I celebrated the day that marked my fourth year at work pulling a prank on Joe for April Fools.
For you to appreciate how serious we were about this, this happened in the middle of a busy season at work brought by a campus conference we were organizing. In the midst of all that, it still took the whole of our office to connive and plan for the prank.
We all came in agreement that we wanted it to come out really good (or bad?), so we took the day before that as an opportunity to set him up for this prank and plant traps around our beloved boss so to make sure we really got him when we drop the final bomb.
I could just only shake my head in sheer laughter now remembering the silliness of this idea.
The game plan was simple.
I was gonna set a meeting with him to discuss my impending resignation then hand him my resignation letter in the end. When he opens the resignation letter, he gets a paper with “Happy April Fool’s Day” and then that’s the time the whole team joins me in the room, video recording and all, to reveal everything.
When the big day arrived, everyone was on the ball. And then at 3:30pm, everyone dropped whatever they were doing, and that meeting happened.
I sat with Joe in the conference room while the rest of the team gathered in another room to listen to our conversation via phone patch. I told you, we were ready.
Everything was doing quite well but our plan suffered a little setback when Joe didn’t want to open my resignation letter.
Instead, he grilled me with questions I didn’t expect he’d ask while I kept convincing him I’m sure of my decision of leaving so *hint, hint* it’s time for him to open the letter.
At this point, I wasn’t sure who was at the losing end: me having to answer all his questions for nothing or him prolonging his own agony.
Few more minutes and finally I made him open it… TA-DAH! “HAPPY APRIL FOOL’S DAY!”
Didn’t need to tell you but yeah, it was crazy after that. We had too many crying laughters for sure.
Til to this very day, I am still not quite sure if I am already fully forgiven for what I did. That’s the reason why I can’t still bring myself to trust anyone once a year. LOL.
We like to tell and re-tell this story whenever we want to have a good laugh, or whenever there’s a new member joining our team who we need to brief about the kind of people he/she is ending up working with.
But what people don’t usually know is that there is a part of my conversation with Joe in that conference room that I like to remember on days when the laughter dies down and things get real—the kind of days especially when it’s harder to fight for my calling.
Remember the part when he started grilling me with questions?
I don’t remember anymore so much of what he said, honestly, because at that time I wasn’t really paying attention, haha.
But I do remember that there was a part there when he said something about my calling—that he was asking me if quitting the ministry is really what God wants me to do. That he was reminding me that this is beyond leaving a job but what is at stake is my calling.
I sat there looking at him as he talked more and I started thinking,
“This guy, he’s about to lose a staff. He’s got a whole campus ministry to run and I’m sure there’s a lot of amazing people out there who would wanna sign up to be part of his team and who he could get to replace me. And yet here he is, not thinking of any of that, and all he cares about now is my calling.”
I went home that day thanking God more than ever for bringing me to a workplace with people who don’t just think work, but think calling.
For surrounding me with not just amazing colleagues who make excellent results or great friends who play silly pranks on each other, but most of all, people who are there to guard my calling.
I realize that’s what all of us have been doing—to be guardians of each other’s calling. To be each other’s reminder that beyond workload or meeting a deadline, this is a calling.
That we are not after skills or talents but character.
That we walk side by side, well, no—we march locked-arms and willingly fight bloody battles together when the enemy tries to steal us away from where God wants us to be.
We pray for and with each other asking God that in everything we go through, it will cause us to be more like Him. And that we will live a pure and holy life because it is our calling.
I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful that this team, the relationships we get to build, and the work we get to do, is not just of here on earth but something we do with eternity in mind.
What a privilege to battle with these men and women and fight for the calling that God has placed in our lives.