This was the life of a chemistry major (it was kinda' tough) at a liberal arts college (that part was really tough).
Especially my last couple of years, when I had my hardest classes, I realized that I couldn't do it. I knew that I could not make the grades I wanted, while also playing football, all by myself.
It was a time to pray and trust God. And that's what I did. As soon as I saw my syllabus, I would pray for God to help me through the term.
And then was a time to buckle down and get to work.
My New JobI'm in a similar situation now. Yes, I'm back at Furman, but not as a student. I now work for the university, in a part-time job at the Shi Center for Sustainability. I am the Program Coordinator for the Community Conservation Corps.
The short description is that I help low-income families get free assistance with weatherization for their homes. The shorter description is that I'm a project manager, a set of responsibilities that's completely new to me.
And that's why I'm praying. I have had a lot to learn, in my two weeks of overlap with the previous coordinator (whose last day is today). So that leaves me, and a student worker (who will be done in a few weeks), and my boss (who is on maternity leave).
So that leaves me. And God. (And, of course, a great team of folks at Furman who will do everything they can to help me succeed in this role.)
I'm thankful to be in this role. And I see how my skills and experiences (especially community connections) will add value to this program.
But I almost turned this job down.
The Job Before MeI applied for the job last month, and was invited for an interview. I was pretty surprised when I received a call a few days later offering me the position. During the interview, I didn't think they were impressed by what I could offer, for what the job needed.
But they made an offer, and I asked for the weekend to talk with my wife and think about it. And I very nearly said "no." I reasoned that . . .
- Project management wasn't what I wanted to do. I thought God was drawing me to work with kids and youth.
- The 20-hour work week would limit my time with my job with Elevate Youth, and other youth-related opportunities that would come up.
- The job didn't pay as much as I thought it would.
But by Monday, I knew I needed to take it, and I'm glad I did. And that weekend's sermon from Grace Church was a key part in my decision (Coincidental timing? I think not.)
In hearing this sermon on the miracle of God providing manna, God showed me:
- This was the job He put before me. He might use it to open new opportunities down the road (and of course, He may not).
- I need to trust God enough to work diligently.
- I need to be willing to work in a job that I don't necessarily enjoy.
- I need to look for ways to meet the needs of those around me. And this job is such an opportunity to do that.
As with my teaching job at Lead Academy, God can do a great thing, and it will be all because of His grace.
My Other New JobIn September, I will be starting another new job. I will be teaching a 6th grade math class at Upstate Homeschool Co-Op, where our kids have attended. It's a new class for this co-op, and I'll teach two days per week, for an hour each day, for 24 weeks.
I've got some work to do, if I want to make this class engaging and helpful for 6th graders.
Again, I'll be depending on God for His grace and help.
More Great TeachingI've also been learning a lot about work through some other great teaching from Grace Church. A group of eight of us guys are meeting weekly to discuss the material called A Man and His Work. Like the above-mentioned sermon on manna, these teachings come at just the right time.
Here are some of my take-aways:
- God is a worker, and in my work I reflect His image.
- I need to make money to provide for my family (as I wrote here).
- Skillful and excellent work glorifies God.
- I should provide something or some service that makes the world better.
- Work shapes character.
- I need to take Jesus to work, especially by praying through the day.
I look forward to growing in my new jobs (and my "old" one), and for seeing how God works through them, and in me.