A month ago, I returned from vacation and got the phone call from my boss, who said, "I've got HR here with me."
My first thought: nothing good comes after those words.
My second thought: I wish I had saved more money.
As it turns out, I was, indeed, losing my job. But I had a chance to apply for a new job in the reorganized structure, which will be a version of what I'd been doing already. I was luckier than many. And I got the job, which means I'm luckier than most.
Still, it's a clear sign that it's time for some serious thinking about the future. The issue of getting ready for the future is never very far from my mind. But it's a different thing to be saying, "Hmm, I wonder what it might be like to be a hospice chaplain," as I often have, and to move to making definite plans.
Not that I plan to be a hospice chaplain, mind you. I'm open to that. But I'm just not sure of a direction yet.
So, I will be praying and writing and visioning. Maybe I'll discern that my school is strong and that there is work for me to do here. Maybe I'll say, "The whole field of higher education is in serious trouble. I need a different direction." Maybe God will give me a nudge or a push towards a future that I can't even see right now.
I felt that push when I decided to take the teaching job that led me to administration and my current job. It was the fall of 2001, and all my adjunct work was changing. My teaching schedule at the University of Miami was going to require me being on campus more days a week, which would mean more hours driving long distances. When Florida Atlantic University told the adjuncts that there would be no work in the spring of 2002 on the day after I got the offer from my current employer, I remember saying, "O.K. God, I got it. No need for a car accident on the way home to get my attention."
I took the job, even though it had some drawbacks. And it turned out that it wasn't as bad as it sounded on the surface, and I got to develop and teach some wonderful creative writing classes which wouldn't have been possible elsewhere.
Now I have a feeling that God may have some plans again. I don't know what they are yet. I'm open to all sorts of possibilities.
My church council will be studying call stories this year. I'm glad.
I'll be logging my own discernment and call story here and over at my creativity blog.
feeling the feelings…
5 months ago