Okay! So it’s been a few months and I believe enough time has passed and I have enough perspective to reflect on this event in a positive manner.
A few months ago, I was fired from my job. It was an abrupt end to what had been more than a decade of work for this company. I was upset, and afraid. Upset at myself for not taking seriously the warnings that preceded my dismissal. Afraid of what I would do without a steady source of income to pay my bills.
As is typical for me in crisis situations, the first thing I did was to pray. What I heard from the Lord was reassuring and also disconcerting. The first thing was that I shouldn’t worry, and I shouldn’t make any rash decisions (no applying for 14 jobs and working around the clock). The second thing after asking God what I should specifically do, I got a question as an answer. “What do you want to do?” What?!!! What does that even mean? What does that look like? What the…. What?!!!
I’ve had a lot of time to reflect upon what this means. I’m still not sure I have it figured out, but I’ve been making some steps in the direction of fulfilling “the desires of my heart.” I’ve read more books in the last four months or so than I’ve read in the last five years. Most have been by John C. Maxwell, who is prolific and has published many books on the subject of leadership. One I recently finished is Thinking for a Change. This book breaks down the way thinking has an impact on everything we do. In order to live an effective life, thinking must be a part of the process, and time must be given to it in order to do it effectively. I read this book on the heels of reading T.D. Jakes’ Reposition Yourself: Living Life Without Limits.
What I came away with is that there were some decisions that I made before my dismissal which, for better or worse, could not sustain me any further. The time had come for some change, growth and maturity. That always “sounds” nice when you say it. The implementation is usually less… fun. I still consider myself a young man at 37 years of age. As my youth is waning, however, to change the way I think and how I react to outside stimuli has felt like pulling teeth. Every time I think I’ve made progress in an area, there’s a subtle reminder that there is so much more work to be done. The process has not been easy. I have had to live in a manner to which I am unaccustomed to. Thankfully (Hallelujah!) I have been financially sustained even after several months of not being able to find a job, but even that has been a challenge. To go from knowing the source… knowing that God was providing for me through the income I acquired at the job where I was working to wondering how HE was going to provide for me in the days, weeks, and months to come
is somewhat disconcerting FREAKS ME OUT!!! As I have relinquished the “my hands on the wheel at all times” perspective that guided me through so much of my adult life, I have come to realize that His word is true… He shall supply all my needs by His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). I’m worrying less about “things” and giving more thought to ideals and ideas. What do I truly value? What’s really important to me? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to go live in a hut or anything. I’ve just come to realize that as nice as material possessions are, they cannot bring happiness. I’ve come to realize that even as I’m preparing myself for and aligning my time and resources to future goals, today isn’t just something to “get through.” It must be lived and it should be enjoyed. Life isn’t full of mountaintop experiences. In order to truly value and enjoy life, you must learn to appreciate the quiet that can be present in the valleys of life.
As I am finishing this post. I’m preparing for the fall semester at ISU as a full time student again. There’s a certain amount of trepidation with that, but I’m really excited. In three short semesters I’ll be able to call myself an an alumnus of this wonderful university, which will probably bring about another change. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. As far as what I want to do… Right now that just means being a student and completing my degree. More to come…
As we prepare for another football season, here’s a little something for all my Cyclones out there.