I have spent many years focusing on where I work and what I am doing in my career. The whole time God has been working his plan for me even though I was doing a poor job paying attention to him. I had my first experience of really looking to hear God in a situation related to my work in 2004.
I had spent the prior 12 years working in different restaurants and coffee companies and had acquired knowledge and many skills needed to run a business. I had my dream of owning and operating my own business. My job at the time was as a new store opening GM for a company we will call restaurant B. When I had started with restaurant B I had also interviewed for an HR position with a different restaurant company we will call restaurant A. I had worked for restaurant B for 6 months and was getting frustrated with personnel that were causing stress and frustration. I was turning in my notice because I had found an opportunity to complete a purchase of my own coffee cafe. I was very excited for this opportunity. I had already deposited $1,000 in earnest money towards this purchase. There was risk of course, by this time my wife and I had two kids. A 7 year old and a 3 year old and we had a mortgage and a car payment as well. Nevertheless, I felt confident in my abilities that all would go well. As the end of my employment at restaurant B arrived I was setting up meetings with a broker and the sellers of the cafe to begin completing my purchase.
Then one day…the phone rings…restaurant A, which I last had contact with 6 months ago was calling because they had a new opening in their HR-payroll department and they wanted to meet with me again. It turns out that they ended up offering me a full-time position with salary and benefits and M-F 9-5, etc. At this time, I felt it was necessary to try and listen to God first and my own worldly desires second. I spent time discussing the options with my wife and I prayed…..
God I have before me 2 opportunities and I am not sure which way to turn…one would be fulfilling a dream and following my passion…the other offers security and stability for my young family…please guide me to what you have in your plan.
Wouldn’t it be nice if in these moments you could just hear God’s voice from a burning bush or something? Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. I continued to discuss with my wife and after sleeping on it and searching my feelings the next morning I knew what I had to do. I would take the job and put the dream on hold. I called the broker and gave him the news and after I hung up the phone…I cried and not just a tear running down my face I was bawling my head off which I hadn’t done since I was a child. I felt it must have been the right thing to do because it was definitely the hardest thing to do.
Looking back it was the right thing to do at that time as proceeding with the cafe would have been selfish and would have left no regard for my wife and kids or my responsibilities as a husband and father. Plus the 5 years I ended up working at the corporate office of restaurant company A turned out to be a time that I learned many valuable things about myself and about some abilities I never knew I possessed.
Of course, when I made the decision I didn’t know how it would turn out but isn’t that faith? We don’t have all the answers and we need to admit that and then trust God. The trust God part also means we need to keep our hearts and mind focused on him by meeting with him daily so when he sends a message through our conscience or through other people we will get the message because we are listening.
How or when do believe God has been or was working in your life?