Seeing purpose in the mundane

Seeing purpose in the mundane February 25, 2015

By Emily Ann Higginbotham

Being an intern at a financial firm has given me incredible exposure to the ins and outs of wealth management. It has also afforded me prolonged exposure to the copy machine, the supply closet, and a never-ending amount of envelopes to stuff. With the company’s annual symposium coming up, my last few weeks have consisted of mailing out invitations, creating nametags, and preparing packets for clients to have at the conference. For the last several days, I have primarily functioned as a one-woman packet assembly line. A dozen sheets of paper stretched out over a long table, my task was to walk down this long table, picking up one sheet after the other, and neatly placing them into a packet with a couple’s name written across the front.

After an hour or so, I thought to turn on some music to help pass the time. As I5487874790_b5d1c7f7e3_z set my Pandora station to “Brad Paisley” I was not prepared for what happened next. Although I had been handling the same sheets of paper for what seemed like an eternity, I began to actually read what was written on each sheet, conference breakout sessions with titles like “How to Create a Digitized Will”, “How Alzheimer’s Relates to Financial Planning”, and “How to Prepare for Estate Planning”. Simultaneously, I took note of the unusually somber songs playing on my Pandora station – songs about growing old, losing loved ones, and preparing for eternity. I was overwhelmed!

In a moment, God had given me the gift of connecting my seemingly small and mundane work with his immensely purposeful and perfect work. I was no longer blind to the small but significant role he had called me to play in the lives of these people. I was helping offer comfort and peace to people facing aging, Alzheimer’s, and losing loved ones. Couples who had spent a lifetime together were now navigating strange and unfamiliar territory together, and it was too heavy for me! I felt led to pray for these people by name, praying for their financial situations, their marriages, and their relationship with their Creator. As Brad Paisley’s “When I Get Where I’m Going” washed over me, I couldn’t believe that I had let weeks go by without giving a single thought to the lives of these clients I was serving.

Walking down the assembly line again, I realized that this revelation hadn’t changed my job responsibilities at all – after all, I was still in a room by myself, stuffing papers neatly into a packet. My job had not suddenly become more riveting. My work still felt like work. But in God’s grace, if just for a moment, He had given me a glimpse of the bigger picture. And I felt such freedom in knowing that even when we can’t see it – God is using our work to bless others. All of a sudden I didn’t mind as much that my work was menial or repetitive, because God had met me in the mundane to tell me that my work mattered to my employer, our clients, and that, most of all, it mattered to Him.

Emily Ann Higginbotham is a Charlotte Fellow and originally published this post on the CF website.  Image: Derek Bruff, Squeaky Copier.

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