I remember when I graduated from college almost four years ago and plotted my career path as a freelance illustrator, the well-intentioned arguments from my father on the prospect of getting a “regular” job usually involved some mention of “benefits.” I heard it so often, in fact, that I began to think that it really didn’t matter what job I got, as long as the benefits were good. After a while I resolved to myself, “Self, I don’t want to work at a job I hate for forty years just for the benefits.”
Many times these days, when I talk to my peers with “regular” jobs, talk of their benefits package seems to take precedence over the actual duties of their job. Four weeks paid vacation. Full dental. A prescription plan. “I’ve got a new job. Great benefits.”
Granted, I know my dad was well-meaning, and I know that my peers are fortunate to have a great health plan they can count on. Things happen, and you better be covered in some form when they do. But lately, I’ve begun to wonder about all this “benefits” banter. Is it merely a security blanket to make one think that everything will go well in one’s life? Is it an easy excuse why one can’t take a leap and venture into a more rewarding, and possibly more profitable career?
“If I give this job up, I’ll lose my benefits!”…Dear God, no! Not the benefits!
What about the intangible benefits? Like waking up each and every day excited about the challenges that lay ahead? Or relaxing on a Sunday night WITHOUT the pit in your stomach that comes when you realize that Monday is only a restless night’s sleep away? Or the reward of knowing that the effort you put in means more than just earning that weekly paycheck and low deductible.
I think we as Americans have become quite comfortable. We have every advantage; all the benefits. But the strength of this country was built on the courage of men and women who dared to dream, and risked their security for something better. While I’m better covered now under Kim’s health care plan from her teaching gig than I was when I was a single freelancer, I have had a similar viewpoint on benefits throughout my young adult life. I figure that if I am truly moving in the direction that I believe God has called me to, then I’ll just have to count on Him to take care of me on the journey.
So far, He has provided for us in some unexplainable ways. I’m coming to realize that my security lies not in my bank account, or my diploma, or my benefits package, but from God alone. And I’m okay with that. Because over the last four years, I’ve seen that His benefits package is second-to-none.