Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Any Advice?

Here's the thing..... I seem to have gotten myself into a bit of a quandary the past couple of weeks. I've begun to wonder if I'm courageous or just stupid. I'm in need of some good counsel and I've decided to seek it here (and elsewhere if I can find it.)

I wish I could explain it succinctly but the dilemma has its subtleties and nuances that I feel compelled to detail.

I'm in pretty serious need of a source of income. I've been actively looking for over two months now. Perhaps, not as actively as I should. My brother is Stake Employment Specialist in his Stake and the other day I heard him say (not to me) that the Church's policy on the matter is that if you're unemployed you should be spending eight hours a day looking for a job. Finding employment thus, becomes your job. He makes a very good point. So does the church. I would think this especially true if I were drawing assistance from the Church to support my family. The policy seems to be cut and dried and, if I were to take it at face value, I have been extremely lax in my duty to concentrate all of my attention to the task of getting employed.

Now, it seems to me that such a policy implies a few things that are unsettling to me. It implies that any job is better than no job. At least any honest, honorable employment, trumps no employment. Ordinarily, at least in the case of one drawing assistance from the Church or the Government, I would wholeheartedly concur. In my current situation I'm not so sure; let me explain why.

I have had a good, decent, exciting and promising job offer in recent weeks that I felt strongly impressed I should not accept. I didn't. I still feel good about my decision. Had my brother been helping me find a job, I expect he, or someone else in his role, might have been pretty aggravated with me for turning down such an opportunity. Perhaps, I could have persuaded them that I was going by the Spirit, which ought to trump Church policy; or should it. There's the rub.

I've had the feeling that God has something in store for me. I even have the notion that it will be meaningful and, spiritually as well as financially, rewarding. I have no notion what it might be. I have hoped it would lie in a realm that might use my talents and predispositions to make a difference in the world. I have even been willing to accept less money than I might otherwise make so it might be so. I'm at a time in life and to some degree, in a financial position to allow that. I have earnestly pursued such opportunities, as I have found, that might fit in that framework. So far, I have not been the best qualified or for other inexplicable reasons have not been selected for such positions.

My last job was a mixed bag. I enjoyed the people I worked for and those I worked with. In fact in that regard it was the best group of people I ever had the pleasure of working with. But, I hated my job, in that employment, with a passion I didn't think myself capable of. I even hated that I was successful at it. I was a salesman. I have a strong aversion to manipulation and as I participated in sales training, it seemed to me that manipulation with the core and fundamental sum and substance of sales. I refused to do it and yet I sold, or rather, I helped people buy. There was more to hate though. There was too much time when there were no customers and it was hard to stay busy doing "make work" activities. Especially when I was encouraged to do a lot of sales training in the down time. In prayer, during the year I was in sales, I begged God to help me get out of there and repeatedly came away convinced that I was right where He wanted me. I never fully understood why, but I stayed. I stayed until the firm went out of business. Because of the poor economy, I never made much more than enough to make ends meet.

The economy is still bad; restricting my prospects. I've had an interview that looks promising. It is for a part-time job that doesn't pay very well. I could manage with two such part-time jobs but I wonder if I'll find two that are compatible. I thought I might but the other has already hired someone else. This job, should it be offered to me, also requires I work six days a week which will severely restrict what I can do on the weekends and such. Part of my quandary is whether it is fair to the employer to accept the job and then abruptly quit when something better comes along. It costs money to train any new employee and an unplanned interruption will also greatly inconvenience them. Does my obligation to become employed supersede my future lack of loyalty? I would enjoy the job, but is it fair to accept it when I'm sure I'll need to move on as soon as something better surfaces.

Here's what I know:
  • God is predisposed in my favor, He wants to bless me and help me prosper.
  • His blessings come on His timetable not mine.
  • I can be patient.
  • I can trust Him.
  • He has never let me down before. He has also never made me wait before.
  • I'd rather prosper than just get by.
  • I can accept His will in all things. I've proven that to Him and to myself.
Here's what I don't know:
  • What God has in mind for me.
  • If I should be doing more to facilitate finding a job. Am I too patient in waiting upon Him?
  • Why He led me away from the one job I was offered and wanted.
  • Does He really even care what I do to provide for my family?
  • Is there any justification for hoping for something I might enjoy?
  • Am I reaching beyond the mark in thinking I might be of significant service at work as well as in church or my personal life?
  • Am I just settling for mediocrity if I don't hold out for "what God has in store for me?"
  • Am I being irresponsible and unrealistic for not grabbing what's available?
  • Did God have something in mind for me, but exercising their agency, did some potential employer choose other than God's course of action?
I feel no sense of entitlement to any of the information I'd like to know - but don't. Faith is all about stepping into the darkness. I just wonder if there's a time at which one could cross from faith to foolishness. And I wonder if I'm wise enough to make the distinction if I did.

Anyway, if any of you have any light to shed on the subject, post a comment and tell me frankly, what you think! Maybe I should even take a poll - Faith or Foolishness. If you've followed my blog lately, you'll know that I'll keep you posted on what transpires.

1 comment:

Susan said...

It seems to me that what you KNOW takes care of what you don't know. I like my faith nice and simple: I have faith that God is aware of me. When I allowed myself to believe this simple truth, I allowed myself to trust Him. You've always known this, and that knowledge will get you through your quandry. You are in my prayers.

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