Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Eyes on Him

It has been a week and a day since I found out that I no longer had a job at Xerox. And it has been a week of praying and seeking God's will. Through the week I narrowed down my direction to three alternatives. I can't go into all of them in detail but the first and most obvious at the outset was to redo my resume and start a new job search. I was confident that God could produce a job that was close to what I had before in spite of circumstances of my age, out of date skills and with an urgency to replace my income I could not afford to be picky.

The second path is to start my own business. I could go back to contract work or Pam and I have previously discussed a viable idea that could become a very successful business. This would take work, risking some of our retirement savings and could take a long time before it becomes profitable.

Now the third I reserved for last because this is what I want to discuss here fully and deeply. As I stated last time I have been volunteering as a chaplain at Orangewood Children and Family Center, Orange County's Emergency Shelter for abused, neglected, abandoned and displaced children. Prior to that I served as a chaplain at Orange County Juvenile Hall.

I called a good friend who was a recruiter. I had not spoken with him for several years but he was quick to help me polish up my resume and give me solid advice about finding a job in today's market. I started to do some research regarding the industry related to our business idea and I made arrangements to meet with the Executive Chaplain for the ministry I am aligned with.

In my own wisdom I thought I should move all three paths and ask God to bless my efforts. That was MY idea. I was foolish to think that *now* God needs to give me guidance and direction when this very event, losing my job, was His guidance and direction. I had stubbornly held on to what was comfortable, familiar and easy.

There are a lot of things I could write but during my devotional time today, God spoke again. Here is a snip from a book I am reading, this was in the chapter called 'God's Invitation to Join Him in His Work'

GOD-CENTERED LIVING 

God-centered living is characterized by: 

confidence in God; dependence on God, on His abilities and provision; a life focused on God and His activity; humility before God; denial of self; seeking first the kingdom of God, His righteousness; seeking God's perspective on our circumstances; holy and godly living.

(I removed the reference because I only want to communicate the thought, not the source of the idea.)

The same chapter referred to Psalm 81 where I read these verses:

10 I am the Lord your God,
    who brought you up out of Egypt.
Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.
11 “But my people would not listen to me;
    Israel would not submit to me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts
    to follow their own devices.

And finally I infrequently read my favorite devotional My Utmost for His Highest (http://utmost.org/). Today's message (March 5th) refers to Acts 20:24

. . . so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus . . . 

Oswald Chambers writes:

If you have received a ministry from the Lord Jesus, you will know that the need is not the same as the call— the need is the opportunity to exercise the call.

If this seems a little disjointed and confusing it is only because it is hard to express all the things that God is doing in us right now. If only one thing comes from it all, God has our eyes singularly focused on Him right now.

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