Oct 3, 2007

Balancing the Temporal and the Eternal

by Faith St. Clair

I’m glad that Kari talked about our jobs and our work, the difference between them and the reasons we do them. I’ve been balancing the two lately and have struggled trying to get out of my job (while still being grateful I have one) and move toward a work that is more gratifying – not only temporally, but intrinsically. I currently work for a university wherein, for the past 13 years, I’ve enjoyed aiding in knowledge, education and enlightenment in an indirect way. Lately, however, the value of our product has given way to Corporate American thirsts for power and money that don’t make the misery of political strife in the workplace worth enduring. It’s time to move on to something I enjoy working at. If I were to pick what that would be in the middle of my years here on earth, I would say being with my kids, writing, storybooking, visiting the downtrodden, etc. I haven’t been able to find a way to bring in the income that I need doing those things, however. So, I have tried to educate myself in the world of real estate and investing. Now you ask, “What kind of intrinsic value does that have?” Well, it doesn’t other than being a means to an end, allowing me eventually to earn an income and have time to do the things that I love. The education has been intriguing, but here is what I’ve discovered in this past year…

I’d rather be writing!

Although my new education has given my a jolt of enthusiasm, there’s nothing more intoxicating than talking about a writing project with a friend, writing new stories and travailing through old ones. But I often feel like my writing is a pleasure and I’m struck with the adage that life should be business before pleasure. I wonder how long it will take me to turn that saying around.

I have also struggled with the time (both clock and mental) that it has taken me away from my family, my writing and other interests of my heart. I worry also about the constant worry and thought about money. This shouldn’t be healthy. I shouldn’t want money as part of my life plan.

Here is the part I love.

I have been blessed to have some wonderful people cross my path. Some educators - some mentors. I had lunch with one, in particular, and we talked much of the gospel. I mentioned some hesitations I was having and he asked me who owned this world and absolutely everything in it. God, of course. “Aren’t we supposed to be like God?” he asked. “God is a God of abundance, He owns everything. He wants us to be like Him and have joy. Having abundance is not a bad thing as long as you are putting Heavenly Father and His kingdom first in your life.” I pondered that, and I knew that my quest was not for riches, but a way – a way to have more time with my family, a way to have the means to serve a mission, a way to have time for writing and spreading light through that talent, a way to serve more. I knew that this temporal path is the medium toward bigger aspirations – not money, but living my life in reference to all things eternal.


  1. Faith, don't you love having mentors? I have been reading "A Thomas Jefferson Education" by Oliver Van de Mille. Mentors are vital to our education. Becoming a mentor is also important. I appreciate all of the mentors I've met through ANWA!

  2. Faith,
    I agree with your mentor.

    And who's to say that real estate has no intrinsic value? For people as ignorant as I am in the matter, having someone to guide me in a moment of need would be an incalcuable service and blessing!


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