Monday, February 26, 2018

Lose Your Life and Save It.

As a Field Service Engineer working for a well known global company fixing cash registers, point-of-sale machines, self-checkouts, and Lexmark Office Printers, it was the best paying job I have ever held. Company van, independence, my own phone, tools, laptop and as much training as I could stand. I had a great boss who understood what it took in the field, and even greater co-workers, who have selflessly given me their last parts to finish a task, knowing they would need it later that day. I even had business cards made with my name on them, and told myself in college that if I ever held a career where I needed business cards, it was a sign that I had truly made it in my career. I achieved all my successes, and what I had set out to do. My goals were met.

And then on Friday, January 12th, I walked away from it all. 

Why you may ask? Many reasons. Yeah, the job itself was very stressful, changed my personality, and I wasn't prepared for the impossible daily workload that I needed to fulfill. Oh, when I gave my 3 weeks notice trust me, all my boss wanted to do was try to find a way to keep me. And it wasn't like I was a horrible service provider. If you looked at my stats, I was doing as good, if not better than the rest of the team. But it wasn't the reason I left. I had given up alot of who I was for the job. I used to teach Inductive Bible Study, go witnessing and share Christ with the lost, spend alot of time with my wife, and enjoyed the company of great friends who have become like family to me. Since I took the position 20 months ago, I hardly witnessed, I had to give up teaching, and my friends got lost in the shuffle, their kids growing and probably think I had abandoned them. 

When I got laid off from my previous position before I took this job, I took unemployment...because that's what the world does. But what I didn't know is that you give up more than what it's worth. I didn't have the freedom to choose the "right" job, or the job that I wanted. I had to send in two job contacts a week. Sounds like a piece of cake, right? No. At first it was fun because I had a list of about 10 places I wanted to work. But then after that, it wasn't fun anymore. I had to struggle and find places I really wanted to be. Because I couldn't turn down jobs and if I did, and I got caught, I would have to pay back ALL my unemployment plus interest. Knowing what I know now, I would have never taken unemployment, and be under government bondage again. I should have took the time and trusted the Lord for guidance, wisdom, and courage. That's what Christian's do.

But one verse kept ringing in my head the whole time I was laid off, and when I was hired this last time. "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it." - Mark 8:35. The whole time I was on unemployment, I was trying to save my life, Tying to find a way to keep my house, my car, my cats, my stuff, all the while giving up my life, my sanity, my relationship with the Lord and my wife, and stressing out about everything. For what? 

Within the company I had a rewards account where your boss can give you rewards points for like doing a good job, going the extra mile, that sort of thing. Well a week before I left I looked at my account and I had 750 rewards points accumulated over the short course of my time there. Well I went shopping, and found a Citizen watch that I really liked worth $200. But I got it to be a constant reminder to me that time is running short. That I have to redeem my time here while I have it. Knowing that I am a CITIZEN of heaven, and not of this earth. And finding out later that it is solar powered. Which reminds me that I have life in the SON (sun). 

So what have I been doing since I left? I am in the process of repairing old relationships, mending a marriage that is worth all my energy, and fulfilling the calling God has created for me from before the foundation of the world. I am in the process of writing 2 books, relearning Spanish, and preparing for a move in the right direction. It's better to be in God's will than out of it. Even when the situation looks bleak, God is right there with me. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

It's OK To Be "Fame-ish".

I recently watched a YouTube episode of No Small Parts, called Remembering Taylor Negron. "Taylor...Negron? Who is that, "You ask? Well, you no doubt have seen him in various rolls watching television or movies. He has a very recognizable appearance, and his voice is probably even more recognizable. He has been on countless television shows and movies as a character actor. He has played a Mailman in Better Off Dead, Monica's boss in several episodes of Friends, and even played a psychopath bad guy in the movie, The Last Boyscout. According to IMDB, he has been an actor 130 times. Here is the episode.

So why do I bring this up? Taylor was content playing the small parts. He was content not being extremely famous. He didn't take on the lead roles. He wasn't interested in being in the spotlight. He was happy right where he was. He was happy being, "fame-ish". In ministry we need to know that there are no small parts. Each of us plays a part for the much bigger whole in Christianity. We all have gifts that when we contribute with others with different gifts, we can accomplish much. Think about this when you watch the video.