In late February, I received my minted ‘permanent’ contract which I unintentionally buried in my pile of paperwork and business magazines on my study desk. I then transferred my unsigned permanent contract from my study desk to my satchel for two further weeks. By the time I *finally* hand-delivered my change of contract to HR, my once pristine envelope was wrinkled like it survived an apocalyptic meltdown.

I learned from an ‘inside source’ within HR that my job status would be automatically moved to permanent even if I didn’t hand in my contract, which may suggest the desperation of the Company to retain me.

For those who are savvy to read between the lines, you can perhaps hazard a guess to why I was hesitant to respond like it was a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

The reality is I don’t have much time left to respond to the greater picture that I have been privileged to see. I am not reflecting in some cryptic language, but I seriously need to up my game in the proactive department, if I really want to build and serve for the Kingdom of God in this form of ministry.

I don’t think responding to calls on the ICT Helpdesk telling folk to switch off their thin client terminals and switching it back on again is going to advance the Kingdom of God. It makes the senior management look good due to my work ethic, but I am exhausted day in and day out. I don’t choose to work efficiently, it’s just the pace and nature that I work towards. Sadly, you end up doing other people’s work and that drags your Spirit like a recycled plastic bottle. I am however likely to believe that the northern neighbours of South Korea will see a revival sooner than I can respond to this call.

My current salary is a stalemate in terms of what I believe I can achieve with what I can do. I know my salary is not the penultimate reality, and God is above ALL the worries, concerns and insecurities of THE WORLD put TOGETHER!

Do you know how burdensome it is for me to settle like the rest of this world? I don’t want to be a sleeper in Christ, I want to be a faithful servant in Christ.

My personal gripe is I CANNOT fulfil what I surely believe is a Kingdom-focus vision on my own strength, character and skill set. It’s not a sign of weakness, and I would like to believe it is something related to humility and meekness. And yes, I am even prepared to literally throw money at people to team up, as I see value when investing in others.

I do know however, that I can walk away and ask the LORD to take this away from me, once and for all – but my heart weeps for the lost. It may not show on my tired face, or my current involvement with local ministries, but the LORD knows my heart better than what I can express and reflect in digital pixels.

God doesn’t prune a believer simply to sit-back. Gosh, even retired believers are NOT called to lounge around. Perhaps to the extent of spiritual rest, but I know of many who are still serving in fruitful capacities which I find profoundly encouraging and awe inspiring.

I am taking strides in a forward direction. It is unknown how soon I will see the fruits, but I am cautious at the same time, as I want to guard my sanity and faith in check. Of all the qualities that I know exist within me, the very one quality I want to lay down at the foot of the cross on a daily basis is pride.

I have been eyeing two key properties. One is a private workshop space that is available, and one office space that was available despite its affordability and prime location. For a small business, business rates will be triggered if one was to own a property (or more) over the value of £10k in rateable rent. The 24-hr access office space in the City has all the bells and whistles that is all-inclusive, minus telephone and broadband which is fine. The City office lacks the physical space for storing this core asset (despite the presence of a working lift), which is a tad annoying due to its large size. The workshop space is mainly a place to make some construction noise and mod the assets and secure them daily. The City office however is one street away from where I am aiming to trade (God willing).

I am now considering approaching a neighbour, or a brother or sister in Christ who has an unused garage that I could perhaps pay-to-use and access whenever. As long as the garage has a flat surface and houses electricity, it may be more suitable compared to a commercial workshop, thus I can legally bypass business rates because I simply need a physical space to act as a working garage.

With 5k in reserves, I’m aiming to borrow 10k for this soft-launch. Ideally, it would be logical to hold on to a job (for bank loan purposes), whilst stepping out in faith. Again, whether it’s God’s will is another matter. But something tells me I either immerse my two feet on water or I don’t. I am choosing not to drop any dosh until the next financial year, which is less than 2-weeks away.

