Thursday, April 2, 2009

To the graduating and "transitional"

Many of my friends are soon graduating. What a milestone in life. I’ll spare you all from my reminiscing and strolling Memory Lane. With graduation comes the foray into the workplace; for some, the first such exposure. Cover letters written, résumés sent out, interviews lined up, dress attire neatly ironed (hopefully). A wonderful time for us to try our faith when we have claimed God’s great provision. A good test indeed.

I’ve tried to encourage people in regard to interviews. Remember that an interview is not simply a way for you to impress someone so you can get the job you think you want (though that seems to be are conditioning). An interview is a time for two parties to evaluate each other; are you a good match for the company and the position, and are they a good match for you? You don’t want to put forth a fake front and end up underperforming or being stuck in a job unfit for your skills and abilities. An interview is a time for great honesty, which, naturally, may be hard to do if you’re gripping to your hopes for the position. And if your aim is merely to get the job that brings fulfillment, happiness, and grand financial gain, the grip will indeed be as a vise (and perhaps a vice).

Anyway, small sermon spewing aside, yesterday morning I was praying for my friends. As I prayed, a large smile developed wide across my face, and I sensed light going forth as God sent out His people. Many may see getting a job as a simple act of practicality. Do you not know the intricate complexion of God’s weaving in His placement of you? Hah…of course, none of us “know” it in its completeness. God will place you where you need to be. Within His permissive will, you could go somewhere other than where He first had in mind, with your decisions perhaps leading to such another place. But that’s ancillary theology outside of the circumference of this discourse (note the subtle insinuation to this writing being a loop that will hopefully come around with good meaning…and close :). I feel I should let that idea float without my anchoring it with my own ideas, at least without more than already presented.

Do know that it is good to desire good things. In that knowledge, I challenge you to close your bedroom door, get on your knees, and lay out your hands, offering up desires of a certain job to God. When released into His freedom (in this case, not held down by any unbridled longing), His peace is incredible. Give Him permission to use you as He wills. That’s scary, if done outside of the trust of a loving, compassionate, and protective Father. And know that your desired job and what you get after you surrender are not necessarily exclusive (just remember surrender entails a true letting go). Such a beautiful thing to receive back what was surrendered, and such grace to have lost it forever.

One last thought. I implore you to pray for your future coworkers. In doing so you allow God to prepare your heart for meeting them, and for serving them. You also are making a request that the all-powerful and sovereign Creator of the world to work in their lives, which He honors; that’s pretty cool.

May the Lord grant you His wisdom in your searching, His grace in your moving, and His heart in your loving.

Psalm 23 (I ended up memorizing this by reading it many times before interviews in ’07)

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

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