I have been here before. This is that strange, eerie place where suddenly I have time. Before, I was a log being swept along in a river. Now I am washed up on shore, watching and wondering. I am in that weird and lonely place called unemployment.
After ten years with the same company, I resigned. It is a painful transition. It is a humbling transition. I am reading books like Finding Work Without Losing Heart by William J. Byron (Holbrook Massachusetts: Adams Publishing) 1995. I keep thinking about what I should be doing. I should be at the pinnacle of a great career. I should be making great sums of money and giving generously to missionaries and charities. I should be a shining example of great leadership. Alas, it is quite clear that I really am a ragamuffin.
I have been here before. Career transitions have led me to some remarkable adventures. When I use the word "adventure" I mean the kind of experience I heard about recently, where a fellow went hiking in the wilderness by himself, got pinned by a boulder in a cave, and had to cut off his arm in order to free himself and walk away.
That kind of adventure. The painful kind.
I am thankful, of course, that the Lord has never put me to that kind of test. Compared to many people, I have had relatively few disadvantages and burdens with which to deal. This is precisely why, however, that I feel I have come up short, both in serving God and, at times, in simply extracting joy from life.
What to do? In my case, a return to Romans 5:1-5 is in order:
Therefore since we have been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (ESV).
When we love God and seek to serve Him, we are never unemployed.