Good Morning,

Those of you who stop in here often already know about that phone call without warning late last June: You’re done. The company isn’t making enough to keep you on.  Cancel your travel plans and start looking for work, we’ll pay you for July and August – good luck.

It still smarts a bit when I replay that conversation; it was nine months ago today.  Shortly after 9 am.  I loved my job. It had ministry value associated with it, and I knew I was making a difference for the churches I was serving.

It’s been a long haul.  And I’m pretty sure life isn’t going to return to “normal” as I remember it.  Today is today, and God is here with me. I need to do today what He wants me to do – and do it well.  I’m determined to be faithful.  It’s not mine to measure my success right now, God wants to do that. When people ask how I am, I answer “determined”.   The number of people going through similar conditions is growing in our country; I think we’re going to need a lot of determination in the months ahead.  For me, the eight virtues I locked in on for 2009 are still true, and I’m determined to be all of them.

Curious people ask questions; determined people find answers.

I’ve worked through the disbelief and the anger.  I had to. It was that or lose my mind.  Who’s going to hire a bitter, disillusioned guy from a former company? I sometimes wonder if I can see the hurt in the expressions of people I meet now, it seems to be everywhere.

I’ve searched and researched, thought, prayed, explored and investigated. I still am, actually.

I’ve swallowed gallons of pride. With the market being flooded with hopefuls as it is these days, a lot of companies don’t even acknowledge your resume and application unless you’re a contender.  A person feels like the three pennies forgotten on the dresser when things go that way.  Whoever it was that said “You’ll know how you’re doing as a servant when you’re treated like one”  had it right.  After a while I told myself “You can’t take these rejection letters personal anymore (or no letter at all). Just keep moving.”

The difference between an unsuccessful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.
[ Vince Lombardi ]

I’ve traded labels a few times these last few months.  First I was “unemployed”  I hated saying it, but it was the truth.  I traded that in for “under-employed” I wasn’t earning enough to pay the bills, but I was at least doing something while I continued to work.  Between our last election and inauguration day a friend suggested that in these economic times, having several part-time jobs might be a better approach than holding out for that ideal full-time job.  I saw the wisdom in that, and opened a few more options in my thinking.

When my father-in-law, who was also a close friend and confidant, was diagnosed with brain cancer early this year, my wife and I agreed,  “We need to quit looking for jobs that will require relocation”.  It was another shift in focus that changed my search efforts.  Early this month Dad went to sleep in Wisconsin and awoke in Glory. We still need to stay where we are, but now it’s for Mom.  WhatEVER do people do who don’t have a loving Savior to rely on during times like these?

It’s been a tough couple of weeks.  I miss my father in law as much as I miss my own dad.  I wonder if they’d had coffee yet up there? But you can’t stay downcast.  There’s a lot that needs to be done, and sitting staring out into the yard doesn’t show up in the bank.  It’s time to press on.

Nothing is so common as unsuccesful men with talent.
They lack only determination.

[ Charles Swindoll ]

So we’re staying put. I’m pursuing some opportunities to add to the mix of what I’m already doing.  I think it’s time to trade in my “under-employed” designation for one that says  “multi-vocational.”     Do you like it?   It’s going to call for lots of determination, plenty of prayer and self-discipline, and a quiet, confident reliance on God.    Here we go.

God is faithful.
I want to be like Him.

phil

He who doesn’t climb the mountain cannot see the view.

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