03 March 2009

From the Evangelist’s Desk

That’s my job!

I was reading a passage from the Bible today. (Well it was today when I read it, but it will be last month when you read this), regarding Moses acting as a magistrate. His role as magistrate would have taken place over 3000 years ago. But I thought so similar to us today, not the magistrate bit, but the work overloaded and not enough time in the day bit. But in the end ‘That’s my job!’

Don’t we often think that we are the only one that can do that job? No one else will be able to do it like us. It will take to long to teach them. The list of excuses could go on and on, but I am sure you get the basic idea.

So here I am doing my job, the workload is increasing and I am taking longer and longer to undertake the tasks set before me. Someone then comes up with this idea, how about training someone else to do your job and then you can share the workload and take time out. How do you feel? I would suggest that many of us would feel threatened, vulnerable and even at risk, because we may then feel that we may become expendable. No longer Mr or Mrs ‘That’s my job’. But Mr or Mrs ‘I’m a Team.’ As we say at work there is no ‘I’ in team.

Moses had a good counsellor, that being his father-in-law, Jethro. Jethro offered some sound advice to Moses.

The advice I feel went something like this.

‘Look Mr. That’s My Job, you can’t go it alone any longer, things are getting to much for you, besides the queues of people waiting for you to act on their behalf is getting longer than a supermarket checkout.’ This said to affirm that Mr. That’s My Job was a very busy bee and the inability to complete the task any longer was not his fault.

Then Mr. That’s My Job gets something that he wasn’t expecting. Confirmation that much of his work was important and could only be carried out by him, in person, he was to handle the important tasks.

But by the same token, Mr. That’s My Job is told that the old father-in-law feels that much of his workload is mundane and could in fact be handled by other discerning people. The interview for these people had to be God tight and all Curriculum Vitae’s presented to the Number One Boss. The main interviews are to be Mr. That’s My Job and Number One Boss.

So we now go from feeling threatened, downhearted and possibly vulnerable, to feeling needed, safe, comfortable, respected and most of all, the new Mr. Team Player.

I have had many bosses in my time of work, and I must share that not many of them have the skill and counselling technique offered to Moses by Jethro. After reading the Passage shared below, I thought how much we can still learn today from something that took place so long ago, and people try to tell me that the Bible has no relevance today. Well I say, ‘Read on me hearties we can learn from the old ones’

Exodus 18:13-23 (New Living Translation)

Jethro’s Wise Advice

 The next day, Moses took his seat to hear the people’s disputes against each other. They waited before him from morning till evening.
 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?”
 Moses replied, “Because the people come to me to get a ruling from God.  When a dispute arises, they come to me, and I am the one who settles the case between the quarrelling parties. I inform the people of God’s decrees and give them his instructions.”
“This is not good!” Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed. “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself. Now listen to me, and let me give you a word of advice, and may God be with you. You should continue to be the people’s representative before God, bringing their disputes to him. Teach them God’s decrees, and give them his instructions. Show them how to conduct their lives. But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. They should always be available to solve the people’s common disputes, but have them bring the major cases to you. Let the leaders decide the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you. If you follow this advice, and if God commands you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.”
© Rick Hayes