Is Work your Profession or Obsession?

Is Work your Profession or Obsession? Matthew 16:24-27 from Stephen Sizer on Vimeo.

Have you seen the film, The Devil Wears Prada? If you have, you won’t forget Miranda Priestly, played by Meryl Streep. She is the editor of New York’s most popular fashion magazine Runway. Ruthless and cynical, she is intimidating and manipulative – the queen of the fashion industry. Andy Sachs played by Anne Hathaway is the rather naïve young graduate fresh from university who wants to be a fashion journalist. A down-to-earth girl she lands the magazine job “a million girls would die for”: junior PA to Miranda Priestly.  She is quickly sucked into all the glamour, power and ambition of the fashion world.  Andy puts up with the eccentric and humiliating requests of her boss because, she is told, if she lasts a year in the position she will get her pick of other jobs, perhaps even the journalistic position she truly craves.

In the middle of the film, there’s a poignant scene where Andy has an argument with her boyfriend, Nate, because her work is consuming all her time. They’re standing outside a restaurant late one night and Nate complains about how she has missed his birthday, how she’s constantly late for all their dates and how he hardly ever sees her any more. She replies, “But Nate, I didn’t have a choice.” He looks at her as if to say, “Of course you’ve got a choice.” And then her mobile phone goes. It’s her boss.

Miranda Priestly. As she stands there, she is faced quite clearly with a choice. Outside the restaurant with her boyfriend at 11:00pm, the choice is very clear – to answer the phone or not. There’s a pause as the phone continues to ring, and then Andy says, ‘I’m sorry Nate’ and she reaches to answer the phone. Immediately, Nate responds, “The person whose calls you always take – that’s the relationship you are in. I hope you two are very happy together.” And with that he walks away. For Andy, her career was the phone call she always took. Her career was the biggest influence on the decisions she made.

Now don’t tell me you have not been there. That you have never chosen the thrill of the out of hours phone call from your boss, that cuts into a date, or time with your spouse or your family.  Whose calls do we always take in life? Who or what are the strongest influences for us when we have a decision to make?

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