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Last Saturday, I teamed together with two fellow brothers in Christ to attend a men’s conference regarding Christian integrity within the workplace. I admit, I didn’t expect to gain much because I have been out of work for a while, and I was secretly dreading the friendly ice-breaker question “So, what do you do for a living?” In fact, the conference reminded me how much I missed people within the workplace. Yes, as much as I like earning a deserving salary as the next guy, I genuinely miss being among people.

Perhaps, I am indeed an oddball (ha! you read that first here), but I don’t have an issue with integrity with regards to women within the workplace. For me, personally, I feel it’s the integrity to respond to a given instruction by the senior management with a view to further advance the Company that trips me. By technically, that was how I had to resign from my last paid role. I refused to compromise my view of Christmas, which involved creating a mock Christmas e-card seemingly for senior management, where I refused to do the job much to the aggressive anger of my line manager. You would have thought I was struck off for whistleblowing inside information or for hacking internal databases, but no… it was fuss surrounding a blinking mock Christmas e-card that I was to create! The incident also triggered the Company to refuse to change my days to continue my last year of my vocational part-time studies.

Do I have any regrets? No, and for two reasons.

Firstly, and there is a reason I am addressing this first, but I will never compromise my faith and walk in the LORD, even if it means that I am assigned a [paid] task to create a mocking project that would only be used for “internal” purposes only. Basically, it was going to waste my time and not benefit the Company as a whole. My relationship with the LORD is too important than a part-time salary. Yes, I have since struggled to return back to paid employment, only because my skillset is of a prehistoric nature, but still…

I am also one those people who refuse to please others. Instead, I strive to please the LORD first – above all things and hidden agendas and motivation. If a person genuinely needs help, then yes, let me think it through or pray about it, and if appropriate, I shall follow through with action. I generally don’t go around seeking praise from people, or pretend to love people – like those people who always comment on people’s statuses on Facebook or the like. I have even upset people simply because I wouldn’t give them a favour, like create a free or cheap website, etc. Just because I am a Christian, doesn’t mean I should say yes to everything.

Secondly, the LORD revealed to me several months *before* the incident that I was to prepare myself. In the months prior to the incident, I had major sleeping difficulty and I sensed something uncomfortable with my Spirit. Upon asking the LORD why I was experiencing this, He revealed to me to prepare yourself. Ultimately, I was to prepare myself to lose my job. I wish the LORD revealed a set of corresponding lottery numbers, but His revealing was just, as He was preparing a new way for me beyond my part-time work. And besides, it was a dead-end job anyway.

Ironically, I haven’t dramatically moved forward in life in terms of career advancements, nor am I in a position where I can actively pursue a relationship with a significant other of the opposite sex with a profound desire for marriage and settle down. And there are lots of godly Christian women who are pure and mission-minded, who so long to be led by the LORD as they desire a godly Christian husband, but let’s bring reality to the same frequency channel… they still *need* the security of that husband to bring a steady income to support such potential family… and rightly so!

As a I shared last time round, the LORD is (and has been) breaking strongholds in my life. I guess I should be giving thanks that I am going through this phase, while I am still young and single. With such a deep cleansing, there are days where it is mentally exhausting. Most days, I am seeking and asking God where does He want me to be. The rest of the time, I will keep knocking on doors and slowly revamp my ageing skillset in the hope of securing a return to paid employment. And yes, it is even more of a struggle when one is hurt by the local church (which of course differs to the Church), hence my human options are running very thin. However, I am reminded daily that the LORD is at the centre and He is (and has been) preparing His ways and purpose before me, whilst remaining near to me as I walk with Him. I personally feel like I am attending a spiritual gym, and I thought those cardio machines are intense!

The Waiting Game

Meanwhile, this Kingdom-focused vision has been amplifying within me and beating my heart with joyful passion, something that I thought long ago… yeah right! And yet, it genuinely excites me to pursue this project, but I stumble to run with it everyday because it is such a new venture for me that it demands a new line of thinking. So yeah, in a way, I am literally sitting  on a multi-billion dollar idea.

