Back To Work

So I woke up this morning and went to work. It was a shorter commute than normal. I put on a pair of shoes, walked downstairs and started working.

Maybe I should back up a bit: I quit Panera.

It happened right before Christmas. Apologies for not blogging about it, but I wanted to concentrate on doing nothing over the holidays [note: mission completed]. After three months of employment, the end has come.

The purpose for me working at Panera was twofold: 1) to meet people from the community with whom I could build relationships and 2) to make a little extra money on the side. Unfortunately, due to the fast-paced environment, I was unable to develop good relationships with patrons. My job was to get people in and out of the store as fast as possible, not to get to know them better. And while I was making money, it became more than a part time job. I should take it as a compliment that they appreciated my work ethic but that meant more hours than I needed. Panera, though a fine company, is extremely dysfunctional and the daily chaos was really getting to me.

There were other things at work here. At the end of last year, I was primed to get two different job offers that would've paid much better than Panera. I thought I would get offered both; I didn't get either. Kelly and I sat down and we discussed what my goals are. The reason we left our previous ministry, the reason we moved to Walnut Hills, is to start this church. I've been disappointed that I haven't been able to commit enough time to Echo.

This feeling has been brewing in me for a few weeks now. My first day at Panera was the day after my last day at Mason. I haven't had ample time to invest in our new ministry. And it was starting to bother me. Plus, coming home exhausted after eight hours of work, I found myself putting off church tasks in order to rest.

All of this led us to the following decision: I'm going to spend the first few months this year "full-time" at Echo. How long "a few months" will be remains to be seen. Our community has set a goal to have 60 people in our core group by June. This is a lofty goal, but I feel like I need to do some of the background work to help us get there.

The thing that kept me from making this decision was my lack of trust in God. Throughout this process, God has provided for us in every way. But the thought of not being able to do it all myself has kept me from diving in. Now I'm ready and . . .

I'm so excited, I just can't hide it.

Just this first day I was able to get some things done that I've been putting off for weeks. And, being a self-starter, I think working from home will work out for me. So I was "in to work" at 6:45 this morning, called it quits when Kelly came home this afternoon, and had a good first day.

Oh, and my boss is the coolest guy I know.