Sunday, June 25, 2006

Are You Ready Yet?

Ecclesiastes 11:4 If you wait until the wind and the weather are just right, you will never sow anything and never harvest anything.

I've posted from Proverbs for a month, so now I think I'll leave that for a bit.

I've been thinking about timing lately. There are things that happen to us that have either a big impact or small depending on their timing. For example, it might not be such a big deal to find a quarter on the ground unless you just happen to spy it while you are fishing around in your purse for a coin to put in the parking meter.

I've been thinking about a friend of mine who has been having a hard time finding a job. He (he could be a she, but I'll use "he" for now) is fully educated yet inexperienced in his chosen field and he seems unable to find a job that suits him. He keeps looking and looking, but none of the jobs seem quite right, so he looks some more. Or he gets discouraged and quits looking and plays computer games instead. Is it foolish impatience that makes me think he should just get any job in order to get on with life, or is it actually a good strategy to hold off until the perfect job presents itself?

I've had similar thoughts about a number of young people I know who are looking for the perfect mate. They look and look, and there is always some problem with the potential candidates for the position. Is that because they are too picky, or is it because they really haven't found the right (dare I say "perfect"?) person yet? Or perhaps they are paralyzed with fear of rejection to even take the first step, so they wait some more, hoping the conditions will change so they can move forward. They wonder, is it just "settling" to marry a person who is less than the dreamed-of ideal? Or is it better to wait until the as-yet-unidentified perfect person takes the initiative to make the first move (or two, or three)?

And this thought extends to all kids of situations in our lives. Maybe we hesitate to speak to our neighbor in order to befriend them because, well, there will likely be a better time later, we say. I know personally I have failed to do good many times because I said the time wasn't right. Really, that was probably just laziness or procrastination or just plain disobedience.

Some of us have the personality trait that we like things to be all figured out and a firm plan in place before we are willing to even take the first step. Is this a Biblical attitude? I really don't know, because it seems that Scripture at times encourages us to wait upon the Lord (Lamentations 3:26) and at other times encourages us to step out in faith without knowing where we are going (Hebrews 11:8).

May you never look like your ID photo.


Anonymous said...

meeta, you are so skillful in your use of pseudonyms. If only i could figure out whom you are speaking of...

Thainamu said...

Maybe you?

Atanamis said...

Regarding your question, I would say that deciding whether to take "any job" depends on a number of factors.

1) The first is whether this person is in fact treating their job search as a full time position. It took me 9 months to find my first job out of college, and my last unemployment lasted 3 months. Both times, I spent about 8 hours a day looking for work, including searching for leads, writing resumes and cover letters, calling to follow up on leads, and generally seeking a job. I did this full time because I could afford to do so, and legitimately expected to find a job which would justify my time expense in searching.

2) Is this person turning down or ignoring "adequate" jobs searching for a "perfect" job. If the person has time for computer games, then they probably also have time to take on a part time job to help pay their bills and begin saving. "Just getting a job" though doesn't necessarily mean the person is moving on with their life. It can be very easy to take on a low rewarding job and never move on because one no longer has the time.

3) There is a significant difference between looking for an ideal mate and looking for an ideal job. One can always quit the job and find another. This is something to remember when considering less than ideal positions. That said, I turned down an underpaying position I was offerred before taking my current job, realizing that the time commitment and stress levels of taking the underpaying position was not worth it. One thing to consider though is that a subsidized lifestyle can allow one to be far too picky regarding starting their career.

(I was considering an entry level position before taking my first job out of college, because my parents had told me that I could no longer stay with them if I did not get a job. It was only after this additional motivation and decision to surrender the results of my job search to God that I found the perfect position I was seeking.)

Regarding mates, you are dealing with a completely different issue. One does not find a perfect mate, one decides to commit to an imperfect person and hang in there no matter what. This is a decision that is far more about the readiness of the parties than it is about their personalities or imperfections. Rushing into marriage really isn't wise, since a person who is unwilling to commit isn't going to make a good marriage partner no matter how well you get along.

I know to those who are in a relationship or who are married, it seems like everyone else should rush to join their ranks. The fact of the matter is that sometimes a person simply is not ready, even though they may think they are. Rather than seeking that "perfect someone", the best way to prepare for marriage is to BECOME the person God is calling you to be. Rather than asking God to help you "find the one", become the one. Once you are truely ready, the rest really is fairly easy. Those who are ready will be surprised to find without intentionally looking.

Regarding life, live a life of love. It is again simple to say but hard to practice. If you love your neighbor, why would you allow fear to prevent you being polite? Again, to the person who is "ready", the solution will reveal itself!

Thainamu said...

Atanmis, I've missed your missives. Thanks for your comments.

Three different people have asked me if I wrote this post about them.

You make a good point about the time it takes to really find a good job, and the fact that just taking any job might prevent a person from being able to put in the necessary effort to find a good job. Good point as well about a subsidized lifestyle being an excuse to be too picky. There is a family in my church who have done that for years and have lived to regret it. My real point was to poke at lack of initiative.

Same with the finding a mate idea. I've observed a lack of initiative or a fear of rejection that almost paralyzes a certain type of person. Their problem is far from rushing into marriage. It is, like Ecclesiastes says, too much waiting around for the perfect conditions instead of moving ahead in some way.