I work nights for a hotel chain doing technical support. We are a 24/7/365 call center that is always staffed, even on holidays. Because of that over my last five years working there I’ve had to work a few holidays that I would rather have had off. The interesting thing is that I’ve never had to work on Christmas. Until this year.

Earlier this week I got an email from our scheduling person saying that I was set to work on Christmas day. That alone would have been bad enough but the time makes it even worse – 1300-2200 (1pm-10pm). I should also explain that my normal schedule is 2030-0500 (8:30pm-5am).

Now let me explain how holidays work for our family: both sets of grandparents live in town. This of course makes the holidays really interesting and some years, very crazy. Hannah’s parents have always celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve, it’s just a tradition in their family that works out really well for mine. We always celebrate on Christmas morning, but it’s really an all day event. We spend the whole day over at my parents house eating, watching TV, playing games, and just enjoying being around the extended family.

This year I’ll really have to miss out on both celebrations. Because I work at night I’ll have to miss out on the in-laws because I’ll be going to work; then I’ll miss out on my family because, again, I have to go to work.

My first reaction was that I was very angry. As a Christian I feel, more than anyone else, that I should be able to claim the holiday as a religious holiday. I’ve talked with management before about this but the standard answer is that because it’s already a recognized holiday, there is nothing they can do (meaning they already give people the day off so I’m out of luck).

Yet as I thought about this more and more, the more God brought these verses to my mind:

Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment,for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 1 Timothy 6:6-8

As we approach the holidays I can look at my life, and specifically my work, and I can be content. Unlike many in this current economy, I still have a job. Not only that but I have a job that pays pretty well and, for the most part, enables me to live a very comfortable life. The other upside is that I will be getting double-time-and-a-half, which will make for a nice paycheck. Like Paul told Timothy, if I have food and clothing, I can be content. Will I miss my family and spending that time with them? Sure, but Lord willing there will be other Christmas’.

Sometimes things in life just don’t work out like you think they will, just roll with the punches and be content in God.