I have yet to hear word from the Council regarding licenses and I have decided to re-send them my e-mail enquiry that I sent them several weeks ago, which I have yet to receive a response (never mind receive any real acknowledgement). I could pick up the phone and talk to a human, but I simply wanted a written confirmation on black and white. I will now need to phone them directly and maybe ask if it’s possible to arrange for an appointment. I’m happy to cough up the license fee, I just want to know if the Council will grant a trade license for this type of venture. I know other Councils are happy, as it is a proven model.

Meanwhile, my Dad has been burdened to accept an offer which I am willing to pay for an accredited accountancy course with the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants). Dad thinks £1.6k in study fees per year is too heavy for me, plus I know he is prideful not to accept what you and I would consider as a generous gift or offer. Yet, there was an air of suggestion that if I were to contribute to ‘dig money’ then my annual contribution would amount to around £2k. I thought a £1.6k investment would be a wise approach instead, as Dad would be retrained to the formalities of finance, whilst the entrepreneurial opportunity could also rekindle a father and son relationship. As long as I have a given salary of any kind, I can afford to pay for my Dad’s tuition fees. Money is strangely not an issue… says he, who has more faith than money right now.

At the end of the day, it’s an opportunity to learn a new skill and gain an accredited professional qualification – all paid for (no strings attached whatsoever). I have even mentioned to Dad that he can work elsewhere in accountancy as a free agent if he wishes. Like I said, no strings attached. I will continue to seek the LORD in prayer and ask for His guidance.

Aside from all the personal nuances and internal politics at work, I have decided to pursue a vocational role, which strangely involves no IT support on the phones. It’s a relational role that excites me and is linked to this Kingdom-focus vision. I really want to return to the field and serve specifically among the poor and needy (ideally in a paid role, as we all need to earn a living in some shape and form). Whether God sees this as something I am capable of being responsible for – I have no idea.

Strangely, I didn’t butter up my application. In fact, I chose to be raw and vulnerable in my openness when applying for the vocational role. If it’s another rejection, then I seriously am on my own in terms of practical experience and links with other groups which is a shame, but hey – c’est la vie! But then, I haven’t exactly excited myself over the salary, as I would be dropping 6k in annual salary (technically £3.5k after tax), which may prove to be problematic if I’m to apply for a bank loan for this venture.

So yeah, I’m testing the waters with this opportunity. Initially, this is a part-time role that is likely to be attached exclusively to evenings and weekends, which is very fitting for this bigger picture, but will exhaust me further. Ultimately, it has to be in God’s will.

As it’s been a week past the deadline, I’m calling it ‘Meh’ in terms of further correspondence. *sigh* May Your will be done LORD.

Three weeks ago on Thursday, I spontaneously registered myself to a one-off day event in Birmingham, which relates to this Kingdom-focus vision. My intention was to spy on a proven model. I am unlikely to invest in them due to the extortionate fees, which I know can be done cheaper, and of course, you secure your own profits – which is obviously a biggie especially for expansion purposes.

Nonetheless, I am still keen to learn the mechanics behind the scenes (even though there is plenty of references online). I’m just not willing to pay a stupid 5-figure sum for the same asset, when I can ask qualified engineers to mod the gear. Either way, I would like to formalise as a registered company soon. And maybe, I will re-register myself to the same event that I never attended to get a practical feel of the core asset.

Due to recent events and subtle confirmations, I have had to revise this reflection for the third time, but ultimately, I am genuinely striving to move forward and be more proactive, whilst seeking Godly wisdom. I just know everything is in God’s perfect timing, and for me, the discerning trigger is going to be related to the outcome of this vocational role, which I won’t know – if not, ever! As usual with these applications, I have learned to divorce my emotions and move on until further notice.

I have other applications to plough through and I am considering applying for grants to help with costs. However, I don’t want to expose everything about my agenda, but this may be the only route for me before a working prototype can attract a sustaining team.

~Richard