How does the Universe/God talk to us? There is an episode in The West Wing where the President has to decide whether to commute the sentence of a prisoner on death row. Throughout the episode, he is visited by a Rabai, a Catholic Priest, and a Quaker, all of whom encourage him to commute the sentence. At the end of the episode, he tells his Priest, a man he has known for many years, that he is angry with God for not answering his prayers; for not giving him guidance about what to do. The Priest responds, “God sent you a Quaker, a Rabai and a Priest, what were you waiting for?”
I was reminded of that episode today. For several months now, I have been praying for direction; for guidance about which way to move in my life. I have been praying for work that allows me to use my skills, provide for my family, and serve my community. And then I got a job offer; a job I applied for eight months ago; a job that has been stuck in a hiring freeze; a job I gave up on months ago. I am not sure if I want this job. I would be going back to an organization that I left 10 years ago. I would be going back at about the same money I made when I left 10 years ago, starting at the bottom of the salary grid like a kid out of school, and commuting about 4 hours a day. This is not what I was expecting and it is not what I was hoping for. I was hoping for some funding for a project with my new non-profit organization or a job with a local organization in the community in which I live.
So, for the last few days, I have been praying for guidance: “Help me to know if I should take this job? Give me some sign if this job leads me in the direction I am meant to go.” When I was at a Christmas party yesterday, I told two friends, people who work for public health, about the offer and my quandary. They both insisted that I had to take the job. One of them told me that it might open opportunities that lead me back to my new non-profit organization. Another person at the party, a man who makes a living as an editor, suggested that I could use my commuting time on the train to maintain the newsletter I started for my non-profit organization. Then today, I bumped into a woman who works with a local environmental group, an organization I was hoping to collaborate with, and she was thrilled for me when she heard about the job offer. She did not see this job as a step backward either; she saw it as an opportunity to get new ideas that I could bring back to this community.
So, I came home today and chuckled at myself. I have been waiting for a “sign”; not really knowing what a “sign” would look like when it struck me that the Universe/God sent me two public health professionals, a self-employed editor, and an environmental activist…so what am I waiting for??
- The West Wing: What I’ve Learned About American Politics (ekmcronin.wordpress.com)