Paul can be a hard guy to decipher. Especially when he gets up on his “I, not the Lord” horse. –Because what’s that supposed to say to those of us who believe him when he tells Timothy all Scripture is breathed out by God?
But that’s another post.
I’ve run up against some difficult choices in my life: grad school, marriage, moving. Places where two roads diverged sharply. In every case I can recall, either one choice was obviously wrong, or both choices were good and morally acceptable — as if God was holding out two equal options and allowing me to pick.
Last week, we hit gray. After months of brick walls, job searching, and vocational frustrations for both of us, I was offered a great editorial job with a publishing company in Cincinnati. It was nearly a one of a kind position — one of the few places in the country I could do what I was doing at Willow. Even a step up to leading a team, which would be a good stretch. It was clearly an answer to prayer.
Just as I was prepared to accept, I received an email from the director of the group that gave me a writing fellowship last year. Would I be interested in a full-time screenwriting/script development job with them?
A full-time, salaried writing job? Are you kidding?
Even in the face of a great offer already on the table, it was a no brainer for me…and David was on board, too.
The catch? Funding for the position isn’t firmed up. While we hoped to know for sure last week, it may be another month until anything is concrete.
Meanwhile, I was supposed to be starting another job within days.
On one hand, a solid, even exciting, guaranteed career job. On the other hand, my dream writing job, not guaranteed, and requiring an out-of-state move.
We were counseled by several Christian friends–for whom I have great respect–that good business sense, biblical shrewdness even, means taking what’s set before you until the next door opens. So: take the publishing job and quit if you get another firm offer.
My head agreed, but I couldn’t seem to come to terms with the idea of accepting a job and allowing a company to invest in me for several months–while knowing there was a 80% chance I’d walk out on them during their busiest season.
That’s when one of Paul’s more enigmatic bits of wisdom started coming clear:
“‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbors.” (I Corinthians 10:23-24)
Would it have been ethically wrong for me to take the publishing job?
I don’t know. Maybe not.
But I do know that hard as it was to call and “quit” a job I was scheduled to start in a few days, it would have been exponentially more difficult doing it in two months.
My supervisor probably would never have known I was almost certain of quitting from the first.
But I would have known.
So we’re out on a limb right now, waiting for funding, waiting for confirmation on other writing jobs and freelance work.
The breeze up here is kind of nice.