relating to a woman, it is the biggest mistake of your life.
Lewis says learning how to relate to a woman is like learning a foreign language. I know how difficult it is, and I understand it will take a lot of time and effort.
Time and energy will also be required at my new job. I bring a lot of skills and experience into it, but there is a lot I have to learn.
God put me here to work. He also gave me a wife so I wouldn’t be lonely (Genesis 2:8-24). It’s my responsibility to sacrifice for her and to take care of the tasks He has given me at work.
James Brown wrote a song of a man on the move, an old guy with a new attitude:
“Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”
Come here sister…..Papa’s in the swing
He ain’t too hip…about that new breed babe
He ain’t no drag
Papa’s got a brand new bag
Come here mama….and dig this crazy scene
He’s not too fancy….but his line is pretty clean
He ain’t no drag.
Papa’s got a brand new bag
He’s doing the Jerk….
He’s doing the Fly
Don’t play him cheap ’cause you know he ain’t shy
He’s doing the Monkey, the Mashed Potatoes, Jump back Jack, See you later
Come here sister
Papa’s in the swing
He ain’t too hip now
but I can dig that new breed babe;
He ain’t no drag
He’s got a brand new bag
Oh papa! He’s doing the Jerk
Papa…he’s doing the Jerk
He’s doing the twist … just like this,
He’s doing the Fly ev’ry day and ev’ry night
The thing’s….like the Boomerang.
Hey! Hey…..come on
Hey! Hey….he’s pu tight…out of sight…
Come on. Hey! Hey!”
I want my wife to see I have some new energy and a new attitude. It’s time to man up and be a leader at work, too.
The old me kind of stunk up the joint at times. Indeed, as far back as high school a classmate wrote in my yearbook that I had a “pervasive air of disgust”.
With the leadership of Jesus, I hope to spread a savory odor of Him at home and in the office. Papa’s got a brand new bag!