“…the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard…”
Daniel 10:12

When hard times hit, my friend’s business was devastated. She did everything possible to survive and experienced hardships that would sour your stomach. Fortunately, our friendship stayed in tact with one exception. Every week she watched me wear fancy suits, sharp looking shirts and ties, and a watch that brought numerous compliments. She wondered if I had lost track of reality and allowed my success to swell my head.

What followed was devastating...

My friend told me that she hoped I would some day lose my job and experience life like everyone else – The hard way. Ouch! Having a friend wish me such ill will was hard on my soul. It was also a warning sign that I needed to heed, but quickly brushed off. I had no idea what was just around the corner.

The economy was a struggle for everyone and I was unable to reap in the same commissions and bonuses I did in the past. It was time to jump ship and find a new job, but a comment from my boss caused me to hold steady and trust in a financial turn around. His words were so inspiring that I pulled money out of my savings and took advantage of the lower labor rates to remodel my home.

Within a short time I was laid-off and forced to cancel the remodeling in midstream. My house looked like a war zone. The ratty looking carpet was cut about six inches from the walls for the new baseboards, frames and doors to be installed. Painting tarps weren’t necessary since the carpet was to be replaced, which added to the raunchy look I had to endure during my unemployment.

The half refinished staircase was an eye sore for any visitors bringing me food after my savings was depleted. And, God forbid if the guest asked to use the bathroom with its ceiling lights dangling from a couple thin wires. Not to mention the unfinished walls covered in white powder that hadn’t been cleaned and primed.

My severance was minimal and my savings account significantly reduced from my attempt at remodeling. I lost my sporty corporate Grand AM and found myself driving a $500 special that was 1 M.P.G. short of qualifying for the clunker program.

Nine months and hundreds of applications only provided a handful of interviews, giving me the opportunity to hear someone say that I was over qualified. I wasn’t even able to get a job with McDonalds or AMC Theatres because they knew I would leave the moment I received a better job offer.

In the tenth month of unemployment my house was put on the market, priced $20K less than I bought it for. The market had plummeted and devalued my house, forcing me into a short sale situation – Not a single person came to see it.

A month later something changed. AMC sold some of its theaters to the Regal Entertainment Group and I immediately applied for a minimum wage job. Success! I was hired to be a Cast Member.

My duties included sweeping up after all the spilled drinks and popcorn throughout the 30 theaters; Cleaning the restrooms and concession areas; Taking out the trash and cleaning around the large trash compactor out back; Selling concessions; And, taking tickets at the front door. In other words, low paying grunt work usually attended to by teens earning money for college.

While many people felt the job was well below my expertise and experience, I was extremely excited to have it. No, thrilled is a better word. My appreciation for the job was genuine. I was soberly minded about my circumstances and thankful that God blessed me with a job.

“For I say, through the grace that was given me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think as to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to each man a measure of faith.”

Romans 12:3

I was in a job that wasn’t beneath me, for I had come up from my misery into the joys and blessings of having a job again. I can’t tell you how important it was for me to be working instead of collecting an unemployment check that couldn’t even pay my mortgage. While the job itself paid few of my bills, there was something about working that made me extremely thankful.

I could feel the truth in Proverbs 10:4 that states, “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.” I had turned a corner and was thankful that I had something for my hands to do. I actually had fun serving the people who came to see a movie. In fact, my excitement was so high that it never dawned on me that most entering the theater saw my position as lowly.

My enthusiasm was infectious. Friendships quickly developed and many customers were pleased at the service I provided. It became clear to many that my motivation to work exceeded what was expected. It was due largely to my mind recalling the words from Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…” Being thankful for my new position and working at it diligently in appreciation for the Lord’s provision in my life, made me effective and efficient in my efforts.

The CEO of a flooring company saw a packed concession area and noticed that while my line was a little longer, my customers were being served 3-5 times faster than the rest. After I served him, he offered me a job on the spot, telling me he had never received such wonderful customer service in his life. I was speechless. All I did was work as unto the Lord and hadn’t realized the impact I was making on customers.

That same weekend when I was taking tickets, I greeted people with the same enthusiasm and light banter as usual, to help kick off the customer’s entertainment experience as they entered the theater. A senior management lead from a consulting firm took notice of me as the heaviness of his long workweek gave way to a big smile. He headed toward his theater with a lift in his step.

After his movie, the senior manager returned to my ticket taking station and asked me to apply for a job that he had recently posted – He handed me his business card. Once Monday came, I contacted the assigned recruiter and applied for the job. The next day I had four interviews and by the end of the week was offered a job, but not the one I applied for.

During the interviews, the various managers decided that my skills could better be used in a different capacity. As I understand it, they moved the person they hired a week earlier to another position so they could offer me the job. I accepted it and will head to Dallas/Fort Worth next week for training. I also pulled my house from the short sale market.

I’m excited about the new position.

God certainly orchestrated an amazing set of circumstances to prove His word to be true. Humbling myself to take the first job offer I received gave me an opportunity to diligently put my hands to work as unto the Lord, which brought about a good paying job that allowed me to keep my home.

I can clearly give testimony, that living by the kingdom principles in God’s word works.

written by CJ Powers