安然度過職場的巨變

By Jim Langley

最近我的一些朋友在轉換職場跑道。他們不是剛開始工作的人,而是在一些著名的公司職位很高的人。其中有些人得到很不錯的遣散費,甚至是一大筆的退休金,但是這些都不能驅除他們對未來的不安。

這些人沒有一個是自願離開職場、或是想待在家過沒有生產力的生活。但是,直到他們找到下一份可以運用專業的工作之前,我想他們都會感到若有所失,不知如何是好。當我們太習慣自己的工作,而不清楚神在人生的下一個階段給我們的目標時,這樣的失落感很容易就會出現。

我自己從事保險業很長一段時間。早期的時候,我明白自己的工作並不是那麼地穩定,因此我就經常接觸新的領域。我現在很感謝早年那些不穩定的日子,期待神能賜給我客戶願意將他們的財務託付給我。最近幾年,我也經歷到神引導我磨練我的寫作技巧,即使這和賺錢沒有甚麼關係。但是,神依然繼續供應我的全家,我也必須要持續地順服祂。

在聖經撒母耳記上十六章提供了一個耐心等候神的最佳例子:一個牧童名叫大衛,他被先知撒母耳膏為王。從那天開始神的靈就跟著大衛,但是他必須要等到多年之後才能正式登基做王。而在等待的那些年日裡,他被掃羅和他的士兵追殺。

在掃羅去世之後,大衛一開始先成為猶大國的王,後來在耶路撒冷登基成為以色列的王。最後,他統治以色列長達四十年之久。聖經告訴我們,大衛是合神心意的人,即便他曾經歷過許多中重大的失敗,到死之前,他都遵守順服神。

就像大衛耐心等待著神的最佳時機,登基做王。我們也要耐心地等候神在我們身上所命定的計畫。耶利米書29章11節提醒我們: 「耶和華說:我知道我向你們所懷的意念是賜平安的意念,不是降災禍的意念,要叫你們末後有指望。」我有信心說,神對那些被資遣的朋友們有祂的計畫。也許他們會到另外一間公司去上班、開始自己做生意、把時間投入神在他們心中放下的特別感動上,或是為自己的溫飽努力奮鬥。

不用覺得驚訝,如果有一天,你發現自己也遇到像我朋友的狀況,不知道神在自己生命的下一個階段的計畫時,我的建議是信靠神,相信祂對你的未來有計畫。在以賽亞書60章22節說道: 「至小的族要加增千倍;微弱的國必成為強盛。我耶和華要按定期速成這事。

箴言3章5~6節告訴我們:「你要專心仰賴耶和華,不可倚靠自己的聰明,在你一切所行的事上都要認定他,他必指引你的路。」神向我們保證,祂對信靠祂的人身上有特別的計畫。現在我們的工作就是要等候祂,即便等待不是一件簡單的事。

吉姆.朗立自1983年起就擔任紐約人壽的保險經紀人和特許人壽保險承銷商,從1987年起他也是美國加州聖塔巴巴拉CBMC分會的活躍會員。此篇文章改編自他的「第四半場策略」的討論,這些討論是為了在基督徒工商專業人士點一把火,使他們為耶穌基督在職場上更有效能。他的網站是www.fourthquarterstrategies.com

省思與問題討論

你上一次換工作是甚麼時候? 或者你現在正在轉換跑道當中?你如何去面對? 為什麼工作內容改變、換一個新工作甚至是換跑道對我們的生命影響巨大和充滿壓力的? 我們能做些甚麼來使改變時的等待變得比較容易?你覺得在尋求前面工作或是生活的方向的時候,神為什麼要我們等待,而不是馬上回應? 你相信作者所說的: 神在我們身上都有清楚完美的計劃嗎?請分享你的理由?

