Bart Nolan was a key designer in a large supersonic aircraft company. Some of the best features of these fast, high-flying planes originated in his creative mind. However, Bart’s boss often tinkered with the finished designs. This worried Bart; he was afraid the tinkering might someday show up as an expensive failure.
The boss took credit for a thing if it worked, and if it didn’t, he blamed Bart, who thought it only natural that he had grown to dislike the boss.
One day, a man in Bart’s department made a foolish mistake and the big boss said the man was through. He ordered Bart to do the hatchet job. Bart was furious.
He stormed into the office of his boss and began to chew him out for “cluttering up our perfectly good design.” That was a mistake. Bart was shifted to another department. He found his new boss was not a tinkerer, but this man was a driver. He pushed Bart to work faster. Bart was in the same old tense rut, reacting angrily to his boss.
Slowly, he began wondering if maybe something wasn’t wrong with him. He decided to let an outside ear listen in on his problems. So he visited the Christian Counseling Clinic. Over a period of weeks he vented his story. The more he talked, the more he saw that whenever he was asked to do something he didn’t agree with he began nursing a new grudge. “What’s the matter with me?” he asked.
As a Christian who knew the Bible quite intimately, he was able to answer his own question. “The Bible says, ‘Whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men’ (Colossians 3:23). I’ve been working for myself and for men, not for God.”
Mr. Nolan could see that he had acquired the habit of sulking if things didn’t go his way. He asked God to help him realize his superiors did have a right to give orders. If he did not think the orders were correct, he could express his opinion. But having done so, he knew the final decision was not his to make.
Bart Nolan experienced many starts and stops in his new attitude. But over the months, he became a genial man. Knowing the boss would insist on having his way, he studied the boss’ ways so he could produce what was expected.
Now Bart knows that God helps him do his work “heartily, as to the Lord.” The result is a growing contentment in the same work that once upset him.
[The names and certain details in this true case history have been changed to protect each person’s identity and privacy.]