Tuesday, January 25, 2011

40DLD-9: Daniel 6:3

"Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm." -- Daniel 6:3, KJV.

This time last year, a week or so after school started, I had been let go from the best job I had ever held, working as a student supervisor at SLU's Rec Center.  I had friends there, made great connections, learned a lot about work, leadership, etc.  The only problem was, I was expensive, being a Graduate Assistant, and Division of Student Affairs got hit hard with state budget cuts.  Plain and simple, my bosses could cut two of us and save one full-timer's position; to replace us, they could pay an undergrad a dollar over minimum wage and pay half what they paid us.  We were valuable, but like I said, expensive.  What could I do?  I got a job delivering pizzas at Domino's.

Tuesday after the Saints won Superbowl XLIV, I interviewed for a job.  I remember telling Brittany, my future boss, all of the following things:

  • "I didn't fill out every job I've had on the application, because I'm probably overqualified."
  • "I'm just looking for something to keep me afloat for the next year or so, and then I'm gone."
  • "I could probably do management instead, but I honestly just don't feel like it.  I just don't care that much."
Somehow, I still got hired.  My first day, Brittany asked another guy, "Where's you're nametag?" and he stormed out telling her to "go F*** up somebody else's life!"  I took the opportunity to say, "Hey Brittany, remember when I said I didn't wanna be manager because I don't feel like dealing with people?  There you go."

I fully expected to be student teaching this semester; that fell out from underneath me back in December.  What to do?  My choices were find a well-paying full time job or do this job to the max.  I still didn't have to be a manager, just work full time.  Since staying put was the easiest option available (and I was definitely needed), I chose that route.

Before long, I started getting ideas: how to train drivers better, how to improve the store, how to improve our service.  We hired two new drivers recently, and the job of overseeing their training was given to me.  Now I'm riding along to ensure the training they received from riding with us sticks.  We're also giving them other helpful tips like mapping out the delivery area.  Soon, we'll step up their cross-training so they're not just bumbling around inside the store doing nothing between runs.

My bosses started to take notice.  Furthermore, the driver team leader at our store seems to lack the leadership skills necessary for his job.  They started looking to me to step up into his position.  Well, as I told them tonight, I'm theirs at least until the summer, and to some extent beyond that.  I wouldn't leave if I didn't get promoted, but it would certainly make staying more lucrative instead of me stalling out for the rest of my time here.  By the time I leave, I'd like to know I have a replacement, or even better, several potential replacements.  I want to know this place is better by the time I leave.

One thing I've learned at the City of Refuge is how to seek higher and better things.  I don't just go to church if I happen to wake up on time.  I don't just throw on a shirt and slacks for church anymore like I used to (heck, I used to come to church in overalls).  Some call this name-it-claim-it, but it's really just me determining that if I'm gonna do this for the Lord, I wanna do it right.  I wanna honor Him with what He has given me the opportunity to do.  I want to have that excellent spirit like Daniel did, so that I will not only be pleasing to him who hired me, but to Him who got me there in the first place. 

But most of all, this has to translate into my spiritual life.  I have to step up prayer, devotion, my spiritual appetite, and the light that I shine.  They want me to do this job because they see something different in me; now it's time to show them who that Difference is.

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