Dion's random ramblings

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Making the most of this day, come what may.

My wife has been facing some challenges at work recently. She works for a public finance company that does work for departments of the South African government. One of their primary tasks is doing skills development and upliftment training for unemployed school leavers, and persons who have been hired into posts but lack the skills to adequately perform the tasks their jobs require. It sounds crazy, but that's a reality. People are hired for many reasons other than competency to do their work. And, let me hasten to add, often these reasons are very good! Of course, at times they are not.

What she does sounds like wonderful work doesn't it? She is in charge of a team of people, managing them, overseeing a number of qualifications and short courses, helping the unemployed, and those we desperately need employment but face the struggle of going to work daily feeling inadequate to do what they have been hired to do.

Sadly though, as with most companies that do work for government departments, payment from the State is slow in coming.

Not only is the system of payment to providers fraught with inefficiency and unnecessary bureaucracy, but there is a great deal of corruption and maladministration in some government departments - this often stops payment completely. It has meant that the company my wife works for has had to wait for payments amounting to millions of Rands, some for up to a year, because the department that was supposed to pay them has had its accounts frozen, or the money that was supposed to be used to pay them has landed up in some government official's private bank account and has been spent, and many other such problems. As anyone who balances their books knows, it is difficult to survive from month to month when you don't have enough money coming in - no matter how much is owing to you! I have often prayed, and wondered, how many good companies have closed down because of poor cash flow? I am praying for their company. They do such good work.

Sadly the reality is that sometimes even the most noble and admirable work can be thwarted by evil and sinful people, and by corrupt and inefficient systems.

So, today she left for work feeling a little downhearted. I offer this prayer for her, and for all others, who face the prospect of this day with uncertainty and struggle, for those who are employed and unhappy, and for those who long to be employed but cannot find any work. For those who desperately need their employment but find themselves out of their depth.

A prayer for this day:

My God, you saw me in my unformed substance and numbered my days before I had lived even a single one of them. Be close to me today, my God, and help me to love you first, and to do my best for you in all that I do. Help me to live freely, and without the restraints of this world and my circumstances. Give me the assurance that ultimately you are in control of my life, and that there is nothing that I shall face this day that you cannot help me to deal with. And so, help me to approach all people, and all situations, with the love and openness that only you can give. Let me manage all my affairs in accordance with your will so that when I stand to give an account of this day, I may do so with confidence, and not be ashamed. In the name of Christ, the servant and the savior, I pray. Amen.

Here is something to consider:

"There is a two way relationship between prayer and life. Prayer can be seen as the focusing and redirecting of an attitude to God and to our fellow [human beings] that runs through all that we do. On the other hand we can see our daily life as something which prayer purifies, directs and consecrates. This interrelationship of prayer and life was expressed by William Temple in his well know saying "It is not that conduct is the end of life and worship helps it but that worship is the end of life and conducts tests it." Temple is here using worship in a brad sense to include all of life. For in worship, as the derivation of the work from worth implies, we declare what we value most. If in prayer I declare that I value God above all things and in my life I show that my own selfish interests come first I am making a nonsense of my praying. We declare how we value God as much by our actions, by the way we treat other people, by the manner in which we do our work, as by anything we say. If my actions are wrong or wrongly motivated prayer cannot make them right. If however, despite my failures and inconsistencies, I do on the whole want to put God above all things then prayer will help to purify my motives and clarify my judgment."

-- From The river within by Christopher Bryant

Scripture verse for today:

Col 3:23-24 (NIV) Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Drop me a line and let me know if I can pray for you.

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