Although we may not notice it, we often identify who we are by what we do for a living. A nurse may have a lifestyle and world view that is quite different than that of a stockbroker.
A young employee working in a resort hotel may experience life differently than an inner city social worker. Of course, we are much more than the sum of our job descriptions. But, it is quite true that our work greatly influences both how we perceive ourselves and the world.
This can become painfully clear if you suddenly become unemployed or own a business that has suddenly been hit hard by the recession. You might discover yourself suddenly wondering “Who am I?” and “Where do I fit into this world?” These thoughts might never have occurred to you if it weren’t for this economic crisis.
If you recently received a pink slip or are experiencing a work-related setback, I would like to ask you to consider these questions:
Do you honestly believe that God defines you by your job or profession?
Is it possible that God’s view of you is far greater and more expansive than anything you could possible hold for yourself?
We are all, by and large, creatures of comfort and security. We want our dinners on the table, our mortgages paid on time, and our lives to be generally predictable. The only problem with this is that our spiritual needs may clash with some of these routine comforts. Allah may in fact want and need us to question ourselves, our lives, and our actions from time to time. While we might be perfectly content to draw a paycheck every month and simply pay our dues until retirement, this may not be what Allah has in mind for us.
If you are presently unemployed or underemployed, perhaps this is a great time to rethink your options and discover what Allah might be creating room for you to become. This a great time to step off the merry-go-round and explore what’s inside of you that Allah needs you to express. Begin to see yourself as more than just a producer of goods and services for consumption. You are a human being, full of wonder and hope, fears and ambition, sorrows and joys, with an inner worth that none of us could possibly know. Take this time to reconnect with the mystery of your own life and path in this world. Take a moment, right now, to reflect not on the past and what you’ve been or done, but on how Allah sees you, knows your true worth and the limitless potential that lies before you.
Please help us understand
That we did not come to this world to be a mere machine of production
With no greater purpose or meaning
Than to make a living but never fully live.
Help us know there is more to us and more for us.
Help us tap into our greater truth and potential,
Help us find a way to give our gifts, to be of service
in a world full of needs.
Help us understand that we are living miracles
Beyond our own comprehensions
Our own expressions of something magnificent
Disguised in a torn sweatshirt and old blue jeans
………. Amin ………