Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Taste of Success: Redefined

Success Redefined: Abundant Life After Loss is not published. I hope it is soon, but if not (see prior post) God know the reason(s) he had me write it and I did my part by following His prompting to write, not necessarily publish, it.

I feel it is a book for our time. Men and women are losing jobs, due to circumstances beyond their control, in droves. When a job loss occurs much more than a job is lost. It negatively impacts finances, relationships, and simply messes up life in general. The greatest loss, especially for men, is the loss of identity. Far too many men, and to a smaller degree women, get their identity from their occupation. When the job is gone they are left without purpose, direction, and meaning. 
I now know that defining who is was by what I did for a living is what left me so empty that I nearly took my life. 

Over a period of 13 years I had risen from a part-time janitor position to a respected, well paying  position for a large utility company. Then, with a single executive decision, it was gone. I tried to hold on but one year later there was nowhere left to go. This is where the following excerpt from Success Redefined: Abundant Life After Loss picks up my story.

Many of my co-workers at the utility company call center were shocked when I left with a positive attitude. My faith that God had something better for me made no sense to them. They thought I should be bitter and angry. After all my years of dedicated service, this was the second job this company had pulled out from under me. The company's decision makers didn't care about me. Why should I care about leaving on good terms? I was positive that it would only be a few weeks or, at the longest, a few months before God led me to a job I would enjoy, which paid just as well. Instead, God led me into a desert, as He did Moses, to prepare me to lead others out of their desert. There He changed me from the inside out. Humility replaced Pride. Openness to my need for others replaced independence. The creation of my career path gave way to acceptance of God’s will, regardless of where He placed me. God engaged me in the lives of others in ways only He could orchestrate.                  Humbled
                                         Engaged      I found a lasting HOPE in Jesus and Him alone. The process of His transforming work in my life was about to begin. 

Six years later God lead me to a job that I enjoyed that paid much less than than I made at the end of my time with the big utility company. During that 6 years in the desert God changed me so drastically that I no longer cared anything about the job except for His will that I have it. It is now over a decade later and I still make less than I did then. I still don't care. My identity is no longer in what I do or how much I make. My identity is now found in Christ who never changes and never leaves me wondering who I am.