Hitching up the Wagon
I think it is no big secret that my chosen profession is the law. I often get asked what type of attorney I am, and I often quip, “a good one!” I do not like to talk about what I do, because I try very hard to make sure that my profession does not become my identity. I have witnessed too many individuals get so wrapped up in my profession that they cannot separate themselves from the job. That is another possible blog idea.
I am a trial/litigation attorney. I represent and defend individuals who have been sued usually because they have been in an automobile accident. These cases have the potential of ending in a courtroom, and I have had my fair share of trials. TV shows and movies have made what I do seem glamorous and exciting. I can assure you that it is not. More often than not, you will find me behind a computer working on paperwork. The majority of trial work is done behind a computer screen, not in front of a jury. This work can be tedious and long, and require trade off and sacrifices to work/life balance to get the job done. This can be a hard lesson for many young attorneys.
One young trial attorney never learned that lesson. The attorney started the work with excitement and vigor. The attorney liked the prestige and the accolades that the job could bring a person. Everyone could see that this was intoxicating to this attorney. In certain communities, Lawyer or Attorney is a prefix to one’s name in professional and social activities. This attorney enjoyed the acclaim.
This attorney liked the idea of the courtroom as well. I have been told that only about 10% of attorneys ever conduct a jury trial. Trial work has a prestige amongst our profession as well. This attorney reveled in the adulation and respect the attorney received in doing the trial work.
The problem was the work. This attorney did not want to put in the work and sacrifice needed for the job. This soon caught up to this attorney and this attorney began to stumble and get behind in the work. This attorney thought the solution was to do external work. This attorney began to volunteer in organizations and social groups, liking the prestige and hoping these groups would hide deficiencies to the underlying job the attorney was doing. The more groups and honors that accumulated, the more this attorney would sacrifice job production for more outside honors. Eventually, the charade caught up with this attorney and everything began to suffer. It was apparent to everyone that this attorney was “phoning it in.”
The attorney’s solution was to leave the original job and look for something not as demanding. I have not seen this attorney near a court room since; and the attorney’s original work load was transferred to other attorneys, overloading them.
I feel the Bible/Christ warns us about doing work without sacrifice and passion. Matthew 5:13 states the following: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” Christ also said: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29 NIV. While Christ said his yoke was light, he did not ask us to take up a wagon or get on a horse. The yoke was used by oxen to pull things; so essentially, we are still talking about hard work.
Our church is confronted with a lot of important decisions in the near future. Individually, we may also be confronted with choices, personal or otherwise, that will affect our lives. These decisions or choices may seem glamorous. These decisions or choices may be something that we think we want to do. These decisions and choices will have a great amount of work and sacrifice behind them. Everything we do as a Church or an individual has consequences intended or unintended.
It is my hope that we avoid being that young attorney who got enamored with glory of what the work will bring, thereby, avoiding the actual work. I hope our church chooses the path that Christ will lay with an understanding that it will require hard work and sacrifice to complete the task/path. Once we do, the blessings will outweigh the work that was initially needed to do the task.