Wednesday, November 04, 2009

How do I see God in my work?

The following reflection is by Scott Douglas, director of the Pension Plan and Employee Financial Services for Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT). It first appeared in "Simply News," a staff newsletter of Church of the Brethren agencies, as part of a series in which church staff answer the question, how do I see God in my work?

"The greatest challenge of the past nine months has been the process of reducing the benefits of over 1,450 Pension Plan annuitants. This reality was made more difficult by the fact that I personally know many of the folks whose benefits would be reduced.

"Since the plan to reduce benefits was announced in May, we have received many phone calls, e-mails, letters, and direct contacts. The thoughts and feelings expressed have included confusion, anger, and fear--all perfectly understandable. How does an individual on a fixed income handle a significant cut to income?

"What has impressed me most is that with few exceptions, the people contacting us with their questions and concerns have all comported themselves with grace and dignity. I come away from each encounter with a strong sense of the Holy Spirit’s presence. There is no personalizing--making me or anyone else the villain, nor is there self-pity. In fact, with amazing frequency I hear expressions of gratitude and blessing.

"By this I don't mean to suggest that anyone is happy about losing income. This is an awful reality that will impact each annuitant in a variety of ways, and we all wish that this reduction was not necessary.

"Rather, there is a matter-of-fact acceptance of the circumstance and an affirmation that in spite of the difficulties represented in this reduction, God is present and accompanying us through these challenging times."

Source: 11/4/2009 Newsline

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