Probably the most important thing I learned when I started working in my father’s store at age 7 was to listen, not talk. As a boy working in that little country store, I used to love just listening to some of the “old timers” telling stories that almost always began with “well, years ago…” It was somewhat amazing just how much could actually be learned by simply “listening and not talking or just ignoring them”. I also learned that once people know you and trust you, most of them are happy to share things with you!
As an adult, I still try to listen more than I talk…after all, God gave me two ears and only one mouth. Sometimes though we need to listen differently because of what we may be going through and we’re seeking wise counsel. (It’s a good thing to do). But when I’ve been in that situation-and I have, I still have to do what I believe God wants me to do-based on scripture, prayer and the leading of the Holy Spirit. “For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey him, and then helping you do what he wants.” Philippians 2:13 (TLB)
I’ll give you an example of Gods leading, even when others might not understand. In 1981 while I was working as an apprentice in a machine shop, I also began a little “machine shop type” business in my garage that was strictly part time working after my regular job evenings and on weekends. Over the next two years I purchased a few automatic screw machines and the owner of the factory where I worked allowed me to install those machines on his company floor-with the understanding that “the company” could run parts on them from Monday-Friday unless they didn’t have work for them, then I could run my own jobs on them after hours, and of course during weekends.
By the spring of 1983 I was seeking wise counsel because I felt everything inside of me was saying I should quit my job at the factory and start my own business full time at my own location. Well, 100% of the wise counsel I met with said, “Don’t do it!” They told me things like I’d be giving up a steady job with benefits, security and many other negative reasons for my wanting to start a business full time.
The point is, I didn’t have peace with anything but starting that business, so I had to ignore what they had said, and do what I believed God was leading me to do. In June of 1983 I started my business full time. It was a lot of work…But I never lost the peace that God put in my heart, and He was always there helping-because there were always things that were beyond me, yet He was always there when I asked for help or comfort.
In the fall of 2020 after almost 39 years of being in business, God gave me peace again that it was time to sell that business and he provided a buyer to carry that torch hopefully even further for His glory!
I also think that not only while we are working but maybe even more so after you retire and have a chance to reflect on your career… Can you see God’s grace in the path(s) you were on? Can you see his hand of mercy even when your burdens seemed so heavy? Even though my path was very difficult-yet very rewarding, I can’t imagine doing anything different with my life, which adds to my feeling of contentment!
Sometimes, God’s Word and God’s Will for our lives might go against the advice of “wise counsel”–because God treats us as individuals.
It is still a very good thing to seek wise counsel. So, listen carefully to them, but follow Him…
Till Next Time…..