But why can I not be allowed to earn a wage from a conventional line of work to supplement experience and build credibility towards this business venture? I am debt free, and have been debt free of student loans before setting foot in seminary school, but surely the LORD would be happy to provide a meaningful job that I can work, while I explore business options, especially when a business needs money to get kickstarted. THAT is one puzzling prayer request that I have yet to see an answer. And I appreciate that this is (and has been) stretching my faith muscles and pulling those mental tendons.

I am keen to learn within the next 14 days if the LORD would grant me the opportunity to move away from my homely nest down south in order to pursue this Kingdom-focused vision, or if by God’s grace I can pursue this vision whilst holding a relevant job locally in Glasgow, thus saving money and time during daily commutes.

As a result of my limbo situation, my parents are hurting and outside of the Holy Trinity, I don’t know who I can turn to and reach out to fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are *not* caught up in church politics or leadership roles to somehow minister to my parents. I have shared with others, but everything seems to revolve around these prayers. Personally, I have been carrying their emotional baggage, but it should not be my burden to carry, yet I choose to because I love them. I am learning to leave aside their baggage, and encourage them in prayer to offload them at the foot of the cross for the LORD to take away. However, I do believe they will be more at ease, once the LORD provides a job… literally-speaking… sometime this year!

Indeed, only the LORD can heal my parents, only when they are willing to forgive those who have hurt me, especially those from the Church which admittedly makes it very difficult for any believer. And recently, my heart is bothered by my parents suggestions at alternative “career” options. Understandably, they want the best for me, even though they overlook, yet silently understand that the LORD is in control of the situation. I always have to plea with them during dinner prayers and encourage them that the LORD is in control. I think at times my food is over-seasoned with organic tear salt.

Regarding jobs applied in recent weeks… I am uncomfortable of the prospect of the job down south. On the surface I don’t see how I can pursue with this Kingdom-focused vision, because the paid opportunity is almost on-call. Ironically, it is a church-based paid role, yet it’s something I have done for free, which is what you naturally do when you serve the LORD with a willing heart. So yeah, big churches that run like a business confuse me. Since when do churches need a PR and marketing department? It makes working for the local government less corrupt. Blimey! Even Jesus and Paul didn’t need any PR or marketing when they preached across the lands. They simply needed believers to intercess in prayer. It’s no wonder we are living in a post-Christian age.

However, I do recognise that the location down south may provide an opportunity for me to network with potential business partners and learn from others in a very fast-paced environment, which is something I am interested in. Though, I am not sure if its even a viable option, due to the on-call demands of the potential job. At the same time, there is a local opportunity that I wish to secure, because the type of work is more relevant to the skills and experience that I want to nurture.

It wouldn’t surprise me if this timing, employment gap and Kingdom-focused vision are all connected. It feels like God is using this opportunity to test me, with a view that I will develop my faith and grow in Him. On the surface, it feels like the evil one is causing ripples of doubt, because my immediate loved ones are impacted by the hurt and confusion. And the amusing this is… if I choose to give up, then who will follow through with this Kingdom-focused vision? So yeah, I am sure the LORD is using this time to equip me with leadership skills, even though I am not positioned in an obvious leadership role. Typically, a leader needs to develop a focused mind and be able to overcome personal rejection and worldly fear. In ways, it makes sense. Living it out in reality however, makes no sense and it makes things like programming code easier to grasp.

I shall wait and see. I still have much improvised preparation to pursue in the meantime. I have yet to finish my online videos regarding web development, and acquiring further industry-standard certificates. And more importantly, I need to rewrite this business plan, so I can validate the worldly potential of this Kingdom-focused vision.

P.S. I [don’t] apologise for the long reflection, as I only share what needs to be shared.

~Richard