Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Fork in The Road

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Jeremiah 6:16
This is what the LORD says: 
“Stand at the crossroads and look; 
ask for the ancient paths, 
ask where the good way is, 
and walk in it, 
and you will find rest for your souls. 
But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

Yesterday opportunity came knocking. I had just accepted a volunteer position at my church and was in the organizational meeting when I received a call from my regular job. It seems they have doubled in business and are needing to restructure. They wanted to offer me a full time supervisors position with a bit of pay raise. I would still do much of the same work that I have been doing but I would become the direct supervisor to a group of people. At that time I said that the job would not work for me with out continuing to be flexible. So my boss had to go back to his meeting with my need for flexibility in my daily schedule. I had to go back to my organizational meeting. It seemed like a no brainer - take the job. I have suddenly come to a fork in the road where a decision to go one directior or another must be made. My spirit was not at peace - thinking about that prospect made me sad not no excited. It is important to listen to your heart - this prospect was troubling my heart beyond the ordinary anxiety one feels about a looming change.  I try to be aware of and sort out what is lack of faith kind of fear vrs. what is a red flag or a check in the spirit this is not for you kind of thing.
I make decisions based upon where the peace of God is found. So I look ahead at the crossroads to try and see which one is the way Jesus would have me go. When I am wearing a decision I will try and look at where I am able to find Gods peace. That does not mean a decision does not require faith and courage.  The other thing I look at is how does this new thing fit into the vision and direction of my life as I understand it.  I am thankful that I have wonderful people around me that will pray with me and help and support me as I encounter big life changing decisions like the one I was presented yesterday.

Later in the day I called back and said I am interested but still have some concerns - the main one being the flexibility. So at that time I got a better idea of the structure they would need for me to have the job. I would need to be able to have six hours of available time between the hours of 7 and 3 my time because they are located in central time and those are the main hours. So I left it with let me go back and look at my schedule and see if I can re-organize it to work in those parameters. So I looked at the things I am doing during that block of time each day. I thought about how I would feel having to give up most of the things that were important to me to do a job that I am good at but don't particularly love doing.  I talked though the things I was struggling with and allowed some of the trusted people in my life to be my sounding boards. Sometimes it is easier to hear yourself as you bounce ideas off of other trusted people.  My pastor at one point said "Margot lets stop and pray and you listen to what Jesus is saying about this." So we prayed and the words in my head was that this would be a straitjacket.  You need to know in turning this position down that my present job will go to the person that they do hire to do the job.  So here is where courage and faith must step in - I have maybe 30 -90 days to replace that income with something else.  While that is kind of scary particularly when seemingly behind door #1 taking the job, lies security and money.  The question for me becomes can I trust God to put together a package that works for me along with the things he has already called and given me to do. The door #1 choice would mean stopping or severely limiting my ability to do those things.  Will I give up walking by faith and having the ability and time to do the things I believe God has called me to do in order to have security and a steady pay check. For me the answer is no.

Some things that have weighed in my decision were that I have been praying for less of this job not more. I have believed that at some point I would step out of it into doing more ministry, coaching, teaching, art. In all those things I have been working to be bringing in a more steady income. At this point to replace the income from my job I need to add each week 10 hours of coaching, music or art students to replace 20 hours of my present job. The prospect of doing that energizes me and excites me. Yes it is a challenge but I believe that God is able to help me find those people for whom my particular skill set will be of value.

Anyway I would appreciate your prayers as I continue to work through these changes.

Dear Lord,
I know my readers have their own life decisions to make. I pray that my sharing today will help and encourage them to trust you more in their own choices and decisions. I thank you for the wise and life giving people in my life and I pray that you would raise up wise and life giving people around those reading.

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