Monday, December 15, 2014

Reflection for Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday of the Third Week of Advent

By what authority do I act?

In the gospel reading for today we see that Jesus is questioned “By what authority are you doing these things?”.   When I read this I wondered, by what authority do I act?  Do I take authority over a task or situation in order to seek the best, most positive outcome or do I allow things to progress without taking control which can lead to negative job performance and relationships?

Daily I face tasks and interactions that can be challenging and I am given authority within my job to respond in certain ways based on policies and procedures that are establish by my employer.  Although these policies and procedures are based on many factors such as fairness, fiscal responsibility, and an attempt to keep order, I need to consider that if I assume the authority given to me by God rather than the authority given by man, it can influence the product or outcome to be more considerate of the effect that it has on students, colleagues, or guests.

If I seek His counsel and ask for wisdom, He will guide me to the most appropriate approach when I have to execute or enforce policies and procedures.  He gives me the “authority” or ability to control whether an interaction with a student, guest, or colleague is kind and productive or not.  He gives me the “authority” to accomplish the tasks associated with my position with more than a “just do the minimal that is necessary” attitude. 
With God’s authority to control my attitude and comes an approach that includes love, kindness, team work, gentleness, and a willingness to listen.  Sometimes it takes more time to accomplish the tasks of the day with this approach but there are more rewards in the end.  My work environment is not filled with chaos even when things are challenging and stressful.  I feel supported by colleagues and students.  I can give a guest the best possible impression of Saint Louis University.

By seeking to be close to God and desiring to do His will, I believe that He gives me guidance and authority over any situation, whether it is a long term situation or just a one minute interaction.  This has led to improvements in my work environment and better relationships with colleagues and co-workers.

So ultimately, I chose to accept the authority that God has given me to improve not only myself but my work environment as well.  Do you?

Cindy Bush is Coordinator of Busch Student Center. She has worked in Higher Education for 31 years, including working in Reinert Hall when it was first purchased by SLU.

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