On December 2, 1991 I became a soldier.
It took about 2 weeks to discover that I had steeped into a role for which I was not a good fit. It wasn’t about the discipline or the training. It wasn’t about the long nights or getting punished for something that a team member did or didn’t do. Sometimes we wind up in places where we almost immediately know we’re not going to stay.
But God has a plan.
I didn’t quit. I move forward in my job, became a linguist, went through several different training classes and served the majority of my enlistment as part of the 10th Mountain Division in upstate New York.
I’ll admit that living in a place where it snows from Halloween to Mother’s Day isn’t as attractive as it sounds. A 54 inch snow fall in a 2 day period is an interesting story to tell years later, but a but of a pain to live through. And a trip to Haiti for your 25th Birthday isn’t fun if you’re not sure you will be welcomed or shot.
But God has a plan.
For 4 years, 5 months and 14 days I did the best job that I could do. Not because I wanted to move up in rank – I didn’t really care about that, I already knew I would be moving on soon. Soon just lasted more than 4 years. Even after being honorably discharged I wan’t sure why the Army had been a part of my life. At that point, I’m not even sure that I trusted that God had a plan.
But this Veteran’s Day, while returning to work after eating my lunch courtesy of California Pizza Kitchen I thought about my time in the service. I thought about the time that I spent in the computer field. I thought about the time that I spent in management positions. And I thought about the jobs I trained for and didn’t get, the jobs I had simply to make enough to pay for gas to get to work.
And I can see that God had a plan.
Everything that I have done in my life is preparing me for the things that God will be putting before me. I can see how my past has prepared me to minster to the families around me. I can point to how my time as a manager has helped me to manage various programs in the church; How time in the service has helped me to lead over close to 100 people in various roles in the church.
Likewise, God is preparing and has prepared you to serve Him. You may be in a situation like I was in the Army – a job that you know is temporary or you may be in your sweet spot, like I am in my role as Family Pastor – hoping that your job will last forever. Either way you can rest in the knowledge that God has your back. He’s prepared you.
And whither you want to be there or not, you need to serve where you are, to the best of your ability. God sees you and he’s preparing you. Stand Firm in your faith.
God has a plan.