2.08.2009

A Free Run to Success


To pick up on yesterday's post about the unemployed, these economic times have made me realize how fortunate I am to have not only a job and a well-paying one, but one that I thoroughly enjoy. That I have never been either involuntarily unemployed or in a work situation that I did not like but had to tolerate is a remarkable privilege, and I understand that more soberly now.

It's easy to delude myself into thinking that this good fortune is solely something I earned. After all, I studied very hard in high school, college, and grad school, to put myself in a position where I would have the knowledge and credentials needed to land a good job. I networked hard before, during, and after each interview process in my life. And I continue to pollinate myself with contacts and information to make myself a valued member of my current employer, even though this means sacrifices of time spent on business functions and business reading instead of leisure.

But I got to where I am now not by myself. Even my work ethic is not my own but inherited from my parents and their genes and nurturing. It was their money that put us in a school district where I could get a good primary and secondary education, and their money that allowed me to go to an Ivy League school for my Bachelors degree. I was shielded from violence, medical disasters, run-ins with the law, financial woes, and other major life events that could have easily compromised my ability to stay on the straight and narrow. To my knowledge, my gender, race, and sexual orientation never played a part in icing me out of opportunities along the way.

In other words, in the minefield of life, I was given a free run. When you run from the starting line to an impressive place in the race of life, it's easy to think it was your own two feet that got you there. I guess I'm more in tune with how many mines there are around me, and how many around me didn't get that free run and got blown up along the way.

God does not always give you a free run, and in fact mines and explosions He can even turn into invaluable components of shaping and guiding us to where He wants us to be. But for those of us fortunate enough to get a relatively free run, we can still thank Him for the privilege, and be mindful that His heart is particularly with those who haven't had the privilege.
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