March 15, 2009


     First off if I caused any undue concern over my recent FB status this was not intentional.  I simply admired the advice.  It’s something I’ve actually been following for a while now . . . if you did not see the status the advise was something along the lines of, “Prepare your life to have no job.  Don’t let someone else make that decision for you.”  The point of this advice is to spur people on to not get caught in a rut of life where you’re just going to the same mind numbing job day in and day out and get so lost in that day-to-day that you forget yourself and what you really want to do.  Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with people who go to work for someone else, obviously we can’t all be owner\operators right?  But that doesn’t mean you have to leave yourself at the mercy of someone trying to increase their profit margin.
     But what is “security” in these days?  I think many automatically go to financial and job security.  But what is that really?  I mean, is job security knowing a few things that no one else does?  Is it being on the ‘in’ with the boss or an amazing job?  Is it talking a lot but not really saying anything?  Maybe it’s a degree hanging on the wall or years of experience under your belt.  See, I’ve been through layoffs, I’ve been terminated.  I’ve seen VP’s and Directors be let go for this reason or that.  I’m personally a man that was let go from a job where just 2 weeks before my termination my boss and co-workers paid for my wife and I to stay the weekend at a townhouse in Pigeon Forge.  After I was laid off I got a severance that lasted a while; no where near the 10 months I went without work.  Later after I was termed we quickly burned through what savings that we had . . . it’s amazing how little you can get by on.  Oh I’m not saying it’s fun or I’m itching to do it again; but ya know, kind of been there done that right?
     Here’s the thing . . . I’m not a slacker.  I don’t believe in doing things half-way; as many times I’ve been chaffed off and told myself that I’m going to do just “enough” to get by because it seems to work for everyone else . . . I just can’t change who I am.  I’ve also threatened to cut myself off and forget those ‘connections’ at work that can develop into friendships and leave oneself open to hurt . . . but again that goes against who I am at my core.  So, if I’m a hard worker that knows what he’s doing and a friendly guy that gets along with the frontline people as well as upper management.  If I’m the guy that people gravitate to naturally as a friend and leader, if I’m the guy that becomes everyone’s sounding board, the one that people seek out for advice . . . shouldn’t I have job security?
     Frankly . . . I don’t believe in it.  I honestly think that as long as you work for someone else there’s no such thing as job security.  You could, and I have, be the best employee, hardest worker, nicest guy, charismatic, the whole nine yards and if money can be saved by you taking a pay cut or even better your job being cut all together . . . don’t think they won’t do it in a heartbeat.  In truth, somewhere up the line it’s someone’s job to make sure the place you’re working for remains profitable.  If they are as good at their job as you are at yours then you know it’ll get done.  They may not smile while they do it . . . but honestly how often do you smile at your job?
     Too honest?  Again, I can’t help it.  I don’t really see the point in playing games or wasting time.  Now I should point out that currently I have a job that pays well and I’m in an industry that shouldn’t really see too much of an impact in the long term with the nations economic climate.  I’m not at all high on the food chain, I’m a grunt in the trenches and grunts are typically sacrificed by throwing them at the enemy . . . not retiring them from the lines.  So all I have to do is not go crazy with the constant beeping of the telephone and the unending long list of questions that I’ve answered time and time again (all too often it’s the same question from the same person).  Now, things are not perfect and I’m not itching for the unemployment line . . . don’t mistake this post for that at all.  Being through what I’ve been through I’m thankful for the lessons learned but I have no desire to repeat them.
     So where is the peace in all of this?  If there’s no such thing as job security then how in the world do we all not have ulcers and greying or balding heads?  How is it we’re not stroking out and having heart attacks?  How is it that we’re not going crazy and popping pills just to dull the pain?  How is it that we’re not all going crazy?  Well . . . maybe some of us are . . . but . . . some of us aren’t.  Oh I’ve got grey . . . well white hairs but I think that’s more to do with a certain 4 year old that’s recently told me that she’s going to get married.  And I’m sure I may have an ulcer, but that’s probably from all the ibuprofen I take for ankle issues . . . and the heart, eh . . . nothing a diet and actually using my cpap machine at night won’t help.
     Security . . . where is it?  Is it so elusive?  Why does it seem so hard to find?  I think it’s because we’re taught from an early age that if you want anything in life you’re going to have to go and get it.  So if something is handed to us freely then we kind of find that hard to accept.  The thing is . . . it’s not free, there’s a line in a song that puts it best, something like “you’re not asked for anything, but your all is demanded”.  Here’s the thing . . . and I say this while I’m sure some of you are rolling your eyes and maybe thinking about stopping reading . . . eh, that’s up to you.  Let me know how that search for security works out.
     In truth, real security can only be found in things that won’t fail you.  Jobs change, friends come and go, bodies betray, Christ is the only real security that exists.  I’m not talking some trite words of comfort that someone pulls out of the air; frankly that’s a load of crap.  The last thing I want to hear is someone who half cares or knows tell me that “God loves me” or “If He brings you to it He’ll bring you through it” . . . while those statements are true, they are all too often spoken cheaply from someone who doesn’t believe them themselves.
     Here’s the deal, like faith, security is about “knowing”.  It is beyond believing . . . it’s like a person saying they believe they can fly then they jump and suddenly they “know” they can’t.  Let’s try to paint a brighter picture . . . ha ha . . . it’s the difference between looking at a chair and “believing” it will hold you up and then sitting in it and “knowing” it will.  So while I’m not really challenging God to test me or begging for a fight with Satan . . . but if something does happen, I “know” I’ll be alright because I “know”.  My LifeGroup leader said something during a prayer the other night that has resounded with me, “Provision is not a paycheck”.  Obviously we need money to pay rent, mortgages, buy food, etc; but how many times in my life have I been without said monetary blessings and someone shows up on my door step with food or we drink watermelon juice because someone gave one to us.
     This obviously doesn’t mean that you should feel bad for questioning God or doubting when we go through these troubled times.  But oh the peace that comes in “knowing” that things are going to be fine.  A few weeks back I got into some trouble at work . . . but what was done was done . . . there was no way to ‘un-do’ it . . . the best that could have happened was a stern talking to, the worst would have been my termination.  But honestly . . . they couldn’t take what really mattered to me.  My family would still be my family . . . my God and King would still be my God and King . . . so what did it matter really?  Now I didn’t enjoy going through all the motions etc; but there was a peace about it.  I’m not saying this so I can boast, but so my readers out there will know what ‘security’ is.
     Security is not a job, it’s not a paycheck, bonuses, a well performing 401k, or IRA, etc;  security is knowing that the Creator of the Universe, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, not only died for you but knows you and seeks an honest relationship with you.  You can look over my past entries and you’ll see that I don’t often ask people to respond; and I’m not asking you to respond in a comment . . . I’m asking you to ask yourself, do you “believe” or do you “know”?  Now if you don’t believe then you need to take that first step and if that’s something you feel your being called to do or you want more info about this whole “God” thing . . . email me, comment, whatever; but ask the questions and find the answers.  Now if you are someone who’s needing to move from that realm of just believing to knowing . . . enjoy the journey.  It’s the most challenging and rewarding process of serving our Heavenly Father; above all else I will remind and promise you, He is faithful . . . He IS faithful.

     To everyone out there going through these uncertain times, I love you.  Remember that our King is still on the Throne and no matter what the financial systems, election results, lawmaker soapboxing, or changes that come our way . . . nothing and I mean NOTHING is going to change that . . .

Now that’s security . . .