I am in a weird place tonight--Limbo Land. Sometime, dangling between now and a nebulous point we'll call "soon," I'll have to make a big decision--then again, maybe I won't.
I am one of two finalists in a job search.
For the sake of argument, or analysis, let's assume I will be offered the job. My uneasiness stems from my confusion about whether to leave a job I love for another job I could love which happens to offer one big, significant perk plus some nice others.
On the surface, it's a no-brainer:
--Same hours ... BUT
--50% off my kids' college tuition
--3 weeks off at Christmas
--1 week off at spring break
I think it would be appropriate to insert a spritely happy dance here at the notion of such great gains.
That's on the surface. Below the surface lies:
--Where I feel very competent & comfortable (hugely important to me since I thrive on routine and safety, not exciting, new adventures)
--Where I feel effective in ministry by supporting a great staff
--Where the staff feels like family, and that is no overstatement
--Where I can wear jeans!
--That is 7 minutes away from home (other is 30 minutes away)
--Also has lots of vacation time
--Almost four years invested
Both organizations are premiere, in my opinion. I would be proud to be affiliated with either one, feel honored to serve in ministry either place, see both opportunities as humbling blessings. I don't know why God is so good to me.
For several days I have been wringing my hands and "toiling and spinning," although I know better than to behave that way. I am fearful of making the wrong move, of missing God's voice or misreading his will. This decision is important, because as Rick Warren has convinced us, "It's not about me." Ultimately, it's about the needs of my family, my beloved church/ministry, and an awesome university.
One wise counselor has encouraged me to keep reading the Bible, since that is the usual first place the Holy Spirit speaks to me. God also uses my pastor's sermons, radio ministries, other people and music, often not just "Christian" music, to reinforce his guidance. I try not to rely on my emotions nor do anything contrary to scriptural principles. In this case, I am trying to decide between two good things.
I'm interested in what you think. Do you believe that God has a "perfect will" for each of our lives? Or do you think that, outside the clear boundaries and principles of scripture, as in situations like this, God is not set on one option, but instead says in effect, "Either is fine if you are walking with Me." In other words, is my position or task not as important as who I am in Him and how I'm being transformed into His likeness?
There is a decision-making process involving scripture, prayer, seeking wise counsel, "shaking hands with the decision," (making a commitment) and then gauging your comfort, or peace-level, with that decision. If you're peaceful, you've probably made the right decision. If you're not peaceful, that means you've given up the job that you loved and they've replaced you and you can never, ever, ever, get that that job back!!!! . . . Ha.
Well, the scriptures that seem to be standing out to me are in Exodus where the Israelites are trapped between mountains and the sea. The bad guys are closing in. The Israelites are wringing their hands, and Moses, a very wise counelor at this point, says, "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."
Also, in Exodus 13:14, God tells Moses to stop praying ("crying out") and get moving. James 1:6 says that when a man prays, he "must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind." I have felt exactly like that wave.
Finally, the note on Exodus 13:15 says, "The Lord told Moses to stop praying and get moving! Prayer must have a vital place in our lives, but there is also a place for action. Sometimes we know what to do, but we pray for more guidance as an excuse to postpone doing it. If we know what we should do, then it is time to get moving."
I have been asking God to open and close doors. In the meantime, I think he is asking me to draw close to him, to trust and obey. And although I admit I'm afraid, I think I am ready to move if I receive the order.
So, my conclusion is: I'm still open to wise counsel. And as much as I'm able, I'll pray without ceasing, pray without doubting, quiet my transparent, faithless churning, follow God through open doors, and accept closed doors with joy. I have open hands and an open heart that trusts in the faithfulness of my God. And, even in Limbo Land, I feel the undercurrent of His peace.