New Directions and Unseen Blessings

Well, here it is the first week in June and that means I’ve survived the first five months after college.  Hey, I’ve made it this far surely I can make it through anything.  I want to forewarn you that the following selection is very lenghty.  So make yourself comfortable, get a pillow and some hot chocolate and get ready.  Well enough of the melodrama.

I’ve been wanting to write about what God has been doing lately but I’ve been putting it off.  What can I say.  I’m a good procrastinator.  So here I go.  Since I’ve graduated from college, I’ve struggled with “what I’m supposed to do with my life.”  People still ask me if I’ll do Journeyman.  My answer is I don’t know and I’m going to leave that up to God.  The one thing I do know is that I’m where I’m at right now is where he wants me.  He has recently allowed me to move into a new circle of people who could be classified like the sinners that Jesus hung out with.  I’ve been invited to join a group for guys who work with computers for a living and want to increase their knowledge about them.  A coworker of mine invited me to join them last week. 

You know, three or four years ago I would have never imagined that I would have ever stepped foot into a bar but I spent last Wednesday night talking about computers and ironically enough, religion with these guys over margaritas.  I drank Dr. Pepper just in case your curious, and listened as these men talked about various topics.  One of them ridiculed me because I didn’t drink or smoke but that comes with the territory.  Before I went, I thought about not going but then God reminded me that these guys needed to be loved just as much as I did.  I didn’t venture out much from the BCM crowd while in college for various reasons, but now God has provided a way for me to minister to these guys.

About two weeks ago, another coworker asked me if I wanted to sing at a memorial service.  She couldn’t because she was going out of town.  I told her yes and sang at the service and was compensated for my effort.  The following week I was asked to sing at another funeral and again was compensated for my effort.  Then the very next day, I preached at Robeline Baptist both the morning and evening services.   Now what makes this all so very interesting is what had transpired in the last five months.  Some time in February I went and did a singing interview at Pleasant Hill Baptist for an interim music minister position.  They wanted someone to lead choir and everything and I only felt comfortable playing my guitar and singing.  So through circumstances, they didn’t call me back about the job.  So another month or two went by and I was still praying about a church job and waiting for God to provide. 

Then it came.  The pastor from Siloam Baptist Church called and they needed someone to fill in for two months while their music minister took care of her mother-in-law.  This was the perfect opportunity.  I could get in a church and get some experience but it won’t be long-term.  I told the pastor to give me a day or two to pray about it and I would call him back.  This was on a Thursday.  I knew by Friday that I should take the job.  I felt that I had left God out of the equation on the Pleasant Hill job and I didn’t want to do that again.  I knew I couldn’t lead a choir but I was going to rely on God to give me the knowledge and power to get it done.  So I called the pastor on Monday, all ready to get started.  One catch.  The mother-in-law had passed away during the weekend and there was now no need for the music minister to take time off.  I asked God why this had happened.  I had gotten all excited about this job and then watched it vanish before my eyes.  God eventually showed me that this had been a test to see if I was willing to step out on faith and trust him and not my own power.

So then I spent another month praying for a church job and waiting for God again and then within a matter of a week, I had sung at two funerals and preached at a church.  I’m beginning to see that this might be the answer I am looking for, just not in the place that I was looking.  If I’m able to keep preaching at different churches I can always take my guitar and do a special and then preach.  Plus, maybe in some way I can help those who are grieving when I go and sing at a funeral.  Many people I have talked to say that they couldn’t go and sing because it would be too hard.  Well, maybe since I’ve experienced so much loss in my life now God will be able to take that and allow me to minister to someone who is in the same position.

I’ve also found that I’ve been spending less and less time thinking about dating and trying to find “The One.”  I have to credit that to Hartwell.  I asked him just before he left, how did he deal with the feelings of wanting to find someone.  He told me to stay busy and focus on surviving.  He said that in Africa, surviving takes up a good part of your time.  In the last couple of weeks, I have started playing tennis after work every other day and running some mornings, when I can get up early enough.  When you live by yourself and work everyday you do spend a lot of your day just surviving.  You work for eight hours and then you come home and cook something and then wash dishes.  You straighten up the house.  You mow the lawn, you do laundry, you play on your computer.  After all that, you just don’t have much time to sit and pine about how you don’t have someone.  I’m just thankful because that has been one of my biggest problems.

In the past I have spent so much of my time wondering.  “What did she mean when she said that?”  “The fact that she didn’t run in fear, does that mean she wants to go out with me?”  Believe me,  I’ve actually asked those questions.  It’s sad, I know.  So since I’ve been busy I haven’t been asking those questions and I’ve just been able to enjoy life.  To sit back at the end of the day and know that the dishes are clean and the floors are clean and the lawn is mowed.  To watch the sun rise over the corn fields with the mist hanging over them.  To enjoy the company of good friends.  To listen to them as they tell you about a crazy dream they had the night before.  To get to know your coworkers better and just share a piece of yourself with them each and every day.

That’s what I like most about not asking all those questions.  People have always told me that it will happen in God’s time. These are generally the people who are dating or engaged when they tell me this.  I know that this is true but I also just wanteto ask, “When’s my turn?”  God has just given me freedom from that.  I still think about it from time to time, I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t but I’m just finding peace in him.  It’s weird.  I never really prayed for this.  I was the opposite.  I prayed that God would bring her into my life ASAP.  And it’s not like God just magically made me not think about it anymore.  It’s one of those things that you stop and look around at your life and you realize it’s missing and you just praise God for it.

I meant to bring this up earlier.  This is just one of those God things.  I’ve been wanting to get a computer since I graduated, but with what I make and my bills it’s just not possible.  So here is where the story begins.  A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine at work told us that she had won a computer.  It was a Pentium 3, 800Mhz, printer and monitor.  I was half joking when I told her that I would like to buy it from her.  Well a day or two later, I was talking with Joe and he mentioned that he needed to find two new roommates.  After he said that he looked straight at me and asked me if I wanted to move in.  Come to find out, that by moving into the Lake House I could save $200 a month on bills and plus have people around to talk to instead of myself.  So I was pretty excited that I was going to be moving and saving all this money.  Then I thought about, at first I wanted to put this extra money toward my loan, but either way I would still be out of debt by January of 2002.  So now I have money that I could buy a computer.  So I went by her house a couple of days later and picked it up.

That’s something else.  I was offered a renewal on my contract at Space Science.  I told them I would like to stay and work there but on one condition.  I needed a raise.  I’m not out to get rich but I’ve got student loans comimg due this summer and it would be nice to be left with more than $5 in the bank after paying all my bills.  My boss told me he would see what he could do and called me into his office the next day.  They were offering me more than I bargained for.  I figured they’d offer me an extra $1 an hour or something.  I did some math and figured I would have a lot more than $5 left over each month.  So then I began to wrestle with whether I should stay with Space Science or move on.  Then God finally got a hold of me and helped me realize that he was providing a way for me to be totally debt free within eight months.  So I said ok and Lord willing, will be debt free by January.  It’s just amazing how God works even when we don’t deserve it.

Well, this brings us to the conclusion of the epic tale of Scott Gottreu, Webmaster Extraordinaire.  Until next time, same bat time, same bat channel.  I hope everyone is well and would love to hear from you.