Extracurricular Work

We often feel like our schedules are full but we still aren’t fulfilled.  Does this ring true for you?  A few years ago I was working a busy career but found that I just didn’t feel engaged.  I had a lot of untapped learning potential and I was afraid it might waste away for lack of use.  Quickly I realized that personal development cannot always be done “on the clock” similar to the way all of our spiritual growth can’t be done in a Sunday service. We have pay attention to our spiritual growth in the same way we have to work towards our personal development.

It may sound counterintuitive that we can feel most peaceful by adding more to our plates, but in some situations this actually does work.  For me, at the time, it was joining a Toastmasters group. I began working on my ability to communicate effectively both as a speaker and in small or one-on-one situations.  It took two hours of my time each week but it energized and empowered me which was worth far more than the two hours I “gave up.”  It helped me grow personally and, as an added bonus, gave me new friends and additions to my business network.  Those have been worth their weight in gold.

Another example from my own life of extracurricular work (done whether you have a fulltime job or you’re in search for one) is retail.  I received a big promotion in December and my new role would require me to dress up more often.  I stopped by the mall to grab a few new staples and the manager of one of my favorite stores for “work clothes” happened to be working at the register.  She asked if I would be interested in working one night per week in exchange for a 70% discount on clothes.  Yes, actually – I would.  I needed to revamp my wardrobe and as I later found out it’s been a great way to network with other business professionals who are there for the same purpose.  I’ve saved money, made a little money, and continued to expand my network.

I challenge you to think outside of the box.  Find ways to get professional, personal, social, and spiritual engagement.  Also, take responsibility for each of these categories.  Unfortunately too often we’re looking to pastors, bosses, spouses, etc. to meet our needs or to help us feel engaged.  It’s not fair to expect others to do these things for us, we have to work at them ourselves.

2 Peter 3:18 says: “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To him be the glory now and forever! Amen.”

Colossians 3:23 says: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

May we all work to grow in our knowledge of the Lord and work hard at each and every task before us as unto Him.  And lastly I pray this for you on the journey: “May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establishing the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.” (Psalm 90:17)

Becca Christensen is a Crossroads Career Board Member and the editor of this blog since 2020. She recently moved into accounting within the automotive industry. She’s an avid reader, an enthusiastic football fan, and competitive at any and all board games.  

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