Just Do Your Best

1/08/2013

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. – 2 Timothy 2:15

If God speaks to me regularly and often, then I must not be a very good listener because I would be hard-pressed to fill a small Post-It note with things that He has audibly told me. Even as I delight in learning to recognize the movements and convictions of the Holy Spirit, I yearn for God’s clear voice to call out to me in a way that I can hear and understand.

One time that He did just that occurred in a parking lot as I sat behind the wheel of my car. I was unemployed and was desperately seeking a job that would allow me to continue to provide for my family. I had applied for a sales position with a distributor in North Carolina and after several phone interviews with their corporate managers I was getting a chance to present myself to the one who would be making the decision.

Years of sales experience had trained me to believe that I was just what they needed, but other factors that had come into play were undeniable: I had recently closed a big deal for their company as a manufacturer’s rep; the regional manager would receive a large finder’s fee if I got the job; I had worked with a friend of the guy who was doing the hiring; and the applicant pool was down to three from the original hundreds. To top it off, my mother-in-law lived 45 minutes away (for me, that’s a good thing, but not every man is as blessed by theirs as I am!)

I had arrived thirty minutes early to make sure I could find the office and so I drove down the street to park, relax and pray. I asked God point-blank: “What do you want me to do?”

He spoke. Would you like to know what the God of the Universe said to me?

“Just do your best.”

What? That’s something your dad says to you, isn’t it? Not God. And didn’t God speak in King James? (“Kenteth, just doeth your besteth.”) I was confused but thought it would be a good thing to agree with God, so I told Him I would try.

I went on to have the interview of my life—and I have had more than a few over the years. There could have been no doubt that I was their guy.

I didn’t get the job.

A few months later, I was licensed as a pastor and a ministry position at my home church had opened up. Three and a half years later, I am deliriously happy, fulfilled and blessed…and my mother-in-law is living in my house in Pennsylvania!

So why did God use one of the rare pauses in my internal monologue to speak a Divine Truth like “just do your best?” I believe the reason is related to something my brother-in-law told me after the pastoral search committee had unanimously recommended me to the congregation: With tears in his eyes, he said, “My prayer was that there would be no doubt.”

You see, if the interview had not gone well, I would always have wondered what I could or should have done differently. I would have regretted the opportunity that I had squandered and perhaps agreed with that inner voice that haunts the unemployed, which says, “Nobody wants you. You’re a joke.”

Perhaps God will speak to you today and perhaps, like me, you’ll most likely be too distracted to hear it. But take His advice and “just do your best”…because you never know. If you don’t give your all to what you’re doing, it will be even harder to discern God’s path because you’ve added unnecessary detours. Do your best in whatever you do and leave the rest up to Him!

 

 

 

 

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