It’s the day after New Year’s and I’m having the post-holiday blues; or more poignantly back-to-work fever. You know that feeling very well…the Christmas decorations have been boxed up, back to school preparations and schedules have commenced, New Year resolutions and goals have been penned…yes you are all set for the days ahead as you settle back into routines…frankly I’m not ready yet…I need a vacation from my holiday vacation! I kissed my husband see you soon this morning as he stepped out to start his first day of work this year; tomorrow, I will kiss my baby girl see you soon as she starts her first day back in preschool this year; and then comes Wednesday, I will pep talk myself all the way into the office. This is serious, the back-to-work fever is real and I must shake it off.
As I laid on the couch Monday afternoon enjoying my last few hours of binge watching Nigerian movies (if you’ve ever watched one of these movies you know a good four hour block is required to complete one movie within which there are several plots…lol), I thought to myself “how do I shake this back-to-work fever off?” The first sentence that came to mind was “whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for man” and that’s from Colossians 3:23. This verse not only puts into context who I should be working and living for but also, helps me refocus my mind, body and soul on what matters in the end – doing everything from my heart, with all my heart. So I paused the movie and dived deeper into the Word to find other scriptures that would set my mind right and shake off this fever.
Going back to work means interacting with colleagues and more people than I really did over the holidays (as my preference is introversion, I derive energy from being alone, in my thoughts, reflections…so rarely traveling over the holidays was perfect), I have to ensure that “my conversations are always full of grace, seasoned with salt so that I may know how to respond to others” and this is from Colossians 4:6. It is not always easy to do this given the position I have and the nature of the professional relationships I have with colleagues – mostly managers and leaders. Sometimes it is indeed tough to lead in grace but I have learned over the years in my leadership role to also ‘be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger” James 1:19 …emphasis on the first two (quick to listen and slow to speak). While the expectation is that as a leader you speak your opinion, sometimes good leadership means allowing others to speak fully and completely…cutting in, asserting yourself unnecessarily isn’t a sign of a strong leader, it’s a sign of an insecure one…and that I am not!
Then there is the great Atlanta traffic which I must be prepared for; it requires extreme patience in. I have a daily commute of 1-1¼ hours one way, a lot can happen if you’ve ever witnessed how folks drive out here! I pray that I am “completely humble and gentle, patient, bearing with others in love” just as Paul laid it out in Ephesians 4:2! I have already asked God to pardon me in those moments when I am weak in my language and to continuously work on renewing my mind and tongue so that my inward expressions of love from Him flows outward to the drivers on these busy ATL streets and highways.
OK I should be all set right? Well there’s more – it is evident that this back-to-work fever is actually an unnecessary anxiety that the enemy is presenting as another feeling that generally speaking most people go through…well I am not most people, neither are you. So to this anxiety I declare, paraphrasing from Philippians 4:6-7 that “I am not anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, I will present my requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all earthly understanding, will surely guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus.”
Above all, I am resting my concerns, my fears, and my thoughts at the feet of God; knowing that “if I continue to listen to Him, I will live in safety and be at ease without fear of harm whatsoever!” Let this Proverbs 1:33 be just what the ‘doctor’ ordered to help you get rid of your back-to-work, back-to-school, back-to-reality fever – one thing’s for sure, mine is all cleared up and work…here I come!
Be Blessed, Stay FREE