Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Learning to say yes, in the dumpster...

It was November, 2006, when I came to realize something about my work. At first I became angry and then found myself laughing out loud. Standing in the dumpster, a literal dumpster, as a warehouse manager, I realized that I was smashing down boxes in order for us to get more boxes into the dumpster. But wait, I have a 4 year college degree in youth ministry. What the heck am I doing in a dumpster? How did I get here? I turned to Lobo Vongsakda, my coworker and asked him the same question I had just asked myself. He smiled and nodded and handed me more boxes. So I started laughing.

There have been times in my life when I have just not wanted to express the power of a loving Father into the lives of my coworkers. Various reasons of why are on the list but the biggest reason is simply one word…”No.” I discovered I had a disease, a fairly common disease that overtakes us at times and it had overtaken me. I had cognitive dissonance. What? What is that? Simply stated, it is attempting to hold onto two beliefs of conflicting thought at the same time. This is when one thought has to be true but not both can be true so they conflict. The conflict results in being miserable and life basically being, well, not good. I had been hearing Abba’s voice prompting me to be true to him, to be true to the calling that I had heard long ago and still heard. I just didn’t want to think that the place where I was standing was the place I was supposed to serve. But it was in the dumpster where I said yes to God. And saying yes was me being tired of the results of having said no for long enough that I didn’t want to say no anymore. That week, my life changed for the better. In fact the next morning is when I began to notice the change. I spoke truthfully about my faith and told my story about how I got where I was without fear of rejection. It didn’t matter anymore because my heart, the new heart that Abba gave me, had also said yes.

Unexpected events began to happen in my life and that of my family. And may I just state here that I can’t begin to tell you how Abba will work in your life or that He will follow the same plan as He did in mine. But I can tell you that He promised to work his plan, the one designed just for you, in His own timing and it will have its’ own unexpected events. Life became smoother making the rough spots easier to handle and family life began to grow better. I was at peace instead of conflict even standing in the dumpster. Letting go of the conflicting thought that was standing in the way of God’s work in me opened up a new room in my mind and I again began to see God everywhere. But the benefits of having said yes were not limited to only emotional development. In December of 2006 I began to drive a pickup that I didn’t pay for because someone I never expected decided to gift me with their older truck instead of trading it in. It was an upgrade by 8 years newer and two hundred thousand miles less than the truck I had been driving. In August of 2007 a friend I had previously worked with suggested I apply to work in their company and on September 17, 2007 I said yes to a job offer that would put me alongside of over 500 people on a daily basis. Oh, in the interview I was as transparent as I could be. I told the interview panel that I would be speaking truth into the lives of people who worked there and into the lives of students at the training center and the still hired me. I’ve been working there for 17 months and we are over 1,200 people strong now and growing and I get to walk alongside of them. Oh and the best part is, it turned out this was my dream job. I’ve never enjoyed a better place or work. Did I mention that in October of 2007 my son’s name, Corban, came up on a waiting list that I had forgotten completely about? We signed him up when he was 7 months old due to his cerebral palsy. They got to his name as he was about to turn 10. It was a nine year waiting list. And his name came up at just the right time.

There are many other unexpected events that captured my attention and the best thing is none of the monetary or like mannered gifts even begin to compare to the worth of what Abba gave to me a long time ago. The gift of a son, His son, and saying yes to the calling he had heard from his Abba which lead him to a cross and which lead him to me in the dumpster, has changed my life forever. I wonder what would happen if you said yes to God?

Brian Herrian <'((><

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