What Matters

What are you doing that really matters?

Is this really where God wants me to be?

You know, that’s a pretty common question I hear.  Maybe you’ve asked it yourself, even if not out loud.  So let me answer the question with a question. What makes you think you aren’t in the right place right now?  Is it that you are being led by your feelings?  “You don’t know what it’s like – I’m surrounded by sharks!” Or what about, “If I don’t show up for happy hour/cocktails/after dinner parties I’ll be passed over for promotions.”  Who said that was for you in the first place?  “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)  Maybe God does have something, somewhere, better for you.  In His time.  Or maybe you still have work to do where you are.

Yeah, but this doesn’t feel like “abundant” living.

I hear you.  So, you have a job, maybe even your own business. It pays the bills, and you’re making a decent living. Shouldn’t that be enough? Well, Friend, if you’re asking me, it seems that maybe you’ve already been given a divine nudge or two to change things up on the career front.  I think about Ms. Sandra Stanley of Opening Doors for Women in Need in Fort Worth.  One of the things she said was that she sought God’s Will, intentionally asking Him to take her selfish desires out of it so that she could be led to where He wanted her to be“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)  That’s not natural though, is it?  A lot of times, I think we feel more comfortable splitting things down the middle with Him – “You can have me at home and on Sundays, but I’ll deal with Monday through Friday.”  Ms. Sandra recognized that her situation at the time did not utilize the gifts that she’d been given.  Now, she knows what her gifts are, but maybe you don’t.  Ask a trusted friend, or a minister, or just start with an online “spiritual gifts quiz” to narrow it down for you.  Find your gifts, find your passion. Then, as Ms. Patricia at Lil’ Sweets in Arlington told me, “Move when He say move!” Amen, sister!

Listen, I don’t want to seem ungrateful for the job I have, but…

OK then, don’t.  Look around you instead.  Whose life have you affected for the better?  Who has benefited from your service or product?  Whose life is a little easier because you show up to work every day?  Working with others in mind helps take the spotlight off of our own cares and concerns, especially if we are working at making things better for someone else.  Go back and listen to Ms. Sandra.  She said obstacles come up all the time.  She is challenged by the very women she is working day in, day out, to help!  To combat the negativity, she found good people, people who were already successful with nonprofits.  She found trustworthy people to give her sound, biblical (note – NOT the breakroom or water cooler) counsel when she needed it.  And, she recognized the value of mentoring.  So much so, that she started up a business for mentoring others.

Well, that’s easy for you to say.  You don’t work for anyone.

True, and false.  I may be self-employed now, but that has not always been the case.  Listen, I have worked all kinds of jobs for all kinds of people. I’ve scooped potatoes at the Stouffer’s factory, dug graves in bitter cold, and washed windows on high-rise buildings.  I’ve been a life insurance salesman, a telemarketer, and a telecom tech, just to name a few.  And all those were after I served in the US Navy as a firefighter.  Through each and every one of those jobs, I was learning.  Learning how to talk to people, learning how to be the best at my assigned task, learning what I did and didn’t like to do.  There’s been plenty of trial and error.  That’s OK.  What’s that saying? “The fool says I have nothing left to learn.”  I’m learning something new everyday.  My point is, real estate may pay the bills, but I knew that there was something more for me to do.  So, here I am.

OK, what do I do now?

Well, Friend, I don’t know what your next move is.  But I know the One who does.  Stepping out in faith looks different for each us.  I think about Angelique Burkett, who owned a gymnastics business and left it to become a realtor – that’s a leap.  For some, it’s leaving a career you actually enjoy to become a full-time homemaker or caregiver.  For others, it’s cutting back to part-time work (and part-time pay) to further your education.  Maybe it’s finally taking that idea for a small business you’ve been sitting on for a handful of years now and making it a reality.  Or it could just be about finding peace and being content right where you are.

Whatever your next move is, I want to go with you!  I absolutely love talking to people who are passionate about what they are doing.  Meeting people who aren’t afraid of hard work, who recognize that setbacks are opportunities to grow, and who persist when they want to give up – that fires me up!  Their stories have so much to offer us – encouragement, motivation, inspiration, confirmation, direction, even redirection.  That’s what Press and Reach is about – building up those who are already doing it, and encouraging everyone else who’s thinking about it.  Don’t you think it’s time to start doing something you love?  Abundant life, Friend.  Step out and go get it! What stops you from moving forward?

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