Thursday, November 12, 2009

Can the Message Get Any Clearer?

I woke up this morning with a message from God speaking clearly through my morning-foggy brain.

"The more your carnal inner self kicks and screams, the more you should realize I am doing my greatest work."


I just accepted a management position at McDonald's. Yes, I said McDonald's. As part of my Unemployment Insurance Compensation, I am required to prove that I have applied for at least two jobs per week. So, I applied at McDonald's. I mean, it wasn't like any of the other places I had applied were calling me for an interview. But, as much as I didn't really want this job, the owners called me, interviewed me, called me back to tell me what an amazing person they thought I was, and offered me the job. I accepted.

I have a college education and nonprofit management development certification. I am a certified grant writing specialist. I am a current graduate student at Walden University in the Mental Health counseling program. I am the founder and director of a theatre company. I worked for years as a community planner with a beautiful salary, company car, and company phone. But now I am going to go work at McDonald's.

God and I have a history of fighting over where I think I should be in life and where He wants me to be. Living back in Milton was not exactly my dream for myself as I pictured it as a child. In fact, I wanted to be as far away from here as I could possibly get. I was going to be a famous actress, or at least a well-paid professional. I was going to have a husband, children and lots of stuff. In my mind, that's the way it was going to be, and no one could tell me differently.

But when I went to college outside of Philadelphia, I realized I could never live in the city. I like grass and rocks too much. While I was there, I realized the only relationships that really mattered to me were those of my parents and grandparents and I really wanted to be closer to them. I really wanted to raise my children so that "weekends at grandma's" were a real possibility - and not just for my benefit. I wanted my children to have the amazing connection with their grandparents that I had with mine. So, I moved closer to home - just one town over.

Throughout the years, God has continued to poke me and prod me and pull me back into His purpose for my life. Over a year ago, in June of 2008 to be exact, I finally surrendered. He spoke to me quite plainly and said, "Be still and know that I am God." A peace washed over me like never before in my life. Through a wonderful mastering of life events, He brought me back to Milton to this beautiful home in which I now sit. I was still kicking and screaming internally, but I knew God was in control. He started making things happen for both the theatre company and the town of Milton. I could go on and on and on as to how the Lord has continued to bless me and provide for me since I've returned to this place I once despised. He even changed my heart and showed me how to love it.

Although I've spent the past nearly eighteen months looking for a job in the counseling field, while I'm in grad school, I know I need something a little less mentally and spiritually draining. I'm not saying management of a fast-paced restaurant is brainless. I certainly know it's not. But I think I need a job that will get me out of the house and when I clock out, the work stays behind for the next shift to deal with. I'm certain God knew that too.

My final destination as a manager will be at the Milton McDonald's. God really has a sense of humor, doesn't He? After accepting the position, the questioning set in. What if I have horrible shifts? What if I can't accommodate my kids' schedules because I'm working all the time? What if I hate it and I'm tired and I can no longer keep my house clean and the laundry done? What if, what if, what if?

Then He woke me up this morning and reminded me, again, He's in control. The Milton McDonald's certainly is a mission field in and of itself. Perhaps, He needs me there. It is when I'm doing the most carnal kicking and screaming, that He is doing His greatest work.

I then received this forwarded email that seemed to fall right into today's theme:

Isn't It Strange?
Isn't it strange how a 20 dollar bill seems like such a large amount when you donate it to church, but such a small amount when you go shopping?

Isn't it strange how 2 hours seem so long when you're at church, and how short they seem when you're watching a good movie?

Isn't it strange that you can't find a word to say when you're praying but you have no trouble thinking what to talk about with a friend?

Isn't it strange how difficult and boring it is to read one chapter of the Bible but how easy it is to read 100 pages of a popular novel?

Isn't it strange how everyone wants front-row-tickets to concerts or games but they do whatever is possible to sit at the last row in Church?

Isn't it strange how we need to know about an event for Church 2-3 weeks before the day so we can include it in our agenda, but we can adjust it for other events in the last minute?

Isn't it strange how difficult it is to learn a fact about God to share it with others; but how easy it is to learn, understand, extend and repeat gossip?

Isn't it strange how we believe everything that magazines and newspapers say but we question the words in the Bible?

Isn't it strange how everyone wants a place in heaven but they don't want to believe, do, or say anything to get there?

Isn't it strange how we send jokes in e-mails and they are forwarded right away but when we are going to send messages about God, we think about it twice before we share it with others?

I'm learning that despite all of my hopes and dreams for what God is going to do with me in the future, I really need to start paying attention to how He's changing me in the present. I've prayed to Him numerous times, "Just use me Lord". I guess He wants to use me at McDonald's.

Where does He want to use you? Do you think you're too good for certain situations, people, and positions? Do you think you know more about yourself than God does? I challenge you to consider how much your carnal self is fighting the work God is trying to do in your life.

Another email that I also received this morning follows. This is what loving God and living life is truly all about. May the Peace of God be with you now and always. Remember who's in control.

Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame
Even when the times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
GOD is forever able
Hold on to what you know
Imagine life without His love
Joy would cease to be
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee
Move out of " Camp Complaining "
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone
Quit looking at the future
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To "thank" is a command
Until we see Him coming
Victorious in the sky
We'll run the race with gratitude
Xalting God most high
Yes, there will be good times, and yes, some will be bad, but...
Zion waits in glory...where none are ever sad!