Today marks my second year of working at LifeBox. Two years have gone by but it feels as if it was just yesterday when I first came in as a new hire in the office. Time does fly fast when you are having a great time.
I realize I never had the chance to actually write the continuation of the blog I posted two years ago about my thoughts on my working season. I guess today it is but just fitting to do that, haha.
Just want to share my thoughts on few of the things I learned in my two years of working at LifeBox.
I am never too young to be used by God. I was twenty four days short of my 20th birthday when I got hired at LifeBox so I technically started working as a teenager. They could’ve gotten someone else older, more experienced and maturer than I was at that time. But then they decided it was worth the risk to develop and invest in the life of that 19-year old girl who, four days ago, has just gone out of college. Much of the reason why I believe in the next generation is not because I work in a campus ministry that has that as a battle cry but because it cannot be more true in my life when they said they believe in the next generation. Even back when I was a student and a volunteer and now that I am working, it has always been true. I am a product of that as much as I am passionate about it. Never in my two years at work did I feel my young voice is not important. Regardless of age, they’d encourage me to speak up and share my thoughts, let me take different roles, entrust responsibilities, give opportunities to lead – always believing and backing me up that I can.
I am still young and have a lot of things to learn. While being entrusted with big things at a young age to do work is worth celebrating, it is just as humbling to know that there is so much that I still need to learn. I appreciate being in a working environment that allows me to grow in the talents and skills that God has given me, that lets me make mistakes and learn from them and for being surrounded with busy men and women who have gone way ahead of me and yet are so generous in intentionally setting aside time to mentor, teach, impart and share what they have. I am a work in progress and there is definitely still a lot of room for improvement. It’s always a privilege learning from them. It’s been two years, but for sure there’s still a whole life out there that is waiting to be explored. Still a long, long way to go. I’m beyond excited for that.
Work hard. There are no shortcuts in life. If you want to see best results, you have to work hard for it. The guys in the office are some of the most hard working people I know. If I am at all a hard worker it’s because I learned and got it from them. It’s working with them everyday that I learned how to give my best shot in everything, to stay focused on the goal, to go an extra mile, to make each day productive and fruitful. It’s work – a hard work at that.
Do not forget to have fun. I was having a mentoring session with one of the event coordinators in church and I asked her what she loves most about doing events. To this she said, “You know what’s so addicting about running an event? It’s live,” she paused with eyes bright and smiled before she continued, “It only happens once. You cannot repeat it anymore so you have to be there and enjoy every bit of it.” Never saw running events like that before. And I thought it’s something you can apply not just when doing events but in life as well. Now I look at each day as an event. It’s live. And you cannot repeat it. So I make sure I enjoy every bit of it and have fun.
I love how in our office, having fun is much encouraged. So while we are not busy working hard (or sometimes even if we are busy working hard), we are one crazy bunch playing pranks at each other, hacking Facebook accounts, fighting over on who should we crown as the weirdest among us and what tea place has the best tasting milk tea, telling jokes and crying “Foul!”, having a meal together, nibbling pistachio nuts in staff meetings, laughing and goofing around, celebrating our sameness and differences (a lot of differences!). I learned that work is not all about getting things done. It’s enjoying what you are doing while getting things done. I am thankful to be working with a team who does not only work hard but also know how to have fun. Oh do we know how to have fun!
Be faithful in all you do. No matter how big or small the task is, be faithful in doing that. Be faithful in photocopying handouts, be faithful in taking down minutes, be faithful in running events, faithful in attending meetings, faithful in coming to work. Be faithful in answering emails. Be faithful in serving.
In whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as if working for the Lord and not for man. It’s not gonna be all perfect and beautiful. There are days when you’re all passionate and fired up, when everyone gets along well with everybody. But days will come when it’s hard and challenging and rough. Days when you’ll get disappointed, upset or disheartened. But then in whatever circumstance, come to work and work with all your heart anyway. Work as if you are working for God, not for your boss, or for yourself, or for anyone else. Set your heart always to work as if you are working for the Lord.
There’s definitely tons more that I learned in the last two years but let me leave you with that for now. :)
And so today, on the second year of working at LifeBox, I am deeply grateful.
Best is yet to come!
Last month, I had the opportunity to be in the front row seat of witnessing a new milestone in the lives of two ladies in our discipleship group as they have gone through Victory Weekend. In culmination of this two-day retreat, they were water baptized along with around seventy other men and women. I was there teary-eyed for a moment as I watch every plunge and every shout of joy that echoes the freedom and victory they have in Christ. Victory Weekend never gets old.
I left shortly after the whole thing was over as most of them decided to stay for a swim. I didn’t get to say a decent goodbye to the two girls so I opted to send them a text message to congratulate them. I wanted to send a long message for that day was special but I figured these few words were more than enough to say everything I wanted to say: Desire more of Jesus in your life and you’ll never go wrong.
Few minutes after that, I received a reply from one of the girls. Her first few words were sweet to my heart until I reached the part of her message that says this: “Thank you for your patience.”
Wait stop! — was that “patience” I just saw? Who was patient? Me?!
I chuckled because I know patience is not the best word to describe the likes of me. I am not patient. Ask my friends how many times I’ve walked out every time there’s a need to fall in line. You couldn’t even make me sit still for a long time. Waiting is horrendous to me. I’m not patient. Not especially with people.
But in between the chuckles and figuring out when and how did I become “patient” enough for her to thank me for being one, I thought to myself maybe I am. Maybe I have. Maybe between now and then, as I have chosen to go out there to do what He has commissioned us to do – that is to make disciples – God has pruned me along the road to a point of fruition.
Maybe this time the fruit was more patience.
I realize that in the process of making disciples, God also changes you as much as He changes the person you disciple. And when you decide to go out there and trust God as you reach out to the lost, we all become the person we naturally are not. Suddenly you become compassionate. You become loving. You begin to exert effort. You give time. You become a people person. You talk more now.
Or to some like me, you become patient. Notice how we become all that not before we make disciples, but in the process of making disciples. Sometimes we like to use our own inadequacies as an excuse why we can’t make disciples. Not good enough. Not smart enough. Not relational enough. Not eloquent enough. Not matured enough. We wait until the time we think we are “ready.”
Truth is, we won’t be. Unless we let go of trusting our own abilities and let God use the imperfect, incapable, inadequate human beings like you and me. He doesn’t need you to be perfect. He only needs you to be willing.
It only goes to show that when we make disciples, it’s the work of God in our lives. Not on our own we will do it, but only by the Spirit that Jesus promised.