Note: According to the American Institute of Stress, work-related agitation is the major source of stress for American adults (although it is certainly not a uniquely American problem). In addition to common stressors like coworker issues and workload, many of us struggle with the stress of having to fulfill a less-than-satisfying work role in order to live more or less check-to-check. We sometimes feel like we lose our identities, our spirituality, and our dreams in order to serve the mundane reality that work promotes. It is the author’s hope that this message helps the stressed worker find spiritual peace and the energy to pursue a more fulfilling future.  Please share this meditation with anyone you know who is fatigued from the workplace or struggling professionally.

GENIUS OR CRAZY?

          "AN INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE FOR THE WORKDAY"

Copyright 2015 Michael Priebe

John Lennon is one of the most revered figures in music history, and his songs have inspired millions to embrace a more romantic version of life. At times his originality left him wondering if he was crazy.

He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do. Psalm 33:15 NLT

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. Ephesians 1:4 NLT

In a 1971 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, John Lennon talked about his early awareness that he was a bit different from the people around him. “When I was about twelve, I used to think, ‘I must be a genius but nobody’s noticed,’” Lennon recalled. “Either I’m a genius or I’m mad, which is it?”

 

John Lennon was a unique man. According to some of the people who knew him best, he was painfully impractical. His ideas were almost always tilted towards the romantic and creative, and although he used songwriting and other art to convey his inner self, he still often struggled with anger, resentment, and repressed pain. It would be safe to say that John Lennon was emotionally complicated.

 

The truth is, we’re all emotionally complicated because we’re all emotionally unique. We all live with feelings, desires, and conjured mental worlds that we fear the outside world won’t understand, and we all need a healthy outlet for our inner complications. Unfortunately, not all of us can make a decent living through art like John Lennon did.  

 

Even if we enjoy creating art as a hobby, the majority of us still have to sweat at jobs that don’t give large vent to our souls. Many of our workplaces might actually encourage us to keep our emotions to ourselves, and our unique thoughts and feelings might get repressed as groupthink and the soulless language of the professional world  take over. After years of working in decidedly noncreative environments, we might even start to wonder if we’re crazy when we feel our uniqueness bubbling up inside of us.

 

Thankfully, our spiritual lives reassure us that unique is beautiful.

 

“You’re not crazy,” God tells us. “You’re from Me, and you’re just as you should be.”

 

Our spirituality offers a safe home to every aspect of our emotional singularity. Through our spiritual lives, we are assured that our quirks are accepted because they are breathed from God. There is no one who knows us better than God, because He has been with our souls since time immemorial.

 

Today, ask God to teach you how to love and appreciate all of the gifts that He’s placed uniquely into you. Ask Him to show you ways to make those gifts more relatable to others, and resolve not to lose sight of how valuable and genius your particular personality and approach to life are. Today, embrace your struggles, own your life story, and take pride in your singular existence, knowing that these things all come from above.

 

Prayer: Dear God, at times the world tries to convince me that my uniqueness is a flaw, but You tell me otherwise. Thank You for understanding and forgiving my failings, and please help me to turn my struggles into something beautiful.