More than a job: A full life

“I believe that the whole world about me is full of beauty, joy and power, even as it is full of God, and that I can share it and enjoy it if I attune myself to my Divine Plan and am inwardly open toward God and outwardly helpful toward [others].”   ~ Glenn Clark, The Divine Plan

A moment of personal connection. Meeting a SIA entrepreneur at a Malawian market in 2011.

A moment of personal connection. Meeting a SIA entrepreneur at a Malawian market in 2011.

I have a tendency to get caught up in the details of work. I like to organize things and plan next steps, moving from task to task. And sometimes I lose sight of the bigger picture. When I read the quote above by Glenn Clark, I was jolted back into considering how all the work I do for Spirit in Action is part of my fuller life; something that inseparable from all other parts of my life.

The quote captures it perfectly. I have been blessed to see a world of hope, beauty, goodness, and possibility around me. And when I stop to be grateful I am reminded to thank God (“inwardly open toward God”) and share this vision and hope with others (“outwardly helpful toward others”).

Values at work

“How did you get into this work?” a student at Illinois College asked me after I presented about SIA. As in, how does one come to want to work for a non-profit?

When I started working for SIA six years ago (!) I had just left my job at an insurance company. It was after the switch that I realized the importance (for me) of working for an organization that has emotions, learning, and faith built into its very fabric. At SIA, those things I value most – including the desire to spread goodness – won’t be pushed aside.

This alignment of values and work doesn’t only happen in non-profts. I can trace my desire for passionate work to my artist parents and my professor husband. When the sole focus isn’t on profit organizations, universities, and businesses can afford to spend more time focused on people and relationships.

Local coordinator, Godfrey Matovu, leads a small business training in Uganda.

Local coordinator, Godfrey Matovu, leads a small business training in Uganda.

Job+ throughout SIA

I’m not the only one at SIA who feels and knows this job+ concept. Our inward/outward vision is also built into the Small Business Fund program.

The families that receive our $150 grants also receive emotional and practical support from the local SBF coordinators. In line with Glenn Clark’s vision for a good life, each is encouraged on their individual spiritual journey (“inwardly open toward God”) and asked to pay-it-forward through Sharing the Gift (“outwardly helpful toward others”).

Working together with so many people to improve ourselves and serve those around us is a blessing that is more than just work. Thank you for joining me in this good, full life.

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4 Responses to “More than a job: A full life”

  1. EB February 11, 2014 8:00 pm
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    Tanya, this is a lovely post! Such a good reminder about the deepest “why” of what we do, not simply the “what.” I enjoyed your combination of the personal, Glenn’s personal, and the actions in Africa.

  2. Dave Gattey February 11, 2014 11:17 pm
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    Tanya: Great post. The quote from Glen and the sharing of yourself are exceptional. Thanks!

  3. marsha johnson February 12, 2014 3:16 pm
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    What a powerful witness, Tanya, that touches and inspires all with whom you come in contact. Inwardly opening toward God, and outwardly helpful toward others AND perceiving God’s fullness in the world all about us ~ let us all think on these things, and live from that grounding.

  4. Jerry Elmer February 12, 2014 4:45 pm
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    I think the part of what Glenn Clark said that seems so significant to me is “outwardly helpful towards others.” Having worked in the electronics business for almost four decades, I have seen too many instances where the emphasis is on what one wants for oneself without regard for others. In E. Stanley Jones’ book The Christ of the Indian Road, he remarks that one of the greatest failings of missionaries in India (before 1940) was that they were too interested in pushing their own agenda and not sensitive to what the people in India needed or wanted. SIA has overcome that with listening first and acting upon what they hear. This is the true witness of the Lord working through an organization to build His kingdom on mutual love, listening, sharing and support, all of which work together to bring peace on earth. May He continue His good works through SIA; blessings and peace.

    Jerry

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