January 13, 2014
It is a Good Monday
Planning and Preparing
It is week two of my Short Story class, and I have to get my Prezi's created for this week. I am excited to be wrapping up this first module. We have an essay due this week as well as a quiz on the module. It will be good to evaluate the students in their understanding of the topic, and to glean how well they are able to analyze our text. God is good, so very good. I thank Him for this opportunity to teach classes at GCU this Spring. I am learning every day, and I am figuring out what I like and do not like to do when it comes to presenting material. I would prefer to be more low-key, but I think I do need to grind through more content just to satisfy the students who need content to process analytical thinking. It is a give-and-take situation, and I am learning what works and what doesn't work well.
Plans for Next Week
As I look forward, I have so much to complete, and so many to-do items on my to-do list. Yet, God is faithful to provide me with enough time so that I can stay on top of my studies and handle my teaching load. I feel confident that what I am doing is what He wants me to be doing. I am rested, and I am feeling good (praise God!) It is a wonderful feeling to finally be where you are supposed to be. I have worked at so many jobs that were "practical" in nature. In fact, yesterday I prayed about a job opportunity and I remember saying to the Lord, "Oh Lord, thank you for practical work." As soon as I uttered those words, I realized that what I wanted to say was really "Lord, thank you for providing non-practical work." Let me explain...
I have worked at practical jobs all my life. These were jobs where I worked 20-40 hours a week just to get a pay check. I liked the work in most of the cases, but the jobs weren't career building nor were they the kind of job that made me want to get out of bed and rush to the office. No, these were good jobs, practical jobs, but they weren't jobs that I was passionately interested in doing. For many years, I wrote off the idea of a "passionate" job because I believed that people who looked for those kinds of jobs were deluding themselves or they were being irresponsible and looking down their noses at jobs that provided for their family, but didn't satisfy their inner self. I thought, "C'mon - it is a good job. Isn't that a good thing?" I didn't realize that it was possible to find a job where you could have both -- a good paycheck and also a job that fits your personality, your creativity, and your interest. No, I thought it was one or the other -- you either had a good job that you tolerated or you were the lucky one who found that one "passionate" job out there.
As I was praying, I realized that all the jobs I have worked recently were good jobs. The Lord provided what I needed at the time I needed it. He fulfilled my desire for income, benefits, and a steady paycheck, which was of importance back then. I needed to be established, to create credit, and to secure a stable lifestyle. To accomplish these goals, I needed good practical work that provided a steady paycheck.
It is not that I don't need a steady paycheck now, because I do. It is more that I am now working for a different reason, and that reason is to prepare myself for the Lord's work. In short, the work I do now (teaching) is part of His plan for my life, and as such, the work experience is what matters -- not the paycheck. In fact, if you think you can get rich teaching, you are mistaken. Teachers are paid a pittance, and although I am not complaining about my income right now, it is not lucrative nor is it going to provide a good retirement (later on, perhaps; but certainly not now).
The work is what matters. It is the work that matters because the process of learning how to teach is what the Lord wants me to experience. It is the prepping, the preparing, and the presenting that matters to Him, and I need to be comfortable doing this kind of "work." I know that God has called me to a specific ministry work, and that at this point in my life (age 51), I am to be about preparing for it. This is a work that I will not do for another 15 years, and I need to have certain key elements to do it. I am getting my PhD and I am working as a teacher -- both are important to His work. I don't know exactly why, but the Lord has impressed this upon me, and so I am walking in obedience to Him, and pursuing what I believe He has called me to do.
For now then, the work I do is preparatory rather than practical. It is necessary for me to learn how to do this, and the Lord is blessing me as I pursue it. Interestingly enough, He is blessing my way, providing a way for me to go, and giving me His grace so that I can experience this work. I am excited to be the recipient of His work. I am excited to think that I am benefiting from His mercy and grace, and that I am able to do this work in His Name.
What's Up Next?
I prayed yesterday, after a prompting by the Holy Spirit, to ask the Lord for a full-time teaching position. I don't know I did this because He has told me that His plans for me were to provide part-time adjunct teaching at GCU while I completed my education at Regent. Yet, the words just came out of my mouth, and I asked Him to provide a full-time opportunity for me to teach online. Most online teaching is adjunct, and it seemed odd to ask for such a job. The Lord however seemed to desire that I ask for this position, so I did. I don't know of any position that is available right now. I looked online at GCU and didn't see anything. I haven't checked the higher education jobs boards yet, but the last time I did look, I didn't see anything. Additionally, you normally need your PhD to teach full-time, so I thought it was odd that I would begin asking for a job without the proper qualifications. Yet, I did it, and I am trusting the Lord to provide for what He seemed intent on me asking.
It would be awesome to have a full-time teaching position -- again for pay and benefits -- even though I am happy to work part-time right now. I love the freedom I have to work three days a week. I love that I can spend the extra time on my studies or to prep for classes. Teaching full-time is a lot more work, and it would mean less time for those other things. However, it also would be a wonderful way to get the experience I need, and for that I am open and willing to doing whatever the Lord desires of me.
I have prayed for a job opportunity that doesn't exist (that I know of), but the Lord seemed determined to have me do it. Therefore, it is up to Him to provide it to me. I will patiently wait upon Him, and I will trust Him to provide for my needs. How He does it, is up to Him. I will wait, yes Lord, I will wait upon you for the fulfillment of your promise to me.
Thank you for your grace today. Thank you for your love and your provision of my every need. Thank you for leading me by the hand and for showing me which way to go. I trust you to provide clear direction to me. If there is a job I need to apply for, so be it. If I need to wait for this opportunity to open up, so be it. I will go where you send me, and I will do the work you have prepared for me to do. God is always to be praised, and in every thing I do, I lift your Name and I give you the praise, the honor, and ultimately the glory. God is good, always good, all the time. Thank you, Jesus for your gracious gift to me, and for showing me how to live this life. May you be pleased by my words, my actions, and everything I do. In your Name I pray now, Selah! Amen - so be it.