Monday, March 14, 2011

The Job Hunt Pendulum: Worry <--------> Trust

So, as many of you know, I am currently in the job hunt.  It seems like my emotions on this topic are on a pendulum that swings at varying speeds; some days it goes from one end to the other in five minutes, and sometimes it's more gradual, going from one side to the other over the course of a week or two.

On one side I feel entirely reliant on God, I trust that He has everything already worked out, and I sometimes entirely put the thought that I need a job out of my mind for days at a time because I am simply trusting that God will provide.  I am reminded of previous "job hunts".  When I was 12 someone at church offered me a job that was a great fit and I worked there until I was 19, at which point I felt led to move to West Chester so that I could minister more effectively during my time at college.  God amazingly provided me with a job that provided income AND a house (I was an RA).  And then, in October (9 months before the fact), I was informed that there would possibly be a job opening at my church in July, which was, oddly enough, perfect for my school schedule as I would graduate after completing two summer classes.  That Spring I was short on money, as has been my habit, and so I decided I really needed to pick up another job on top of the RA job.  It "just so happened" that when I went in to fill out an application I found out that the late night janitor that I had a habit of talking to when I studied late in the student union had no life, but instead managed food service for the university during the day and was a janitor at night.  So, he sat down with me and the head of HR, said to the head of HR, "Give him any job he wants.  If its not there, make it."  and then leaves.  It "conveniently" worked out that they were opening a new grill on South Campus, about 100 feet from my apartment door (yes, I lived in the closest building to the grill out of the 13 in the complex, and I promise you, that was NOT planned, least I didn't plan it).

But then there's times where I find myself on the complete opposite end of the spectrum.  Where I literally feel my heart rate accelerating when I think about it that it is mid-March and I still don't have a job lined up for August.  Which would not be a big deal, in and of itself, except for that my wedding date is contingent upon it.  When I consider this, I start to feel guilty, like if I was just looking a little harder for a job me and Dana wouldn't be in the situation we are in right now of trying to plan a wedding with no date in sight.  In fact, sometimes just thinking about our wedding makes my heart rate accelerate, not because I'm nervous about the wedding, but because I feel so terrible about the fact that I don't yet have a job.  My mind starts to "zone in" and I make lists of what I need to do to work towards the end of getting a job.  I do 3-4 hour long google searchs on local jobs, trying to figure out where all I should be putting applications in at.  And I find, after these times, that my mind and thoughts were not even on God at all.

I feel like there's somewhere in the middle I should be.  It seems to me that I should not be worrying about the end result but I should still be pursuing the end result.  I need to trust but I also need to work.  But some days that just seems impossible.  I think of verses like "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you" and "Man plans out his ways, but God determines His footsteps".  It occurred to me just the other day that I can't pray without ending up just praying about a job.  I can't even focus on others to pray for them, much less on God to seek His face.  How pitiful I must look spiritually in those moments, understand that I am not heaping guilt on myself in saying this or wallowing in self-condemnation, rather I am stating the truth.  How pitiful I must look.  I come before God, having selfishly slaved after my desires with no thought or consideration of Him, and I don't even take the time to talk to Him or to seek His face or to get to know Him more, I just start going off about what I want and how I want it.  Father, I ask that you would make me new, that you would focus my heart upon Jesus, that you would remind me of your glorious riches, that you cause me not to seek my kingdom but rather your kingdom that you are bringing about.  Cause me to not only seek your hand, to not only seek your voice, but to seek your face.  Help me to come near to you in humility, recognizing my weakness and your strength, and then to go out and do the work that you have for me.  Help me to see that filling out applications and looking for jobs can be done to your glory, and help me to do it for your glory and not for my own.  Break me.  Bring me into a state of surrender.  Take control.

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