“So what’s new?” The question was well-merited, as it had come from a former co-worker who I had not seen in almost a year. My standard answer of, “You know, same old, same old…” came out readily, automatically almost. This question was one I had heard a lot recently. Why is it that every time I answered, I felt so discouraged?
Fast forward a week to when my dad gifted me the book Quitter by John Acuff. In the first few chapters, I read about something that hit home immediately. Our American culture celebrates change, but not consistency. John Maxwell also talks about this as one of the laws of growth–doing small things consistently over time to get big results. Consistency just doesn’t feel worthy of celebration. We hold goodbye parties when someone leaves work for another position. We like to ask friends and family what’s new because it is so much more “fun” to talk about that than the same old thing. It’s not often we get a party or even a thank you for just “staying put.” I just had my 4th anniversary at the church where I work, and while I got several LinkedIn congratulations from friends, not one person at work actually said anything about it. (To be fair, I do not remember or praise work anniversaries either. ;-)) Staying put at a job where the income is less than stellar and the role is so demanding has not always been easy, and I have certainly had other offers throughout the years that looked appealing. Yet being content and consistently pursuing the things God has called us to is one of the biggest and best things we can do with our lives. Did you get that? Being content and consistent in pursuing our calling is one of the biggest and best things we can do in life. Staying put is worthy of celebration, too! Have you been working at the same job for 5, 10, even 20 years? Congratulations! In a culture where change is so celebrated and where we (especially young adults) have such a hard time settling down and sticking to, well, anything, you have managed to stay put and do a great job with what has been given to you.
Don’t let culture define who you are or your ability to stick with it and grow in your calling. Of course, if change is necessary, I pray you find the strength to know when it should happen and the courage to pursue it without hesitation. Just don’t go for it because society thinks you should or because it is easier to move on. Remember, sometimes staying put is the real challenge and what will grow you more than that shiny, new opportunity or adventure.