It’s time for another five-minute Friday post! I’ve been so busy lately with out of town guests, volunteering, work and just … life that I’ve not written much more than these FMF posts. My goal is to get back to doing more organic posts soon!
As a quick reminder, Five-Minute Fridays are designed to give writers a chance to free-flow write for a set five minutes on a given prompt every week. Writers all over are writing on the same prompt every week. It’s a great writing exercise and reminds me of the 10 minute essays we did in high school. You may notice this is published on a Saturday. Yeah, I need to actually do my FMF posts on Friday, I suppose.
5 Minute Friday for Sept 12: Ready
When I hear the word “ready,” I immediately think of the Rich Mulins song Ready for the Storm.
What does ready mean, anyways? I’ve come to realize that it means “prepared to take the next step.” It doesn’t mean you’re equipped to take the next step. It doesn’t mean the next step has to happen immediately. It means you’re in the right place to take that step. This is true whether it’s that step out the door for an errand or a step that makes life-altering changes to your reality.
It seems like a lifetime ago when I knew I was ready to leave my career in newspapers. I still loved writing my job was not satisfying and in some ways abusive. I, like most journalists, was underpaid and in an incredibly stressful environment. I felt God was telling me to be ready to leave. So I took that as leave! Leave right now! So I immediately went into debt and joined a program where people with degrees in other areas could learn the pedagogy aspect of being a teacher and become licensed.
I lost all of that money. For years, I asked God why? Why would he tell me to do that if it would just damage me more? I never got a teaching job and stayed in reporting for several more years until I was laid off.
I’ve come to realize several things. First of all, I’m pretty bad about getting messages from God but “interrupting” him before he has a chance to finish. I’m so busy saying “God, what should I do? What should I do?” that I don’t take time to wait and listen for the full answer.
Enrolling in that teacher program was a mistake and a costly one. But it was a valuable lesson because it painfully showed me that I need to shut my proverbial mouth sometimes and just listen. Unfortunately, I’m still learning this lesson.
God was telling me he was going to bring me out of the situation I was in. He was telling me to get ready…to be prepared…for change. That’s why, when we had to interview for the jobs we already had during the merger process, I fought for my job. I had learned at that point that if I were going to leave the newspaper business it would be God removing me. And you know what? He did. I tried to keep my job and it didn’t work. I’m so grateful.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved and still love journalism. But the hard life lessons I went through during that time were just not a healthy environment. I think needed to go through it to come out stronger on the other side.
I’ve experienced this “ready” idea in so many other areas of my life including health, relationships and faith. What areas do you sense ready?