1. If you write a book about how your work is significant in the eyes of God, even when you hate it and it seems small and miserable, there is a good chance you will have to go through that for about six years, if you have not already done so. God will be faithful, though. And the gospel will taste sweeter at the journey’s end.
2. On Monday I will start working with people that care about poetry.
3. Someone should do some serious writing about “vocational shame.” I talked about it in Sunday School one week for about 10 minutes and I still hear from men who struggle with this. It is real and deadly. There is gospel hope but it’s a hard road to walk. In the main, it is hard because most men have trouble admitting it.
4. If anyone tells you that working in a bank is a lot like ministry, go directly to target.com/careers.
5. There is wisdom in knowing that even in a business you have struggled to respect, there are good people working there. And there are some like my best friend, Sean, who are living out the kindness of the gospel with the people they oversee.
6. Yesterday I was listening to all these songs which had been anchors for me along the way and when I got to “Every Breaking Wave” and I heard “Drowning is no sin” I had to stop what I was doing and excuse myself. Some of you will understand.
7. Almost my whole time at the bank, I kept a copy of Wendell Berry’s Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front pinned up just to the right of my right-most monitor (I had three monitors). As I clocked out yesterday, I unpinned it and left it lying on my keyboard in hopes it would be read. Not a lot of hope, though…
8. I’ve been thinking about Shawshank Redemption a lot over the past couple of weeks. It’s been maybe 20 years since I have seen that film but I saw a clip not long ago that reminded me of so many scenes from the movie. Working for the Bank is nothing like prison. Know that. But metaphors are only meaningful if what is not similar can converge at a point and then help us see something true. Plus, the fact that Andy was a banker is not lost on me.
9. One of the great struggles has been knowing that other people struggle far more than I do. Either because of tragedy or poverty or disease. I know this to be true. But I also had to recognize there is something intrinsic to the way we were created regarding the vocations we are engaged in. It is never just “work.” Our whole souls are involved. And when the only consolation is that you can pay your bills (no small thing) the soul shrivels. I am glad we were able to pay our bills. But that was never enough. Some may think this is a weakness. But I think it is a strength developed over time as I understood more and more what it meant to “work” as one created in the image of God.
10. You need to know my wife is as excited about my new job as I am. This is no exaggeration. She had to keep reminding herself it was me quitting and not her, because she had taken on all the joy. No wonder since she has had to shoulder a lot of the darkness and anxiety I’ve been through. She never quit holding my hand, though. Not even once.