Grateful, Patient, Full of Faith

Spring break is here! Jesse has been working full time (plus his 1/3 time job at the church) for more than two months now, and this week off is a welcome change of pace. Unfortunately, the school he works for is really struggling. Having already accepted a hefty pay cut, we don’t know if he will have a job to go back to after the time off. As you might imagine, this kind of thing really puts a damper on our vacation week.

Financially, we’re fortunate to have more options than many people these days. He can always go back to substitute teaching, and I could even go back to my job if necessary. Still, I am disappointed that what seemed like a secure – if short – contract through July might be broken, and I believe that is a legitimate feeling. But is it legitimate to think that he somehow deserves a steady and reliable job in general?

I tend to think that by choosing to be a public school teacher, Jesse has given up a lot of financial opportunity and opted for limited earning potential in exchange for the chance to feel good about making a difference in the community, and reasonable job security. I assume that because he will never make as much money as an investment banker or engineer, he deserves to be protected from the volatility of uncertain economic times.

Somewhere along the way my moderate store of somewhat narrowly explored idealism has morphed into a sense of entitlement.

Do I also think that we deserve to always have the opportunity to work (substitute teaching, waiting tables, etc.) if we want to? And that we deserve to have our parents’ basements to move into if we really go broke? I suppose we probably deserve to have a certain number of sunny days per year and also clean drinking water and a healthy baby. I’m positive that we deserve to have our 7 month old sleep through the night every night. And I require at least one really good latte each week. At what point do the various blessings and hopes in my life jump categories and become rights and expectations?

I may be upset that things are unstable, but it’s good for me to be reminded that my hope and security can’t be found in Jesse’s job – this week or next year or ever. And it’s important to see a little more clearly how easy it is for me to take the things I do have for granted.


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