The short time spent on this course and more importantly, the topics presented by the different groups had a positive impact on how I look at balancing my work, family and even my ministry. To some, this may seem to be just one of those topics they usually see in classes. But for me, it can make a difference in a person. It can change someone who’s all about work, money or fame into someone who could provide love and care for their families. I also believe that this course could change someone with no care for the community into someone that could have tremendous contributions to society.
As I look back at the presentation of our group speaker, the story of their family driver still lingers in my mind and reminds me of how blessed I am to be with my wife and daughter every day. I’ve never felt the pain of being away from my parents and I could never be able to relate to their struggles. However, I do wish that things would be better for these families. Adding to the grueling work schedule is a busy church ministry life. I have known people who had full-time ministries that forgot about their families, lost their intimate relationships with their spouses and lost the respect of their children.
Mine has quite a different story: Perhaps, most students will share their stories of how they try their best to balance their current work and their families. Most will probably share how many birthdays, graduations or soccer games they missed due to commitments to work. We see this in movies and hear this from friends. Many kids grow up and wondered if their parents had enough love to sacrifice work and spend more time with them. I used to have a typical life back when I was working in a BPO company. I went to work, got home to my wife and daughter and served God in His church on Sundays.
It was pretty much the same thing until things and I thought that contentment means just being happy with what I am back then. In other words, I slacked off and never aimed for higher goals. Then, the big news came: we were told that our whole team will be dissolved due to the recession in the US and we would lose our jobs. I tried to look for another job but the opportunities that opened to me were freelance jobs, where I can work at home and spend more time with my family. The next couple of years saw my relationship with my wife and daughter to be even stronger, with both quantity and quality of time devoted to them.
Balancing wasn’t a problem; I had all the time in the world and I will never trade the times I spent with them with anything else in this world. It seemed perfect…so what was the problem then? Sadly, my career took a toll and my skills were left behind. Freelancing had a lot of benefits; however, the job that I took and expected to boom deteriorated. It became more difficult to bear with and I found myself in dire straits. I started to think that if my skills become obsolete and I don’t start doing anything in my career, my family will suffer financially and we might end up bankrupt and with nowhere to go.
While my colleagues have gone on to better jobs and positions, I got left behind. What about my ministry in the church? While I was logging hours in the church during Sundays, it also took a toll on me and my family. My relationship with Jesus also worsened. I may just be doing this because it’s my obligation and no longer for the love of Christ. My joy and contentment started to erode. This should have been fulfilling, right? Others tell me I am so blessed because I get to work at home and be with my family longer. However, I was starting to be worried and there are times that I regret having worked at home. My Realization:
When I look back at what happened at my career, I was in self-denial and blamed others instead of improving myself when things started to fall apart. What’s worse was I neglected the blessings of having spent a lot of time with my family. Enrolling in MBA was a turning point in my life. The experience of learning new things, adding new skills were just part of the benefits I gained from studying again. It was the lessons in life that would have a greater impact in my life and would even influence some big decisions. The topics by our speakers, together with the lessons I learned from Pat Gelsinger are very valuable.
Now, I have a better perspective and appreciate more the opportunity that I had. Wonderfully, my relationship with my Savior has been revived and has been a lot better. I fact, this new vision helped me make a big decision in transferring my membership to another Christian church and be in a better position to serve my community. Even though it is important to work outside the home again, I have a renewed focus on the important things in my life. I believe more that I could achieve a fulfilling career while continuing to be a good husband and father to my children, and my new Christian community.
I feel more confident now in making difficult decisions in my work without sacrificing my family, beliefs and convictions. More importantly, with God’s help, everything can fall into places and my work can evolve into a vocation, where I can serve the community and inspire other people. As what Jesus taught in Matthew 5:13, Christians can be the Salt and Light of the world (that is, to have a bigger impact in society and show people the path to Christianity through the testimony of our lives). This is more than real to me now and this is my hope with other students of this course.