My life is surrounded with twenty-somethings trying to find a way to pay the bills. I have a few friends who earn a salary and have established routines. I have part time routines that accompany my part time jobs. Some of my friends who are freelancing or job-hunting have no routine and feel a little stir crazy.

At times, the life of my friends with steady jobs sounds appealing. Yeah sure, they only have 15 vacation days, and they are only available to hang out for a few hours at the end of a long day. But they have peace of mind, or so I tell myself. I imagine that peace of mind and emotional stability in life comes with the assurance of a steady job and consistent income. To an extent, it does; but by itself, a routine job doesn’t grant absolute peace.

When I have felt confused and insecure about my future, I envy my friends with the secure big kid jobs. I assume that their minds can’t be attacked.

As I watched some of my closest friends battle death, heartbreak, and insecurities, I realized that life is so much more than a job–or lack of one. Identity extends outside of nine to five; and during hard times, job security doesn’t give peace of mind.

When death struck, and heartbreak hit, their paychecks didn’t save them. Neither did their job security. What saved them was friendship, family, and Jesus. A job title can’t restore your soul or give you a hug when you are hurting.

So why is it that 99% percent of my efforts often go into securing a job, rather than investments into community or my spiritual life? When the latter two are the things that give me stability when crap happens to me, shouldn’t I put just as much, if not more of my attention on those things? I envy people with job security when I should envy people who are friends of God, who rest in Him, and who make Him an anchor. Yet my mind is so consumed with this false sense of security.

The peace of mind that a routine can offer you only goes so far. But peace to carry you through unexpected fallouts and disappointments stems from a consistent community, not a consistent paycheck. Yes, I know, money is important, but other things are worth more.

So, I guess this is a reality check. If you are job hunting, make sure that your time is spread other places as well. Do not devote all your energy to a job. Because when life happens, you’ll remember that other things matter more.