Moving Across Town…
…following God’s leading
Jan & I are living examples of how God provides as we follow His leading. The road He leads us down is sometimes unexpected and unusual. The following is look back on His faithfulness to us.
In March 2013, I was told by my boss at Berry College that “we need to start talking about transitioning you out.” Transitioning you out, as if I were an event or a thing and not a person. I will probably never know the real truth on why I was “transitioned” out and I’m not one to rehash it. Suffice it to say that new leadership has come to Berry and like the new Pharaoh in Exodus chapter 1, they did not know me nor appreciate my contributions. There is some comfort in the fact that I was not alone, that others, who had been at Berry for a long time, were also moved out of their positions.
The search in higher education
Beginning in March, I began a full–blown job search in higher education. The geography of my searching is reminiscent of Dr. Seuss’ Oh, the Places You’ll Go. My search went from coast–to–coast, including colleges of all types and pedigrees. I had telephone or Skype interviews with numerous schools, from Maine to Michigan to Texas. On campus interviews in Kentucky, Mississippi and Texas did not yield a job. All part of God’s plan.
In February or March I put in an application to work at PeachMac. It was the second application I had submitted online. Since I had not heard from anyone after the first application, I went in person to the store and spoke with the manager, handing him my resume.
PeachMac is not an Apple store, but you’d think it was from it’s appearance. We look like an Apple store. We sell Macintosh computers, iPods and iPads. We have a service department that does everything an Apple store can do. While we do not sell iPhones, we service them. PeachMac is the largest Apple Specialist organization in the country with eleven stores in Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Virginia—thus ends the commercial announcement.
A few days later I received a telephone call that turned into a brief interview. That lead to an interview in person with the assistant managers and then the manager. I was hired a few days later, part-time, but still hired.
Officially, I am a Specialist—meaning I sell computers, iPods and iPads, plus accessories. I also screen for service. Those are my official duties. I look upon my job, however, as someone that helps people find solutions for their computing needs. This involves taking my time with customers, sometimes an hour with them, discerning what they do with a computer, and then matching them up with the right one for their needs. Somedays are very rewarding.
Now I am full–time, thanks to the store manager going to bat for me, requesting a full-time position from corporate, just for me! He believes enough in me that he wants to keep me around. After years of being beat down in my finals years at Berry, it felt good to have someone believe in me again.
The hope and goal is to move into management. That may mean moving within the PeachMac environment.
Little house near the river
On July 1 when we learned that the answer from Abilene Christian University was “no,” we began to look for a place to live. Our son, Ted, through his connections with Maconites made us aware of small one bedroom apartment in a little house on the “other side of the river.”
This apartment is perfect for us—it is small, but it is our own space. It has a nice shaded park, perfect for walks with Padmé and it’s within 100 yards of the river and the river walk—I intend to do some fishing soon!
No more grumblings about Fish!
On Sunday, July 6th, I went to hear Ted preach in his new duties as Associate Pastor at a Methodist church here in Macon. I also went to my church. Those two services have had a lasting impact on me. The text for Ted’s sermon was Luke 5:1-11 and verse 11 stuck me. Ted elaborated on the verse explaining that the catch of fish they had just brought in was worth a small fortune and that fishing was their family business, yet they left it all for Jesus.
And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him. – Luke 5:11
That reminded me of our situation. The “family business” has been higher education, but now it seems that God is calling me in different direction.
The second sermon I heard that day was on Numbers 21, where the people grumble about being in the wilderness, again. In verse 5 the people say, to Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food!” Do you see the contradiction? You can’t hate food you claim you don’t have! Josh Garrett, the Associate Pastor pointed out that God is not concerned with our comfort as much as He just wants us near to Him. He wants us to learn to trust Him when it’s easy, but also when it’s hard and times in the wilderness will either make us bitter or move us closer to God.
For the longest time, I rebelled against the thought that PeachMac was the answer, that it would be my new career. Surely God would return me to Higher Education. I’m a bit of a slow learner and it took the higher ed doors closing for me to embrace PeachMac. My thinking paralleled the thinking of the Israelites, “I have no job, I hate this job.” To be clear, I didn’t hate my job, I just didn’t like the prospect of it being my career.
Thankfully, God did not have to send any venomous snakes my way to correct my ways and my thinking (see Numbers 21).
Some amazing things have happened since I have come to the realization that higher ed is not it. First, I have been hired full-time with PeachMac. Second, we’ve found a place to live that is affordable and is looking more and more like it will be perfect for us. Third, God has provided resources for us to help us make the transition to our new place. Jan & I are newbies when it comes to renting. Until now, our rent has been free, all of our married lives—I know, hard to believe. So all the associated costs of deposits, etc. add up and it was more than we could afford. Thanks be to God that He provided funds to help us cover these expenses! In other words, while doors were closing as I pursued higher ed, they are opening now that I’m at PeachMac.
So, here we are: in a city we never expected to live in; in job I never expected to have and an apartment that God has provided. It’s been nearly a year since we moved here. Ted & Dana have been more than gracious. In 1 Timothy 5:8, the apostle Paul wrote: “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Ted and Dana don’t need this exhortation, for they embody those who provide for their relatives, especially for members of their household.
I guess you’d call this obedience. I am stubborn and sometimes I have to be hit over the head. It seems to me that He is honoring our obedience as we move forward and I’m excited to see what He does next.