Now that I’ve made the all too common leap from education to the workforce and back to education again, one question I often am asked is “Which do you like better, work or school?” I always enthusiastically declare “School! I loved college.” Now of course, I am looking back with probably rose-colored lenses. I remember when I was in college, I longed for my high school days. What did I like about college?
I liked and equally disliked the Berkeley bubble. That meant I was surrounded by all these brilliant people who I felt very average next to. I liked the flexibility of generally being able to choose which classes to take and when. Point in case, I took one 8am class in my entire college career, in my first semester of freshman year, and never did it again. Guess who planned that? I also liked my time and support network. There was plenty of time in college. Time for tears to fall and conversations to be had at random hours in the day. Time for games to be played with plenty of friends. Time for wandering around cafés and libraries. I don’t do that anymore.
My point though is not to reminisce over how awesome school was, but rather to be thankful for what I can be thankful for in working.
When I work, there are 8 hours in the day minus lunch where I know exactly where I have to be and what I have to be doing– being productive. I can channel my energy and feel like I have created something by the end of the day. Instead of constantly taking in information, I am constantly producing, exercising a different muscle. Maybe that’s mundane and obvious. Working has also showed me that the world around us is composed of an extremely diverse body of human beings that are simultaneously interesting and frustrating. But I think above all, after working, every time I sit before a plate of food, I am very thankful to the Lord who provided me that food on the table. It does seem ironic, doesn’t it? After all this time working, I have to say, it’s not because of me. It’s not because of what I did or created. Everything I have is because the Lord gave. With that, a childhood prayer becomes more heartfelt, “Thank you for the food, Lord.”