A couple of weeks ago, I received an award at work – for five years of service. It’s a nice way of recognising those who have stayed with the company for a number of years. They also give awards for ten years, and fifteen years. It struck me, that not only have the last five years gone quickly, but if I add up the time at my previous jobs since graduation, I find that I have been working for nine years! It seems only yesterday that I was at University. That’s almost a decade in the work force.
In the Old Testament, the Israelites used to mark special occasions and places with a monument. Whenever they saw that monument, they would remember God’s faithfulness, and be inspired to continue to trust Him.
This strikes me as a good time to do the same, so I am going to reminisce a moment about how God has led me to this point. When nearing graduation I applied for a position with the Australian Bureau of Statistics. I had applied for a position in Hobart but was offered a position in Canberra. This would have been a huge adventure, but it also would have taken me away from my home and everything I knew. I felt a strong commitment to Tasmania, and to my church, and wasn’t sure I was ready to leave m family. Through much painstaking thought and prayer I decided to turn down the offer. Finding a position in Tasmania would not be easy; there were much more numerous opportunities for programmers on the mainland. I waited.
I found, and successfully applied for a job with a very small business, running out of Launceston, with interstate clients. When I started, there were four employees. At its height, the company employed seven people. I worked on many interesting projects in this job, and learned a great deal. After two years, the company did not have enough work to sustain us all. I was told one morning, that I would have to leave. I was given the opportunity to go straight home, or continue working for the remainder of my time. I decided to stick around. By the next day, one of my colleagues had convinced the remaining employees to each take a pay-cut so that I could remain on staff. This was a huge gesture, but it wasn’t until I had a family of my own that I fully appreciated what a significant sacrifice this was. I continued working there for another year, before I was told that the company just couldn’t keep me any longer.
This happened at a very bad time for me. I had recently met Linda. She was moving to Tasmania to be near me and we were planning to get engaged shortly after her arrival. How could I support a wife who was far from home when I didn’t have a job?
I spoke to a friend from my church, Paul, who ran a computing business. His company didn’t do programming, but they did have a close relationship with another company that did. He said he’d keep his ear open and mention my name to them if the opportunity arose. That company was pitt&sherry.
Well, pitt&sherry were not on the lookout for anybody at the time, but I tried ringing another company we had worked closely with during my first three years. They knew me, and although they were not seeking a new programmer, they were willing to take me on as they valued my abilities.
I worked for two years in this small company, learning different skills. Linda and I married and we were expecting our first child. The company that I was now working for was about to close, not for lack of work, but because the core leaders wanted to move on and do other things. Again, this was a very bad time. I would soon have a child to support as well. I could see God’s plan working in the lives of all involved, so I chose to trust again.
I sent my resume to a couple of places, with a strong letter of recommendation from my current boss, who was known to them. I never received a reply. While I was working my last week, I received an un-expected phone call; it was from the Software Development Manager at pitt&sherry. He’d received my name from Paul, and was wondering if I might be interested in a job. He was surprised when I told him that my current job was ending in a couple of days so I was very interested. I hadn’t thought about Paul’s promise to keep me in mind during the last two years, but the timing was absolutely perfect. I started at pitt&sherry where I have now worked for five years.
Looking back, I can see God’s hand working intricately, with a great touch of His good sense of humour. Now whenever I look at my engraved wooden pen box, I can be reminded of God’s faithfulness. It’s been an eventful nine years. I wonder what the next decade will bring.