God sends the water but sometimes he wants us to dig the ditches. There is a story in 2 kings where three kings join their armies to go to war with another nation. three against one, easy win right? The battle might have been easy if they made it there. These kings find themselves lost and out of the most important resource for humans, WATER! Their troops and horses are dying of thirst and they need water, yesterday. So what do they do? What any person in their situation would do, they go in search of a prophet who will ask God to send rain. Easy enough right? WRONG! Prophets are not like QuickTrip in Oklahoma, on every corner. In their discussions they find out that there is a man of God named Elisha who is near by. They seek him out and ask him to ask God to bring rain because they are dying of thirst. They even go as far to say that God brought them together to win this war. Wait, I’m confused, they need a prophet to reach out to God for rain but God told them to get together to win this war? Sounds like the human race, anyways, back to the story. So after Elisha seeks the Lord, he tells them to go dig ditches and God will fill them with water from the earth, not the sky.
In my nation today, 70% of its population hates going to work on Mondays. Their work drains their soul and steals their joy. The majority of Americans are living for the weekend. They are tired, burnt out and waiving their white flag excepting defeat. They believe that work doesn’t matter to God or anyone else for that matter. Work is just something you push through so that you can pay the bills. What if I told you that it doesn’t have to be that way? Let’s take it a little further, what if I told you that it wasn’t meant to be that way? When God created Adam, one of the first commands he gave him was to work. Work is ordained by God and important to him. I love the story above because it shows an important aspect of faith. These kings went to the prophet because they knew that the miracle, the water, comes from God but they learned that they need to dig the ditches to contain the miracle. Right now as you read this, you might be under self quarantine, like I am. Many of you have lost your jobs and unsure about what your future is going to look like. You might even say you are like these kings, in a desert without water, in need of a miracle. I want to tell you what the prophet told them: “Go, dig some ditches.” It’s easy to turn the tv on, watch something mind numbing and feel bad for yourself in these times but I urge you dig some ditches so that God can bless your future. I want to look at a couple ditches that you can dig during all of this downtime we find ourselves with.
- Dig your vocational ditch
You have a purpose in the work place. God has given you a unique blend of Spiritual Gifts, Natural Talents & Passions unlike anyone in the history of the world. You were put on this earth at this specific point in history to do something that only you can do, so you must DO IT! So where do you start? I want to give you some questions that you can answer to pinpoint your purpose in the work place.
- Who do you most want to help?
- How do you want to help them?
- Is there anyone currently helping them in the way you want to help them?
After you narrow down who it is you want to help and how you want to help them, you need to find out how you fit into the equation of actually helping them. This is where you find out your Spiritual Gifts, Natural Talents & Greatest Passions.
Spiritual gifts are given by God to everyone who receives the gift of salvation. Every believer plays a specific and important role in the functioning of the body of Christ. It’s vital to understand that everyone is needed for the body to function properly. You can find a host of FREE spiritual Gifts test out there. I recommend you take one and list out your top three. After you list them out, study what they are so that you can identify how to best utilize them in the work space.
Natural talents can be kind of tricky to figure out, at least for someone like me. It is hard for me to see where my weaknesses are and I imagine this might be a problem for you. The best way to find out what your natural talents are is to seek out people in your life who will speak truth to you. This should be someone like a parent, sibling, teacher or close friend who isn’t afraid to be honest. I would reach out to at least three of these people and ask them what your top three talents are, in their opinion. After that compare their answers and see what the similarities are and you then list your top three natural talents.
A passion is something that sets your heart on fire. It’s an activity that while you are engaged in it, you lose track of time. I am extremely passionate about helping people find their dream job. Everywhere I go, I am on the lookout for someone I can help to discover the work that they were created to do and how to transition into it. Passions often come from experiencing pain or doing things that bring you great pleasure. List out your top three passions and after you do that, narrow it down to the one that aligns with who you want to serve, how you want to serve them & the one that brings value in the market place.
You can find worksheets on my main page to help walk through the uncover stage of this journey to your purpose in the market place.
2. Dig your financial ditch
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the lives of people around the world both vocationally and financially. Many people have lost their jobs and thus, lost their stream of income. In America 8 out of 10 people are living paycheck to paycheck. The only ditch that our country has dug is one of debt. This ditch is not prepared to hold the blessings of God but become a tomb. Debt is great, until something like COVID-19 happens. When you lose your job, the bills keep coming. I want to go over a few things that you can do financially to dig a ditch that God can bless.
Create a Budget
Stop living on more than you make! Create a budget that is beneath your means. The way you do this is by writing out your monthly expenses and subtracting it by your monthly house hold bring home. If you are in the negative, you need to make some lifestyle cuts to make it fit in your budget. Make sure that you are putting back money for your emergency fund and also extra to pay off debt so that you free up more money for your future.
Building up an emergency fund is essential to pandemic proof your life. As I write this, I am in quarantine and unable to work. I am also at peace because Baylee and I built an emergency fund for just this occasions. God has filled my ditch with peace and provision to get me through this time. Start stacking away money for when life doesn’t go the way you expect so that you have peace in the storm.
When you eliminate debt in your life you have minimized risk in your life. Our country has preached and preached and preached debt as though there is no risk. The sad thing is, if you say something long enough and loud enough, people start to believe it. When you have debt you are handcuffing yourself to that item and you no longer own it but it owns you. When you destroy debt in your life, you are now free to pursue the life that brings you joy and meaning.
Invest in your future
I know what you are thinking…”HAVE YOU SEEN THE STOCK MARKET!?!?” Yes, I have seen the stock market and contrary to what most people are doing, I am still investing. The market will rebound like it always does. It is like a rollercoaster, the only people who get hurt are the ones that get off in the middle of the ride. Time and compound interest are your friends in the market. Do not invest if you’re not in it for the long haul. If you stick it out, you will retire with dignity and your future is in your hands, not the governments.
Doing these four things will help set your future up to be bright, even when there is a pandemic.
I have created worksheets for these two topics and you can find them on my home page. I would love to help you out in any way I can. If you have questions about your job or your money feel free to reach out for help. You were created on purpose for a purpose so lets find out what it is!