In 1998 I had an opportunity to take a voluntary retirement package. Early on I dismissed the idea because I was only 49 years old and thought myself too young to retire.. interesting how these kind of paradigms put one in a box. A few months went by and the deadline for retiring approached. One day as I was praying this question came in out of the blue:
"Is it riskier to stay or riskier to leave?"The question shook me.. within a few minutes I was convinced that it was riskier to stay and (after days of conversation with Ann) I put my retirement papers in. In the next few years it became evident that it was riskier to stay as a lot of the work was outsourced and many folks got laid off. I was so glad that I retired early.
A few years after that I was heading to a job interview (I still needed to work.. retirement is a somewhat relative concept) and I was praying about the interview.. I did not have the best of attitudes at the time and was complaining about working.. and I got this question in response to my complaints:
"Why does it always have to be about you Bob.. and about meeting your needs? Why can't it be about me sending you on an assignment?"I knew I was busted.. 10 minutes into the interview the guy asked me if I could start the following Monday.. which I did.. it took me almost a year to understand the purpose of the assignment.
Less than a year later, over coffee, a good friend asked me a simple question that really clarified my work life and help me come to grips with what I really wanted to do.. and I eventually changed jobs. I felt that the Lord had given him that question.. it was such a simple question.. yet such a deep one.
Guess what I am trying to say is that I think God involves us in the process of His will for our lives.. he engages us in different ways.. he asks us questions.. he seems to have ways of getting our attention and getting us out of our small boxes.. and I am thankful that he does.
How about you? What are the ways that God uses to get you out of your box? How has a relationship with Him changed your life?