A blogger I follow left what I would consider a great job to do something he has always wanted to do. He's created a new story, and he's trusting that God will bless it and others through it, but he just doesn't know.
I don't like not knowing.
(A small caveat: I am not trying to describe my story as a leap of faith like Ben Arment's. Mine is more of a small step of faith, but I feel it's significant to me.)
I was really good at my job. I could do just about anything there without a terrible amount of effort. I was good with goals, good at motivating people, good at the actual tasks, careful (and care-full) about the process, and good at training others.
And I was bored.
God provided me with several job offers this year. What is interesting, looking back, is the opportunities that each decision afforded.
I could have stayed right where I was, doing the same thing I had done for years. This is undoubtedly what I would have done years ago. Something I have discovered about myself over the last few years, and my friends have know for much longer, is that I am scared of change. Extremely afraid of change. Like, didn't go to college because I'm afraid of change. This choice would have required no faith and would have involved no growth.
I could have accepted a job offer to be the regional manager for a restaurant chain in the area. This offer came with a pretty good sum of money, as well. The problem is that even though there was money, there weren't many benefits. And the other problem is that it felt too safe for me. I knew I could do this job, and do it well. But this step would require little faith and have involved little growth.
I accepted a job with a plant near my city. While the overall idea of the job, which is inventory and purchasing, is very familiar to me, the rest would be brand new. It would be challenging. I would know almost nobody there and have to prove myself, and quickly. This step has required no small amount of faith and is involving growth.
There was a fourth choice, though. I could have accepted a youth ministry position for less money than I was making at my last job on the other side of the country. I loved the kids there and was really excited about going, and thought for a little bit that I was, but ended up turning it down. I just thought it was a bad decision for my family. That step would have required a LOT of faith and surely would have involved a lot of growth.
Let there be no doubt: I know God would have taken care of us if we had gone to New Mexico. Even if that was not what He wanted me to do, I know He still would have taken care of us. That's not to say it wouldn't have been hard (because we're not promised a comfortable life), but we would have had all we needed. I just wonder if that job offer was a test of my faith.
And I'm thankful that God provided me with options. I don't think it was a "pass" or "fail" test of faith, I think God is trying to show me that He needs me to trust Him. And I'm grateful that I still took a choice that requires me having more faith than I'm used to.
I've just come to realize that my success really has nothing to do with me.
I will always work as hard as I can - that's just who I am. But I've prayed a lot lately for God's help in doing a good job, because I'm now in a position where I don't know it all. As a matter of fact, I don't know much at all! And so I am acutely aware that when I succeed it is not because of me. I am doing everything I can to succeed, but God is providing the success. And so I am having to trust that even though I am trying to learn and do at the same time, God will make what I do good, and that if He does let me fail, it's for my own good.
I don't seem able to write a short blog post, and this is no exception, but if you've made it this far, I want you to understand something. I am a FIRM believer in Colossians 3:23-24: "23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." It is freeing to realize that if I act and work at my job as if the only one I am responsible to is God Himself, then I don't have to worry about what men think about me. If God decides that I keep my job, then I will keep it. If God decides that I lose my job, then I will lose it. Either way, He will take care of me. I don't have to be worried about my reputation or making a name for myself or covering up my mistakes. I'll let God worry about that. I'll just work hard and try to make Him proud.
So while I may not have taken a leap of faith, I have taken a few steps. And while it's scary at times, it's fun too. Thank God.