We mourn the loss of possessions, youth, vitality, money, relationships, status, power, jobs. We mourn the loss of our idols. We would be rightly judged as embracing “loss prevention”. We eventually struggle with the final loss of death.
In a recent message, my pastor described death as “the vehicle that takes you to God”. Death is the transportation to the home our hearts desire, and into the eternal presence of the One we long to see. Yet, death is the final moment of existence in which we experienced several kinds of loss.
This week I learned my company will be closing down in a few months. For my team, professional and personal goals and aspirations are already dying on the vine. Some major accomplishments and successes will be systematically terminated or dismantled. The best work of my professional career will be demolished and forgotten. Once bustling workplaces will wind down to silence. Several hundred people will be job hunting in a few weeks or months. The situation reminds me of a fond memory I wrote about HERE.
I intended to retire from this company. Instead of mourning the change, I am choosing to celebrate what happened during this time of my life, and take the position:
“Don’t be sad that it’s over, be happy that it happened.”
During my employment, I
saw God move mountains in ways I never dreamed,
was invited to make contributions to charities on a scale I had not experienced,
learned that “management” is actually pronounced “servant”,
was given opportunities to serve larger groups of employees and clients,
enjoyed a level of continuous employment I had not experienced in 20 years,
began to see co-workers as eternal souls,
earned enough money to remodel most of my old house,
began learning how to talk about God to nonbelievers in the workplace.
And my most stubborn character flaws repeatedly presented themselves; I had to learn how to deal with them in a healthier way.
In other words, I have been blessed with many types of abundance. And during this time of transition, I have another opportunity to learn what Job knew.
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21
“Taken away” means loss, doesn’t it?
Would I prefer that this job situation was not ending? Sure. I like to be comfortable and lazy, and to believe the distorted reality of security. Yet routines lull me into a daze. With continuity of routine I find it easy to go on auto-pilot, to settle in, think less, engage less, challenge less, contribute less. Trust God less.
In the midst of this transition, I hope my faith will grow. To trust God more. To thank God more. Perhaps one day, as I approach the vehicle death, I will remember this time with a smile: a time when I learned to fearlessly embrace “loss” and thank God for it.