A Metamucil challenge for your workplace
It’s a product that needs little explanation. The supplement Metamucil has ingrained in the minds of most of us the importance of “getting regular and staying regular”. Without going into more detail than any of us wants me to, Metamucil has tapped into our desire that in some areas of life it’s, ahem, good to be regular.
2020 was characterised by anything but “regular” (and just to be very clear, I’m moving on from our bowels now when I talk about being regular). It was a year of disruptions, a year where routines were very hard to establish. And just as soon as you thought things were getting regular again, in many Australian states there have been snap lockdowns that have immediately thrown any regularity that was starting to set in out the door, often for much longer than the lockdown itself actually was.
Talking with people in the workplace I’ve realised how true this still is, certainly in Melbourne where I am based. Many are coming back to the office, but the days they are in each week are continuing to be fairly irregular. Maybe there’s one day they’re definitely in each week, and if there’s a second or third they come in that can be a bit sporadic.
And yet as Metamucil has taught us, we like regularity. But more significant than a supplement you can buy off the shelf, the Bible teaches this also. We have a God of order, who has ingrained in His creation regularity (Genesis 1). The sun rises, and the sun sets each day (Ecclesiastes 1:5-7). The seasons change with predictability. But far from this being a bad thing, it’s a gift from our wise God who knows that in the irregularities of life we need some stability, some regularity. And He has given it to us at the very least in His creation each and every day.
But even more than this, He has given it to us in Christ and the guaranteed hope that those in Him have for the future. We have assurance of where things are going in the end, even if we don’t know precisely what might come along the way. And we know what peace and comfort this gives us to have stability, assurance, regularity.
Which got me thinking, perhaps we should work harder at seeking regularity out where we can in our daily work, if we know it is a good thing for us. But even more than that, perhaps we should work harder at seeking regularity out where we can in our daily work for the sake of our colleagues.
Metamucil (yes, I’m going back there now as I finish) challenges its users to a “Two week challenge”. Try the product for just two weeks and see if you notice any improvement. Well let me raise the bar a bit and challenge you to a "Four week challenge for your workplace". Why not for the next four weeks pick the same 1, 2, 3 (whatever it is) days of the week that you intend to be in the office and make it known to your colleagues. Things will crop up and you’ll have to adjust for a week – that’s ok. But plan to be regular. And not just for your own sake (although I suspect the benefits will be noticeable for you personally), but primarily for the sake of your colleagues. Why? Because if you’re regular in your workplace the greater the chance you have of seeing the same colleagues regularly, and so being able to re-establish and deepen your relationships with your colleagues for the sake of the Gospel. You may even make it known to your team that whoever is in on a certain day you’ll shout them lunch or a coffee.
Being regular like this might come with some inconveniences and personal costs (to your comfort, or if you’re shouting the team lunch or a coffee, to your bottom line). But as Metamucil encourages us, stick with it and see if benefits arise after just four weeks. But even more importantly than the encouragement of Metamucil, stick with it for the sake of your colleagues, because as well as being a God of order, our God is a God of service and sacrifice for the sake of others. May that encourage you in being regular, for the sake of your colleagues. Who knows what opportunities for Christian witness might come with “getting regular and staying regular” in the workplace.