Learning to be your own person can be difficult. As I grew in skills, it would be quite some time before I was a good employee. That whole hindsight is 20/20 thing ... sadly true. I wish that there had been a mentor in my young career would have sat down across a cup of coffee with me and spoken some truth.
Life is not fair and for a long time, I never fully understood that. There would be people that were born into a different situation, different area code and different economic bracket but at the same time, there is no clear, equal path.

I have always been a hard worker; someone who starts hard and finishes the same. I was used to being a rockstar but there are obstacles that I would constantly run into that disheartened me. People that constantly got a free pass regardless of their efforts or their results. I just couldn’t understand why that type of behavior was accepted and even encouraged.

It took a few faceplants before I was able to finally learn my lesson. It was a hard lesson to learn. I had to wrap my head around the idea that my worth, my goals, my output have nothing to do with measuring up to those around me.

My performance was on me and the only person I could measure myself against was ... me. It comes back to one of those random sermons that I missed live and pulled up on my phone later. My pastor was talking about how easy it is to get caught up in the world around us forgetting that while we live here, we are not of here.
The concept was simple. We were basically working for Jesus. He used the example of a custodian he knew. The man had a good job at a mortgage company until the nasty housing debacle of 2008. Afterward, he struggled to find work and finally accepted a job with a cleaning crew that cleaned our church. Night after night he could be found happily singing as he worked.

The pastor introduced himself late one night and offering a coffee, sat down with the man. He had to know what was so good in his life that he would sing constantly as he went about his duties. The man said that while life had thrown him a curveball, the Lord had provided. Simply put, he was cleaning toilets for Jesus.

There have been few sermons that found me so personally affected. Here was a man who had it all -- education, experience and ethics -- still he was completely stranded without a lifeline. Yet when no new doors opened for him, he didn’t allow his pride or his ego to stand in the way. He took a job that would allow him to work at night, so that his wife, a nurse, could work the day shift and they could eliminate daycare and after-school care costs.

This family’s story and their belief that regardless of what came career-wise... they would be fine. And it all came back to the idea that they worked for Jesus. Regardless of who signed the checks, what the job title read and the rest of it all... they worked for HIM. And if you have struggled before yet turned to him... you know. Jesus provides.

I have found that it’s not easy and he requires that you stretch and grow in the process... but if you treat every job, every grueling task as if you are doing it personally for HIM... the reaping is sweet.

The next day, I turned my attention to simply working for Jesus. Ignoring the rest while keeping my focus on him. It was not the easiest thing... I constantly found myself drifting into the doubt but then I would simply start whistling while I work. Then it would become very easy to stop comparing myself to those around me. Easy to work as I work and not focus on those around me. You can’t compare apples to oranges and in my case... I learned that this apple works for Jesus... and oranges will be oranges.
Kalynn Brazeal is a conservative, Christian wife/mom/country girl carrying around an MBA, several decades of business experience and a strong opinion. Now living in Colorado, she continues to share her column on life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and cake. She can be reached by email at kmbrazeal@icloud.com.