The Bible mentions the words “strangers,” “foreigners,” or “aliens” several times. We are told that this world is not our home; instead, our home is with the Lord. These points resonate more and more with me as the pandemic goes on and especially, as I continue to experience out-of-control organizational weirdness in my work life.

In short, I feel increasingly alienated, like I really do not belong or want to belong.

Even those of us who may lean toward introversion are enormously social creatures, so when we feel a consistent, long term lack of belonging, it’s a serious issue. I think we all innately want or hope to belong somewhere and with some others to be there with us. This is largely the premise behind participating in social media, even if that is an incredibly bastardized and twisted version of belonging.

Tensions are very high among coworkers as the Fall term begins. Hard realities about possible upcoming and more significant work disruptions, including job losses, are coming into focus. Blame and miscommunication are increasing exponentially, putting longstanding, faulty organizational and interpersonal dynamics into ever sharper relief. Remember that I work for an institution of Christian higher education, so there is a lot of irony in the situation.

When whatever faith or belief you may have had in your institution dissipates through entrenched mismanagement and dysfunction, and you feel you don’t belong — you are alienated — what are you to do?

I’m actively seeking and praying for an answer to that question.

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