Old Haunts

8/26/10 at 10:33 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

I still get occasional dreams about being back in school, over 25 years ago, and it’s usually something about not knowing where my classes are, not attending classes but having to be ready for a big test, or just being late to a class. Let’s not forget the classic going to school in underwear or naked. Curiously, I don’t dream about old jobs, even though I’ve had a few for a longer period of time. This summer I had a chance to drive past two old job sites, both for the first time since leaving the jobs. For both jobs I was asked to leave and it took me quite a while to find another job. With engineering jobs you are considered very indirect labor, and if things aren’t going well or they’re looking to cut, engineers are shown the door. I still got unemployment checks, but they don’t support the lifestyle you develop with OK (not that big) pay.

I do not maintain ties with old jobs, so I have no idea how things go after I leave. For the first job I worked for a company that had changed ownership a few times, and I had left there in ’88 (did meet and wed the lovely Kristal during my stay there!). A dozen years later the plant looked like it was abandoned: paint peeling, office furniture strewn about, grass growing through the cracks in the cement but someone still cutting the grass. The small parking lot by the main entrance had signs for some of the manager’s parking spots, and I recognized a few of the names.

The second job was for a company that manufactured something similar to the first company/job. That plant was still up and running, but under a different owner. Since they were still in business I did not linger but just did a quick drive-by. There’s that curiousity to see if some of the same people are still working there and if the doofus boss that cut you got his just desserts. While we (Kristal and I) tried to stay in that area because of the farm we lived on, we ended up moving to Ohio, adopted our miracle son and still were able to move back to NC.

Though I’m haunted by these old jobs and how things happened to me, I can see God’s hand guiding me and opening new doors when others were shut. I get bored with a job after a year or two, as I’ll have tried the things that I think can help the company. You’d think I would have learned this and forced myself to find new challenges or a different position, but as long as I’m getting paid I’m complacent. I’ve been at my current job for about nine years. I know what I want to do to start my own business, but I’m not ready yet.

That last sentence haunts me the most. Is this it for me? I’m grateful for the Lord’s provision and not having to scramble for work in these difficult times, but I would like more. God helps those who help themselves.



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  1. It’s a hard balance to find – we want to see ourselves as successful, to leave our mark here, but at the same time, we know full well this earth is temporary, our existence here just a single brushstroke on the canvas of eternity.

    God has to push me out of jobs as well, even when I know I’ve been ready to leave for a long time. Better the devil you know, I guess.

    Sometimes, when we are least ready is exactly when God wants us to act.

  2. Yeah, God’s timing can be “fuss-tratin”, especially when we know what we want and how good it is for us. We still want to help God with that single brushstroke, as if we were artists – like the paint telling the brush how to move. I’ve had some dry times in my professional “career”, and I’d just as soon avoid them. I have to keep in mind first where does God want me and how can I advance His Kingdom most effectively. Tough questions.

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