I start my day by looking at a blank page on a computer screen. Often times, I sit in the dark with nothing else but the dull light from my monitor to brighten the room. My day begins like this; my day begins with an empty page and I wonder what I might fill it with when it ends.
I work in an industry where if you ask, nearly everyone says they are the best at what they do. If they are not the best, then most say they are very good.
But fingers point and the blame rolls downhill. I work in a place where people are quick to pardon themselves, but yet, they are fast to punish others for the same mistakes.
Most days, I weave through and keep busy. I stay away from the finger-pointers and I say little to the know-it-alls or the powers above me. And with respects to the corporate food chain, I am not at the bottom; however, I am certainly far from the top.
I work with men, who like me, have clung to this trade in order to feed their family. We swing wrenches and crawl through dirty places inside of a tall commercial office building.
We fix pipework and refrigeration systems. Some of our responsibilities consist of electrical work, heating and plumbing issues, but the list goes on and our job description is always changing.
Like most in the world, I have good days and bad. But as the day goes, I think about the blank page and what I might fill it with. I think about the dirt that stains my hands and the humming sound of large machinery. I think about the aches in my knees and the pains in my lower back.
I think about the arguments that transpire in my workplace as well as the character assassinations that begin in the rumor mills and move though the gears at the gossip factories.
I work with good people and bad; I work with drunks and gamblers, as well as the religious and atheist. I work with womanizers and thieves. I work with men, who like me, have their own stories and come from their own versions of tough times. It is fair to say we are all unique; however, we all have one common bond, which comes on a day that is otherwise known as “Payday.”
Although my collar is blue, I have to walk the line between the blue and white.
I have to interact with many of the building’s tenants with regards to maintenance or repair issues. Some of the tenants are kind and understanding. But some are loud. I have tenants that believe they know more about my job than I do. They will tell me what to do and how to do it.
But I learned to stop listening.
I learned how to agree, but there are cases when I have to defend my point. It would appear to some that while my position may seem lower in the corporate structure, my word or opinion is less than valuable.
(Some call this ignorant . . . I just call it social snobbery at its best)
I once listened to an electrician yell after being degraded by an employee of his customer. While holding an electrical tester, a screwdriver, and electrical plyers, the electrician extended his hand to the client and shouted, “Then you fix it.”
Of course, the employee became angry.
The employee argued, “Believe me, if I could fix it, then you wouldn’t be here.”
“But you can’t fix it,” said the electrician. “So why don’t you let me do my job and you go and do yours?”
There is a story, which begins in Luke 18:9.
This is the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax collector. The Pharisee went up to the temple to pray. He stood beside another man. But this man appeared to be less righteous. The other man was a tax collector or a villain to the more religious.
The Pharisee was strict in his observance and he sneered at the tax collector.
He prayed, “God, I thank you that I am not like other men—I am not a thief or an evildoer. I am not like this man beside me—a tax collector. I fast twice a week and I give a tenth of all I get.”
But the tax collector stood away. He did not look up as he prayed. He simply beat his chest and said, “Father have mercy on me, a sinner.”
In the parable it says, “This man before the other shall go home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves with be humbled, and those who are humble shall be exalted.”
In this case, the word “Justified,” means to be acquitted
Each morning, I start my day by looking at a blank computer screen. Often the daybreak sheds light through my partially opened blinds, and eventually, the morning sunlight brightens the room.
Each day, whether it is a workday or the weekend, I maneuver through life on life’s terms and weave through my sins and mistakes.
And when I come home, I come here—I come back to the room where I began my day so I can spill my thoughts onto an empty page and feel one step closer to justified
(Or in this case—absolved)