I have never found the expression, ‘The Lord works in mysterious ways’ all that comforting. Basically, this is the person saying it telling me that they don’t know why the hell things are the way they are.
See…not that comforting. This is not to say that He doesn’t work that way. It’s just really not an answer when people are seeking them.
This, I think, has been my greatest struggle on my journey to writing as a career. Every single time in my adult life when something didn’t work out, I was always reassured by friends and family that it was because God had something better in mind.
Hearing that is a big pill to swallow after graduating from TCC plus having two years of journalism experience and cleaning up puke in the K-Mart bathroom as a stocker while in my mid-thirties.
This was the exact same thing I had heard in the past when things didn’t turn out the way I wanted or felt they should. This would become a pattern in my life. Let me give an example; Before the K-Mart days when I was in my early twenties, I worked with a group of guys in a manufacturing plant.
I liked the job and the people I worked with.
We worked very well together and had a great working rhythm. We were night shift and also had a competition for tonnage with the day shift. We consistently beat them and even set new plant records. This went on for quite some time.
Like most of those types of job situations, there are several different areas to work within the plant. Some of those jobs paid better than mine and well money is the name of the game.
I certainly didn’t go for the atmosphere.
When an opportunity arose for one of those jobs I applied. I come into work a couple of weeks later and there is a new employee in that job.
I was young and nervous about finding out what happened, but I was also angry and I wanted an explanation. So when the big boss over our shift walked by my work area, I seized the moment and asked why I hadn’t gotten the job.
He blatantly replied, “I am not going to break up a team as good as this one!”
I replied by asking him why a new person was hired over me for a higher paying job when I had been there longer and proven myself to be a good and reliable employee. He simply reiterated what he had already said and walked away.
Obviously, this did not sit well with me.
Being in the throes of depression and fighting that constant feeling that I should be somewhere else doing something else, only exacerbated the battle already raging inside me.
Little did I know that the small battle inside would become an all-out war in which I am still engaged.
Again, I was told that the Lord works in mysterious ways and that He had something better for me.
Perhaps cleaning puke off the floor at K-Mart for less money ten years later was better. But it sure as hell didn’t feel like it!
The fact that I had gone into debt for school and could not find a job that I could easily have gotten without that piece of paper showing that I had achieved a higher level of education, made me feel as though I had been robbed.
Now, this is where it gets deep, so hang on. As parents, we do our very best to teach our children to have hopes and dreams, but to achieve them, they must sacrifice and earn those dreams. We want them to aspire to whatever it is that makes them happy while also teaching them that faith, integrity, work ethic and determination are the key elements in reaching their goals. It’s at this point in the blog that we must ask, just how does the Lord work?
how does the Lord work?
How does He work when the world is such an unfair place? I felt as though I deserved that job at the plant as did my immediate boss and co-workers.
I had done the right things by working hard and paying my dues, but I didn’t get it.
Did the Lord block that from happening or did man?
And if it was man, then why didn’t God step up and make it happen anyway?
I believed at the time it was because God had something better…or maybe He didn’t.
Ten years later and after a very toxic working relationship with my father, I was working at K-Mart and making less money than I had since I was a teenager.
It would be another ten years before I began to realize that it wasn’t that He works in mysterious ways as much as it is that He and I have different goals.
The second part of this blog will publish in my next post.