Saturday, April 21, 2012

Is your vocational clock ticking?

5:01 p.m. Today's project was to co-host a Muffins & Makeovers gathering, which eneded up with a lovely friend of mine coming for her facial and makeover. By the sound of our greeting and our exuberant hug, my fellow beauty consultant Cara though it was a long-lost reunion. "Oh no," I laughed, "We see each other every Sunday!" Sandra added, "It's just that we never get a chance to talk!" So talk, sip tea and eat homemade muffins was just what we did! Plus Sandra had a delightful makeover and tried a glamour look she loved.

As we talked about her very hectic career in the public sector, and my retirement from same, she expressed her concern that she didn't think she could take another 20 years, and was blessed by my sharing the way I'd planned my career and public service so as to be able to retire with pensions and, as I thought  might happen, be able to take care of Steve. Yet, pension payments are quite modest compared to full-time income, and that's where my business very nicely fills in the gaps, and then some, in a fun and rewarding way. Planning for your family's future is scriptural, not a lack of trust (as those who just let events roll over them while  drifting along without purpose might claim).  Prudent stewardship is commended throughout scripture and lazy living is roundly and repeatedly condemned! Hear these proverbs:

...the prudent considers well his steps. Prov. 14:15b

The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns, but the way of the upright is a highway. Prov. 15:19 [I think that includes mental laziness, a failure to seek the Lord and wise counsel, and make appropriate plans].

A wise man's heart discerns both time and judgment.  Ecclesiastes 8:5

A man's heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps. Prov. 16:9

I especially like the last verse, because I have found that the more prayerfully, wisely, and actively I work, the more the Lord leads me to the ones I need to meet with, and leads them to me! More times than I can count, I have rather randomly texted an invitation to a friend or acquaintance, secretly thinking she'll never respond, and she becomes an enthusiastic customer or even  a team member! That's God directing my steps.

What I have been noticing in both the young, the Gen-X and -Y'ers, the young parents, the middle-aged and active seniors like myself, is restlessness, doubt, and dissatisfaction with career. Or, if they like their career and feel they are serving others in it, in a quandary over doing the same thing for another 20 years; or fear of their industry disintegrating; or being a lay-off victim.  People's vocational clocks are ticking! They, especially women, are looking for an appropriate amount of godly self-determination and choice in their work lives.

What is God calling you to do with your life? What has He gifted you to do? What hobby or even leisure activity or volunteer ministry just warms your heart and stimulates your mind with the possibility of turning your passion into a career, an amazing way to spend your time while you support yourself and your family or contribute to the family's income?  Do you need to return to school? Or learn hands-on from experienced and skilled friends whose work you admire? Would your spouse support your quitting your unsatisfying job to follow God's leading?  Have you committed your possible career change to God so He can open doors for you to walk through?

When God answers your questions, He will go before you!! Jesus told His followers, and His promise is just the same for those who follow Him today,is found in Hebrews 13: 6:

I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Take courage, and make your God-inspired move boldly! The verse goes on to declare

So we may boldly say,

"The LORD is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?"

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