You Had One Job

This evening after I got home and did at least some of my usual chores, I found that my computer refused to act like it was connected to the internet. When, after a considerable amount of frustration, I restarted my computer, I found that this refusal to stay connected to the internet was connected to some updates that had apparently downloaded but not asked me to restart for my computer’s operating system and once the restart was done my computer acted as if nothing had happened and I was able to resume my ordinary business. My general attitude towards computers is that they are supposed to work, and part of that working is to stay connected to the internet. When a computer is not able to stay connected to the various wireless networks that I tend to use, I view the computer as failing in its essential purposes, with a corresponding degree of disdain for any claims of reliability in internet service providers, for example. Given the rare amount of time that I spend at home, I expect the internet to be reliable during those evening hours when I do my writing and socializing.

As I write about from time to time [1], I am very fond of internet memes. Part of this is due to the fact that I have a great fondness for inside jokes and running gags. For example, in my time in Portland three people have attempted to give me the same exact book, in both hardcover and softcover form. This fact is worthy of at least some investigation. For one, the book itself is an illustrated history of the Civil War that accompanied the famous Ken Burns miniseries. For whatever reason, the book itself was popular enough to be printed and distributed with many copies, quite possibly as part of fundraising for public television, and yet the book itself was not of sufficient interest to remain a treasured part of personal libraries, yet it was a book that has found its way frequently into various used book stores as well as thrift shops, tempting people who see the Civil War as an obvious area of personal interest into buying a book that others have bought for me over and over again, and, given the fact that it has happened three times already within the past two years, it is likely to happen again at some point given the ubiquity of the book for a low price among the various thrift shops and estate sales and used bookstores of the Portland area. At some point, the fact that I keep writing about this book [2] indicates that someone may eventually buy it on purpose as a deliberate gag gift.

There are many cases where people have one overriding job that can be somewhat difficult to understand and realize. For example, today in a conversation a question was asked in conversation about the one job that someone else had, but where there was no update given on whether that job had been fulfilled. Yesterday at church, for example, apparently I failed at my one job to be available to answer questions from the pulpit, a job that I was not necessarily aware that I had until multiple people reminded me about it. At times, we may cling to a very restrictive definition of what sort of tasks or jobs we want to be responsible for because to engage in larger or more difficult tasks that we may not be able to accomplish based on our competence and the resources that we have to work with. Yet as we seek to live well, we must be aware of the question of whether we take on duties that are not ours to take on, at the risk of being or seeming presumptuous, while at the same time remaining aware of those duties that are ours to fulfill and accomplish in order to be successful at the tasks that are ours to undertake. It is a hard thing to know, after all, what one has a duty to do or what one is permitted to do. Let us hope that we can all become better at knowing and accomplishing the tasks that are needful and proper for us to accomplish. If we have but one job, we had better be able to do it.

[1] See, for example:

[2] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Church of God, History, Musings and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to You Had One Job

  1. Michael Venne says:

    Mr. Albright, just a suggestion, when somebody leans on you for knowledge or help never take it as a burden but a blessing. Just imagine if all the computers go down, who is this generation of people going to go to, to teach them history and applications to not only survive but to flourish. Think of it as practice to teach people and to exercise your talents. Carry on.

    • That is very wisely said. In truth, I was saying it slightly tongue-in-cheek, but commenting on it in a way that I hoped would disarm any suspicion that I was bragging about it. Truly, though, you are right that it is practice in teaching others, and as you might suspect, it is practice I do relish.

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