Monday, January 13, 2014

Well Done.

Every year we submit cover and magazine designs into the Society of Adventist Communicators (SAC). And every year someone wins something. Last year I won an award for the cover design of The Miracle of the Seventh-day Ox. And I was thrilled.

This year I won two awards. And when I was told—I didn't actually feel anything specific. Cool. I thought. So, can we go? I've got work to do.

These days—the excitement and joy of creating has been buried deep inside my soul. I can't risk showing emotion. I am tired. Tired of the junk I have to slog through to create. Tired of the hurtful words that are hurled at us. Tired of wasting creativity on unimaginative people. Tired of the politics. Tired of it all.

It is all very exhausting.

And then out of the blue you are congratulated—cover committee showered us with ice cream, cookies, and cider—but apart from making my cold worse—I didn't feel anything inparticular, which was rather disconcerting.

It has made me wonder—do others feel this way too? Are we all so immune to the words good job, well done, and you're amazing!—that we can't even enjoy the feeling once the words are spoken?

Good heavens! If that is the case—stop everything and go and congratulate someone. Walk into their office and just tell them that they are amazing! Because the moment an individual no longer feels emotion when they are told that they have done a good job—is the moment that you know unrepairable damage has been done. And you know what? That's when you know your company is a goner.

I say this, because in order to survive I had to take God out of it. Do you know how awful that tasted? In order to survive at a Christian Institution—the word Christian had to be removed. I was working for a publishing house. And it was no longer Christian. It was just a job. Nothing more.

And this is how I felt, spiritually.

It was dark and dismal and just terrible. Constantly measured. 
Held together with string. Band-aids on hurts. Pins prying apart wounds.

It took a few weeks to discover that I couldn't work that way. I do work for the church, but more importantly I work for God. And that is truly what matters. It doesn't mean that things have gotten any easier. People still treat each other like enemies—gossip runs free, anger comes before kindness. But in the end, God has my back. And if I learn to trust him—I'll manage just fine.

Well done, my good and faithful servant.