Anyway, this is what I'm dealing with. It's no big deal...just consumes a lot of time and energy. One of the advantages of punching a time-clock is that you go home and don't have to worry about your job anymore.
God willing by dropping this electrical job and perhaps/hopefully dropping this other job...I will have more time. Some might balk at this and suggest I'm breaking a commitment. There's no contract, it was tentative agreement. I'm very careful about how I commit myself. And I don't do this in a shady or ambiguous way. I'm cautious. There are just some people that I don't want to work for and you don't always know that right away.
I don't like breaking it in a willy-nilly fashion, but there are a clients that you realize sometimes...there's no pleasing them. You'll never be done with them. The job will be complete and they'll keep contacting you trying to get you to come back and change this or twist that. There are many people who try to get you to do things not spelled out in the contract. It's fine if you're working time and materials, but if it's a contract, they're basically tricking you into doing stuff for free.
There have been other cases where not only do they try to milk me and squeeze me for a bunch of work they're not paying for, but some folks are just bestial and awful to be around. There have been a few retired steelworker types that I worked for a day or two, finished the job, and then when they called me back...turned them down. They're astonished, but... I don't care to be around them and listen to their filth and all the while feel like I'm being taken advantage of.
Working for people is all about trust. They have to trust me and I have to trust them. If that isn't established pretty quick after meeting, then it's not likely to develop and the working relationship will always be strained and uncomfortable.
I usually don't take a lot of money up front...often none. I just want to be paid regularly, usually on Friday's. I'm trusting they will pay me, and they're trusting that I will do the work properly and show up everyday etc...
By keeping the payments frequent and small....it lowers the level of trust that's required. Neither of us are out a lot of money, nervously hoping the other person comes through. And if they don't pay me...I leave.
Thankfully that's never happened.
If I worked retail, then it would be necessary for me to deal with the unpleasant customers. But since I work for myself, I can say no.
And to these two projects....I'm saying 'no'....and hopefully this will give me more time.
But then again it may not. I have a large job looming on the near horizon. This project will keep me occupied for the better part of a year and I stand to make more money than I ever have before. I'm remodeling the interior of a 3-storey office building.
But...the time demands will be intense, especially during phase 1. I have drawings, plans, and inspections to deal with and a push to get the 1st floor done as quickly as possible. It's an office space and I may need to work 6 days a week for many weeks. I'll be raking in the money, but again...no time.
Actually if it were up to me, I'd pass on the jobs, write full time and live on much less money. Because if this comes together there will be even less time to write. It's a blessing in terms of paying the bills, but with all my heart....I don't want to do it.
But I'd be a fool to turn it away without some other means of income.
Some might say...well this is Providence. You're not meant to write essays and articles at this time. This is God's way of showing you this.
That very well could be the case.
How to interpret that?
One could say....because I'm off-base. What I'm doing isn't pleasing to God and He's shutting me down so to speak.
It could be.
But does that mean that God loves and blesses such 'ministries' as Coral Ridge, American Vision, Chalcedon, Wallbuilders, the ACLJ, Vision Forum, TBN, and Liberty University?...because they bring in millions of dollars?
I don't think so.
Sometimes God punishes by keeping truth from the landscape. I'm thinking of Jeremiah 23 (an awesome chapter) and Hosea 4.6.
Sometimes the false teachers flourish and those speaking truth are all but ignored.
These passages reveal God in a way that frankly American Christians recoil from. The idea that he sends judgment and withdraws the oracle of truth from the land (in this case the Church, not America per se) so that it is destitute and increasing its sin....that's not a vision of God the Joel Osteen's, Joyce Meyer's, Rick Warren's, or even many Reformed thinkers would wish to contemplate. If it comes from more Conservative circles, they think that in order to prevent it, prevent the decline and God's withdrawal....we need to Sacralize the land.
I think the idolatry of Sacralism is what leads to it.
Anyway, I'm hardly the 'oracle' of God. But if I'm speaking truth then, the words function in that manner. Maybe God will use a myriad of people like me to help make a Remnant more manifest? That's my hope.
But maybe He won't.
Maybe He'll use others and my time is not yet...or perhaps never will be.
Interpreting Providence is pretty tough. I'm often astonished at the audacity and certainty with which some proceed in this matter.
So if I get a bunch of work...does that mean I'm not 'meant' to write?
Just in case anyone is wondering....will this mean I can save a bunch of money and take time off? No. We're not talking that kind of money. I'm talking enough money to get caught up on bills, save a little money for when the car breaks down and start working on paying the mountain of delinquent medical bills I have. I don't really care that they're late. Frankly I view many of them as criminal extortion, but that's another matter.
So in the meantime, I'll keep plugging away writing 1/20th of what I would hope.
The money might allow me at times to take a few days off, once I get passed the initial time-pressured phase.
God is Sovereign.
I have to remember that as I'm covered in dust laying under some porch, nailing joists together...or running wire in an attic....or splicing pipe in someone's basement. Though I don't want to be there....at that moment I can take comfort in knowing that's where God wants me to be.
Not that I 'mind' the work. I don't mind getting dirty, building and fixing things. I don't enjoy it, but I don't mind it. But it's not what I want to do. If I could turn back the clock, I could have finished college and got a job as some kind of academic. I think how nice that would have been. But would it? There's no institution interested in what I'm about.
Such thoughts are futile. I'm meant to be where I am. That doesn't mean I haven't made mistakes and that I'm culpable for the consequences of those mistakes...but in terms of Overall Providence....I'm where God wants me to be.
That doesn't mean I can't pray and hope my situation changes. He may want me to be somewhere else tomorrow.
Right now today, I'm writing this because I'm free this morning and I praise God I can do so.