My leg is still bothering me and it looks like I will be off of work a second day with it. I really hate that, and I especially feel like I am letting my co-workers down. I am sure that, somewhere in the midst of all of this, is a “God lesson” or two. One could be to slow down a bit and to be a bit more relaxed in life. Fibromyalgia flares are often triggered by stress and worries, and I have been carrying those burdens much more heavily that I should be recently.
Over the last couple of weeks, though, I have also been thinking a lot about whether I am really in the right career, whether I am really where God wants me to be. These thoughts all started with a story that a friend of mine told me. He had gone to college to be an undertaker and, right out of college, he was working at a funeral home owned by an older gentleman. His co-worker was the older man’s son who had also gone to college to be an undertaker and follow in his dad’s footsteps. One day, the older man died and his son inherited the funeral home. A couple of weeks later, the son sold the funeral home. (This is all starting to read like some really bad joke but I assure you that it isn’t.)
My friend approached the son and said, “I don’t understand this. It has been my dream to own a funeral home. I am working very hard to get there someday. And yet, you’re given one and you immediately sell it. That doesn’t make sense to me.”
The son replied, “The difference here is that you had a choice and you chose to pursue your dream of owning a funeral home. Yes, I eventually ended up owning one for a short period of time but it was never my choice to own one.”
Wow. While I have not been “given” a business, the son’s story and my story are sort of similar. Yes, when I was coming out of college I technically had a choice of whether to go to work for my dad or not. But yet, out of family commitment, I didn’t feel a lot of choice. You see, the business was struggling badly at the time and my dad’s partner had seemed to have lost interest in it, at least on the surface. I didn’t want to see my parents lose all they had worked for. The business needed someone who would work very hard for very little pay in order to revive things. That is what I, and a couple of years later, a good friend of mine who joined the business, did.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Over the years, the business has afforded Lisa, Evan and me a nice (not luxurious but comfortable) lifestyle. That is good. It has given us the ability to contribute to things and causes which we feel are important. That is also good. I have the pleasure of working amongst good friends. That is good. Frankly, I often question whether I am very good at what I do but that’s probably just part of life.
With my recent fibromyalgia bout, though, I think that God is trying to tell me that I am indeed where He wants me. While I don’t think God wants me to be afflicted with fibromyalgia, I do think He has me in a job which allows me to deal with it better than I could in a traditional employee setting. While I hope this isn’t the case, there is a chance that, as I age, I will have increasing problems with fibromyalgia. Lots of employers would, and rightfully so, not put up with my being off work for this. I wouldn’t blame them a bit. But my current job allows me some flexibility to work from home when I am having a bad flare.
So, I go forward, confident that God has me where he wants me. He calls us all to careers and places which are appropriate for us and our individual circumstances. And, of course, more than anything, he calls us to always be His face, feet, and hands. No matter where or what our workplace is, He calls us to be in ministry for Him. That is all the more reason for God to make sure that we are exactly where He wants us to be. While we need to always be mindful to His leading for possible change, we also need to be content and productive for both our employer and for God wherever we’re at.
So, I will continue to nurse my leg, thanking God for having me where I am at today.