Relying on memory, (and my USB that’s just been through the washing machine), I started to update my CV.
Last week I’d sorted out what I’d done in the last three years. My headings: Work History, Education and Training, Qualifications and Community Work provided a great asset to my record keeping system. Scanning down the pages, my ‘dones’ definitely built my confidence in my degree of employability. Surely I’d now be standing in better stead for some sort of nursing job. I’d done some stuff!
Some of this stuff involved learning, working and teaching within diverse contexts; some of it was training and up-skilling to improve my ability to care for more complex cases. In collating the document, I had to sell myself little, which was a little weird.
As I walked, flapping my pages fresh off the printer, I felt a tension forming in my mind. The ink on the page told of ‘stuff I’d done’ (which is a legit part of a CV) and formed a bit of a picture of who I was. The headings each tied me to an accomplishment. I felt I could stay in a place of comfort and security because of this.
But it just didn’t really seem sustainable.
Christians talk about identity a fair bit. In a culture that values what we ‘do’- (often asked politely in the first couple of sentences of a conversation) we are naturally connected to the set of assumptions and connotations that go before us. Our level of comfort and security in response to this can go either way, depending on where we’re at with the question.
So what about when there is no paper to flap around? What would it look like when it’s all stripped back. Just God and I – no page, no titles, no lists. What about when the ‘career opportunities’ have dried up, so I couldn’t even take those?
Sustainability is found in person and work of Jesus. He is the source of words on my page, He keeps it up to date (and out of the washing machine).
“a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.”
Education and Training:
My abilities and attributes were created by Him, before I came into existence.
“For we are Godʼs handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
I am qualified, by grace, through faith as an heir and as an ambassador to share this truth with others.
“and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,”
I have opportunities, every day, to share the compassion Jesus has show me- those that surround me and those I’m led to.
“Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.””
I’m still figuring out what part I am to play in response to this radical equation- the sustainable gift of security and qualification. Knowing my abilities and attributes were created by Him long ago gives me confidence to step into the good works and get ‘done’ what He has already planned out. Because He knows me.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christʼs power may rest on me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9
Taking credit and extracting value in what ‘I’ve done’ through self cultivated achievement is setting myself up for a fall. In Him, I’m free to boast in my weakness, and rely on His integrity which won’t wane, but remain sustainable.
I’m encouraged that no accomplishment on my part will add weight to His ultimate equation- everything: done.
Which is a relief, because our CVs all look the same to Him. And they look good.
‘Known by Him, loved by Him, secure in Him, qualified in Him.’