After a 15 or 16 year break from it, I've been back into concrete full-time for a few weeks now. My hands are past the stage in this picture, blistered; my hands are callousing up rather well..., well accept for the tips of my fingers and creases in my thumbs that have cracked open. But this post isn't about blisters or tough skin.
I want to write about how God works out awesome circumstance in my life:
For starters, one of our former neighbors had a new concrete driveway poured just days before we moved. Tammy saw the concrete crew doing the driveway and mentioned to me that I should check-out the company. The company had stuck a sign in the yard, kind of like a Realtor sign. I didn't talk to the crew, but did look up the company online. Turns out, on their website they were looking for a finisher. Since I really only know two areas of work, ministry and concrete, I called. I met with the owner, at Starbucks :-) and we spent the entire morning talking. We really hit it off, and he hired me.
It gets better. My new boss is a Christian, and, he's interested in developing his people... He has in the past (several years in a row) taken his employees to Catalyst in Atlanta. If you aren't in Church leadership, you may not have heard of Catalyst. Catalyst is a conference I'd love to go to, haven't had the opportunity yet though.
Think about this for a minute, a concrete company taking its crew to Catalyst. To really appreciate this, picture your stereotypical construction worker in a setting like a Bible lectureship, but instead of a general audience in mind, the speakers are bent on equipping leaders. Picture yourself at this high-powered leadership conference with speakers like Jim Collins ("Good to great"), and instead of "just" seeing preachers and youth minsters in khakis and Polos, you see a group of guys in flannels and jeans... and scruffy work boots. Think Acts 4:13....
It is interesting to me that a concrete crew would end up at a high profile leadership seminar, one that is mostly directed to ministry leaders. My boss paid for everyone's ticket, meals, lodging, etc. The economy, being what it is the last couple of years hasn't been helpful, so my boss didn't take the crew last year or this year. Oh, By the way, my boss doesn't know I blog, so this is for your benefit, no kissing-up here! Bottom line, my respect for my new boss went way-up when I heard about the trips to Catalyst.
I guess what I'm really trying to say tonight is that I'm feeling so very blessed right now. I have a boss that not only is a Christian, he's truly interested in developing his people. It blows my mind how God works. When things went down last Spring the way they did, our friends said time and again (as they supported us spiritually and emotionally), "God has something great in store for you." I know what they meant was, there was some awesome church "out there" waiting for us. There was no "out there" in the end. God had plans for us I didn't see. We're still here, much to the surprise of most everyone.
Don't get me wrong, concrete is tough work. I come home exhausted, sore, and starved most nights. But, I love where God has brought me though. I thank God just about everyday for my job. As much as I miss the rhythms and cycles of full-time ministry and look forward to being back in full-time ministry, God has led me to a place I never would've found on my own -- into a place where He is growing me in new and exciting ways.
One more tidbit: My blood pressure has dropped from 149/95 to 122/84, coincidence, I think not.
Eccl 9:10, "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going."