Here’s a question from a reader – an engineer. (We’ll call him Bill)
“I’m at a job that I hate mainly because I feel like every day I’m set up to fail. There’s no job satisfaction. I go to work and try my best but the bosses and organization demand excellence in everything that we do. That is a good goal to have but there’s no way to accomplish all that needs to be and do it perfectly. ………So why would God place me in a situation like that for 8 years??”
Bill, be very careful about asking “why God put you in this place?” I certainly believe God is omnipotent – but I don’t think He micromanages the little details in our lives. I think our own decisions lead us to where we are. But that’s hopeful, because that means you can make new decisions that put you in a different place immediately. Don’t wait for supernatural movement — just start by seeing what you can do to move yourself in a new direction in the next 30-60 days.
When I found myself at the negative end of a business deal a few years ago with $430,000 owed to creditors I’m sure I could have asked, “Why did God do this to me?” But instead, I looked back at the series of decisions I had made that put me in that position. Yes, in reading Proverbs each day I was amazed to see the Biblical principles I had violated in getting me to that unfortunate crisis. God had not done that to me. I simply made decisions that resulted in that end result. And that also meant that instead of just being miserable I was able to very quickly make decisions to walk out of that horrible experience.
Sometimes we assume that our current situation reflects random, individual, disconnected events. Or that God has put us in a situation where we are frustrated and set up to fail. But seldom is either true. Rather, we are where we are because each decision we make is a step in a particular direction. And over time that direction determines our position in our work, our finances, our health, our relationships and our spiritual well-being. If you think God did this to you, then it justifies doing nothing until God changes your situation. And in doing nothing I see people open the door to blaming, resentment, anger, guilt and depression. I think God deserves better from us.
You can look back and see how the path you have been following has gotten you to where you are. If you don’t like the direction it is taking you, what are you willing to do to put yourself on a different path?
- Look at where you are now. Look back 3 years and you can identify the decisions you made that put you right where you are today.
- Where do you want to be 3 years from today? Are you willing to make the decisions to lead to that end result?
Dan is the author of the New York Times best-selling 48 Days To The Work You Love , No More Dreaded Mondays and the newly released Wisdom meets Passion. He has been a guest on CBS' 'The Early Show,' MSNBC's 'Hardball with Chris Mathews,' Moody MidDay Connection, and the Dave Ramsey Show. Dan has spoken at the White House Christian Fellowship, and is in high demand at national conferences on aging and changes in the workplace, and at universities and churches. Over 130,000 people have subscribed to his weekly newsletter, his 48 Days Podcast consistently ranks in the top 3 under Careers on iTunes, and the 48Days.net business community is viewed as an example around the world for those seeking to find – or create – work they love.
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