備註: 如果你手上有聖經,想要查考相關的經文,請參考:詩篇25篇4-5節、27篇13-14節、以賽亞書60章1-2節;馬太福音6章25、31-34節;羅馬書8章28-30節;提摩太後書4章7-8節

WORKING THROUGH VOCATIONAL TRANSITION

By Jim Langley

Several of my friends have been dealing with new directions in their work life. These are not individuals just starting their careers, but mature workers who have given much to their respective companies for a good part of their lives. Some received substantial severance packages appropriate for their time of service, but even “golden handshakes” cannot take away the uncertainty of what lies ahead.

None of these men is ready to leave the workforce to stay at home and live an unproductive life. Yet, until they find a new place to utilize their vocational skills and gifts, I imagine at times they will feel somewhat lost and will not know which way to turn. This happens when we become comfortable in our careers and fail to give thought to what God has planned for that next stage of our lives.

Having enjoyed a long career as an insurance agent, I can relate. Early on I realized my job was on the line frequently, since I was continually asking for permission to work with new prospects. I have come to cherish that uncertainty over the years, trusting God will provide the clients who are willing to work with me and entrust to me their financial matters. In recent years, I have also experienced God directing me to hone my writing skills, even though it takes me away from income-generating activities. Yet through it all, He continues to provide for my family – and I must remain obedient to His call.

The Bible provides one of the best examples of patience in waiting for God”s direction in 1 Samuel 16, where a young shepherd boy named David was anointed king of Israel by the prophet Samuel. From that day, the Spirit of the Lord was with David, but he had to wait many years before formally assuming the role of king. In the years between, he was hunted by King Saul and his men.

After Saul”s death, David became king of Judah first, and later king of Israel in Jerusalem. In all, he reigned over God”s people for more than 40 years. The Bible tells us David was a man after God”s own heart, and even though he experienced times of great failure, he remained obedient to God until his death.

Just as David patiently awaited God”s perfect timing to begin his reign, we must patiently await whatever God has planned for our lives. In Jeremiah 29:11 we”re reminded, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I am confident He has a plan for each my friends, whether they will go to work for another firm, start their own businesses, or devote their time to some special passion God puts on their heart – even if it means having to tighten their belts to make ends meet.

Do not be surprised to one day find yourself in a situation similar to what these friends are facing, wondering what God has planned for your next chapter of life. My advice for them – and for you – is to trust He does have a plan for your future. Isaiah 60:22 states, “The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the Lord, in its time I will do this swiftly.” That phrase, “I will do this swiftly,” has made me realize God”s timing is not my timing. But I have learned His timing is perfect, and we all need to be patient and strive to listen for His voice as He carries out His wonderful plan in our lives, for His glory.

As Proverbs 3:5-6 instructs us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” We are promised that God knows His plans for all who trust in Him. Our job, even though it is not always easy to do, is wait for His perfect timing!

© 2017, all rights reserved. Jim Langley has been an agent and chartered life underwriter (CLU) with New York Life since 1983 and an active member of CBMC of Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A. since 1987. Adapted from one of his “Fourth Quarter Strategies” discussions, these are designed to “light a fire under Christian business and professionals to become more effective in the marketplace for Jesus Christ.” His website is: www.fourthquarterstrategies.com

Reflection/Discussion Questions

When was the last time you were confronted with a significant career transition? Maybe you are in the middle of such a transition right now. How are you dealing with it? Why is a major change in job responsibilities, assuming a totally new job, or even changing careers, among the most challenging and stressful times of our lives? Is there anything we can do to make this time of waiting easier? What are some reasons God may choose to make us wait on His answer to our prayers for direction, whether for our work or for other areas of our lives, rather than responding immediately? Do you believe, as Mr. Langley suggests, that God truly has a very clear, perfect plan for your life? Why or why not?

If you have a Bible available, here are some other passages you might consider that relate to this discussion: Psalm 25:4-5, 27:13-14; Isaiah 60:1-2; Matthew 6:25,31-34; Romans 8:28-30; 2 Timothy 4:7-8

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