Ever wonder what G-d has in mind for you? I mean now, the immediate future, not ten years from now.
I had been in the truck transportation business for 21 years when the company I worked for closed. I had a lot of personal identity and ego wrapped up in that position and company.
I had started out as a midnight-shift billing clerk in a small trucking terminal of a medium sized mid-western motor carrier. Hard work on my part, and a growth trend in the company, had me achieving promotions pretty regularly. When they closed, I was a vice-president. Please don't read anything egotistical into my telling you that - it helps describe the heights from which I thought I was falling.
OK, ladder climbers - you all know what that means. Yeh, it means more responsibility, more authority, more hours, more travel. It also means less time with family, with friends, with personal interests - and this list can go on quite a ways. [Okay, now...no speculating about how much I had to do with the closure - it was all because of the people above me!]
There were times when the company was sold. Trucking companies seemed to be a commodity of interest by others trying to expand their own company. I survived these changes of ownership seven times. I have to admit that with all the head-rolling that takes place in one of these events, surviving the synergy consolidations involved can be very 'heady' stuff.
Now, put all that on the table and the reality is that my home and family and personal and spiritual life were not in the best of shape. Sometime before the company closure, I had a spiritual reawakening experience. I'll tell that story in another blog someday. The result was that I was looking, though I admit not very hard, for a way to get out of the trucking business.
I was really seeing that G-d might have something else in mind for how I was living. I just didn't know how to get there. Every time I'd say to myself, "Jim, you just gotta get out of this before it drowns you!", I'd fall back on the notion that "This is all I really know. What in the world could I do otherwise? How would the family survive without this good income and company car and...?"
It was really getting bad. I was under a lot of stress - seeing a doctor - trying to tread water in a new 'spiritual' me - trying to be a good husband and father- and on and on and on. Just when it couldn't get a whole lot worse [one child a senior in college, one a senior in high school getting ready for college, one in 8th grade getting ready for high-school, and a wife who had just quit her job 6 months before to go back to college full-time to finish a college degree that was interupted when we got married and started raising a family] it did. A simple phone call was all it took. "Lock the doors. The business is closed."
I had been praying regularly and earnestly asking for G-d's help. I knew, and so did He, that I was stubborn and strong-headed. It was probably the only way He had of getting my attention and helping me help myself.
On the surface, it looked and felt like doomsday. In retrospect, it was the best thing that could have happened. It was a second chance.
A lot has happened since then. The bottom line is that we survived without bankruptcy. We never quite made it to the soup kitchens. We became a more spiritual family. Our lives are so much better, now.
Oh, there have been other difficulties. One rather significant fairly recently - and it involves me and a business enterprise in which I'm involved...and it involves the closing of a business, too. It seems that might be a pattern for me - that is the Lord needs to use a 2x4 to the side of the head to get my attention - and it also seems directly related to something else He wants me to do.
I'm working at it and I'm getting there.
A second chance is always there when the Lord is there.
Do you have a 'second chance' story to share? Please comment here. We all need to be encouraged by one another.