Saturday, July 25, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For...and then some

Many of you know I'm not thrilled with the work front. It's not the seniors, it's the higher ups...especially when their noses get higher in the air and they lose all perspective of who is doing the work. However, I'm just as stubborn, so while I continue to do what I'm suppose to, I'm still looking elsewhere. Yeah, the economy is not helping. But giving up is not my style. Besides, I read recently that most people will have 5 careers in their lifetime. I'm on #4.

I was raised a Baptist, married a Catholic and when work demands began to intrude, I walked away from our church. Wasn't hard, as they weren't being particularly "Christian" at the time. Long story short, those who tithed the most money advised the Pastor that he would preach what THEY wanted to hear since their money kept the place going. The Pastor let them have their say, then left. I went out the door behind him.

But I never left God, who I think of as my Silent Partner. I still believe that when I talk, He listens. I don't believe in coincidence. I think when I ask for aid or guidance, it comes. Sure on His timetable, not mine.

This week, however, I learned that when I ask for something, perhaps I should be a tad more specific. Then again, maybe it's a lesson I need to learn.

The most prevalent thought in recent conversations with God is,"I just want to be able to do something that HELPS people. That truly makes a difference. Why get up in the morning if you can't contribute somehow? I just need to find a way to make a difference."

No, I wasn't born in the 60s. And yes, I do believe one person can make a difference. I picked the name "hope" didn't I? :)

This week I was asked to attend a meeting, my name having been selected by County Council. As a local government employee, they are the group who hire the Big Boss and set our budget. I've previously used the analogy that Council is like someone who's never cooked telling the Baker how much flour to put in a cake. I walked into a room of people I mostly didn't know and discovered we had one thing in common: County Council had summoned us to work on the 2010 Census... and none of us knew why. The shared ignorance made us laugh...and relax. We soon discovered we represented the 7 districts of the Council, plus smaller Municipalities, Education, Faith based and local Organizations. When the state representative from the Census Bureau thanked all of us for volunteering, we glanced at each other, fighting back hysterical giggles from the looks of it.

The Census is important because population determines federal funding and representation. We listened to a presentation explaining how we were important because it was our job to get the word out. The most important part of that word is insuring everyone living in our community fills out the Census when it comes. That senior citizens aren't afraid to answer the questions or that Migrant Workers won't hide in fear of deportation. Everyone uses our services, pointed out the Hispanic representative, and everyone needs to be counted in order for those services to continue. Our state was 49th in completing census surveys in 2000...and no, we couldn't thank Mississippi for keeping us from being dead last. That title fell to Sarah Palin's state of Alaska.

The goal is to increase participation by 6%. County Council wants a 10% increase. If we do this right, we can bring more money into our community, have more representation at the table where the big money is found, thus luring more businesses to come to our community and offer jobs. In today's economy, that's a lot of help, to potentially a lot of people. The 2010 Census slogan is simple, yet true. "It's in our hands." If we do the job right, we can make a difference.

Before leaving that afternoon, I was appointed Chairman. With all the local bigwigs in the room, the more obvious choices, I had no idea why.

As I left, a church song from childhood popped into my head. "He's got the whole world, in His hands," my brain sang.

Seems He just handed me a job to make a difference. Volunteering. No monetary benefits but a sense of satisfaction when the job is done right and others receive well deserved help.

The reality of life is in their Slogan, "It's in our hands."

It always has been. For if we don't care, who will?


Peggy said...


I have much the same beginning in the religion department.
I was a Protestant, became an Episcapalian married a Catholic, became a Catholic...felt my own spirituality growing again inside of me and now do my talking to God directly! It works for me. I have always felt that God is within.
I agree when you ask God for help,be specific!.
I think I'll try being a little bit more specific myself!
We do hold our futures in our own hands, thanks so much for reminding me!!!!

Titus said...

I know why you were selected. It shines out of everything you write.

Congratulations, and the very best with the Census.

Bill ~ {The Old Fart} said...

God knows our inner self even if we doubt. I am sure when you were given this task, God had picked the right person for the job. Wishing you all the best with your new position. A prayer was sent for your success.

Susan at Stony River said...

Oh no! and Oh Wow! at the same time. Such a big volunteering job is no joke, but I have every confidence you're going to do a smashing job with it, and who knows where that will lead, job-wise and life-wise? Something tells me something big's going on for you here, and I hope it's the start of something great.

Also glad to hear West Virginia didn't hit the bottom of the list. LOL

Good luck!

hope said...

Peggy, the last time I asked God if I was in the right job, I came home and found a DEAD END sign just past my mailbox. :) Sure, the road dead ends but we'd been here almost 10 years before the sign went up.

Titus, only time will tell about this task. Maybe it'll lead to bigger, better things.

Thanks Bill, I get the feeling prayers will be needed. The Boss looked less than thrilled to hear of my new um...position.

Susan, by the time I'm finished with this I hope it DOES lead to something else. And when I do my homework, I'll be able to tell you exactly where WV fell in that lineup.

mapstew said...

hope, I would bet my life that you will do well in this, or anything you put your heart into.

As for 'GOD'?
We will have to walk separate paths on this my friend.


Rachel Fox said...

You are as hardworking and dedicated as a person can be. Admirable (with or without god!).

Bill ~ {The Old Fart} said...

Hope ~ Go and see the picture, you were second to guess and were quite close. Congrats

Dave King said...

We have a bit in common I think. I went to church and Sunday School as a lad. It was "High" Church of England. Became an altar boy, became influenced by a Billy Graham convert and very evangelical (when our priest refused to participate in a Remembrance Day Service because there were "dissenters present". (Methodists.)Later became a Methodist, then a lay preacher, but alternate weekends became Anglican again (visiting my girl friend). Applied for a Church of England college, explaining at the interview that my denomination was "more a matter of geography than conviction". (The Chaplain was more sympathetic than the Principal.)

Winifred said...

That's great that you get to participate and make a difference. I've been in those hysterical situations too, weird isn't it.

I think they recognised that you would be great in that role.

You say they aim to increase participation. So I assume it's not compulsory. Here in the UK people are required by law to complete the census and you can be prosecuted if you don't. Not so sure it's so accurate nowadays with so much immigration. Our next one is 2011 so maybe we'll see then. Or then again maybe we won't!

hope said...

Map, appreciate the kind words. As for God, I'm one of those folks who believes, yet feels no need to shove it down someone's throat if they don't. :)

Thanks Rachel...if my head swells too big, how will I get to the computer to type? ;)

Dave, you made me smile. I got tired of "organized" religion because it seemed anything but. Nice thing is you can take your beliefs anywhere. :)

hope said...

Winifred in theory it's mandatory. The problem is people who "hide" from the process: seniors who fear giving info to strangers or undocumented workers. The goal this time is to get the word out that we're not here to arrest you, send you home or get your bank account number: we're trying to get money to YOUR community for services.

Time will tell.