I began the year hoping to find the right job, after sheltering from the ill winds of a declining economy, in a role that didn’t fully satisfy me. So, with God’s clear endorsement, I embarked on a search, brimming with confidence and optimism. After all, with God in my corner, how could I possibly fail? It began promisingly enough, with my resume generating a ripple of interest, but the green shoots of promise failed to translate into a single offer. Puzzled, I turned to God for advice and when He insisted I persevere, I tackled my task with renewed enthusiasm. Yet, the trickle of rejections continued unabated, until eventually, I gave up. But, what bothered me most about the entire episode was, why God had insisted I pursue a search, which proved futile.
That’s the problem with spiritual guidance – it’s difficult to understand. It can rarely be taken literally and is often open to misinterpretation. In fairness to God, although He’d encouraged my search, He hadn’t promised a new job. That was my error. I’d presumed that if God was pushing me forward, it must mean He had an exciting new opportunity for me. Also, I was using God as a short cut. I didn’t want to waste time (and energy) writing resumes and lengthy supporting statements, which might prove to be in vain, so I checked in with God first. Isn’t that one of the advantages of faith? To rely on God for steer, so we’re saved from fruitless endeavours? Yes that’s true, but I also believe God wants to be more than a compass in our lives.
Perhaps the real error was in seeking God’s guidance at all. Why not simply follow conventional wisdom and contact recruiters to get the ball rolling? Why bother God? There’s a famous Islamic saying, “Tie Your Camel To the Post”, which is based on a story about a Bedouin man who was seen leaving his camel, without tying it. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) asked the man why he hadn’t tied his camel to the post and the man replied, “I put my trust in Allah”. The Prophet’s response was, “Tie your camel first and then put your trust in Allah”. This clearly means we’re expected to be proactive and take responsibility for our lives, rather than leave things to God.
People often mistake my reliance on God as a weakness. They quietly suspect I lack the wherewithal to make my own decisions and use God as a crutch. What they fail to understand is that my life is an adventure I’m taking with God. I’m passionate about Him. I want to know Him intimately and understand the mystery of His ways. I want to deepen my relationship with Him and grow ever closer. If that means involving Him in every trivial aspect of my life, then so be it. It’s these seemingly perfunctory interactions, which are the building blocks of a profoundly deep relationship. So, I make no apology for my over-dependence on God.
In any event, I eventually understood why God had urged me to pursue a futile search, because it was only through the search that I discovered, I already had the right job.