Wednesday, March 27, 2019

What I've Learned About Open Doors

Photo by Claudel Rheault on Unsplash

My how time has flown by!

I just searched through my email inbox and facebook feed and discovered that one year ago, I was in the middle of fundraising for my trip to Tanzania. By the end of March I was at 56% of my goal. I was buying clothes, getting information about vaccines, picking flights, talking with my team over email and skype....I was in the heat of preparing for a trip that turned out to be quite possibly the most amazing 7 weeks of my life so far.

It was a whirlwind. God provided along every step of the way. He provided the funds faster than I ever imagined was possible....but with God, all things are possible, right? He provided clothes that fit, answers to questions, and information I didn't even know was necessary. Ultimately, he granted me peace that this was the right choice for my summer. It was amazing.

I was thinking about that provision, and how fast everything moved, because it happened again this year.

In January, two days after I turned 18, I went to Chick-fil-a to follow up on a job application I had turned in online. I had already followed up on an application elsewhere, and I expected this to be the same way: "I'll tell the manager you stopped by."

Well. Instead, I got there and spoke to a manager, who told me that they were holding group interviews later that day and I was welcome to stick around until then. Say what? So, I did. And although my brother will inform you that I spaced out and missed the first round of interviews even though I was sitting right there (which is true, to my shame), I got an interview.

That was Monday afternoon, around 4 pm. The manager told me that the next thing would be a second interview and that if they wanted me to come back for that interview, they would text me by the next day. I got that text around 5:30 pm while I was at the gym.

On Wednesday I went back to the store and was interviewed a second time. Immediately following that interview, the manager hired me. The following Tuesday I had orientation. Thursday I had to go back and fill out another form that was missed. Then it was a little bit of waiting, and a week later, on February 7, I had my first training shift. Then my second on Tuesday and my third on Friday. The following week I worked my first real shift. I've now worked five weeks, anywhere between five and fifteen hours, and I love it.

Less than a month after going in to follow up on an application, I was employed and working hard. God provides, once again, and he does so at lightning speed. I never expected this process to move that fast.

Sound similar to my story from last year about my trip to Tanzania? I think so. So what am I supposed to take away from this similarity?

Last year, as things were ramping up and my support was coming in quickly, I turned to my mom and said, "God must really want me in Tanzania this summer, because it appears that the door is wide open." The next thing to be said was, "What does he want to teach me, or what does he want me to do this summer?" He taught me a lot. I did a lot. I met new people, and I can only hope that they saw the light of Jesus shining through me and that they were impacted for eternity. I know the trip impacted me in amazing ways.

So as I come to this new job, I ask the same thing. By all human reckoning, I shouldn't have this job. But God is so amazing that he makes impossible things possible. And he must have a purpose, because he always does. So I ask, "God must really want me to be here because he made the way so smooth for me to get a job. What does he want me to do and what does he want to teach me while I'm working at Chick-fil-a?" I'm not naive...just because Chick-fil-a is a Christian owned company and closed on Sundays does not mean that every employee is a believer in Jesus Christ. Neither are all the customers believers in Christ. And although all the employees are supposed to be cheerful, respectful, kind, and helpful to one another, managers, and customers, a believer will stand out because they will be respectful and cheerful and kind beyond "my pleasure." In times of high stress, it will be the believers who will stand out as those who are calm and still cheerful, even under pressure. I think that what God wants me to do at Chick-fil-a is be a light...both to my co-workers and to the customers.

And as far as lessons to learn? I'm thinking I must have a ways to go in developing a servants heart, because I've had to take out the trash several times and clean the bathrooms a couple times. I've cleaned the tables over and over and over...and I need to learn how to do it well, to God's glory, and without complaining...even in my head. Is cleaning tables for an entire shift fun? No. Is it hard? It can be. Can I do it to HIS glory? Absolutely. I pray every day as I drive across town to work, "Lord, help me to live for you, to shine brightly in my workplace, and to honor you."

Couple all of that with the sermon series our church is going through right now. Our pastor is preaching about discipleship-what it means to GO and preach the gospel and make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). GOING doesn't have to be overseas for 7 weeks like I did last summer. Going could be reaching out to neighbors, friends, and co-workers. Our mission as believers is to preach the good news (and live it) to those around us, wherever we are. I'm supposed to be a light to all who come across my path. This is the purpose God has for me wherever I am...Tanzania, community college, Chick-fil-a, the grocery store, the gym....

Well, that was a lot of rambling. In summary, it is my prayer that God will use me in the job he has given me to shine brightly for him. If you come into Chick-fil-a while I'm working, it is my prayer that you will see Jesus in my actions, words, and attitude...whether I clean the bathroom, take your order, clean tables, or mop up a milkshake spill. If you take the class with me at the gym, I pray that you see Jesus in my attitude. Whatever college God opens the door for, may my fellow students and our professors see Jesus in the way I diligently do the work. I pray that even as you read my blog you would see him in every word I type.

 Every time I see an open door, I know God has me there for a purpose: to shine brightly for Him.

 Let them see you in me, Lord. Let them see you.

3 comments:

  1. Good words!! Check out this old hymn ./'./'Let the Beauty of Jesus be Seen in me.../'./'
    LT~=0)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This post was exactly what I needed right now. I'm in a similar place regarding work, except for the slight difference that... well... *whispers* I don't like my job.

    It's kind of a dreary workplace. Work is monotonous, and I've noticed that no one there ever seems truly happy. But I have to keep reminding myself that these conditions are exactly the reason God has me there! Shining the light of Jesus in a secular place is not always fun. But it is SO important.

    Thank you for this post. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Amen! I'll be praying for you.

    ReplyDelete