By Andy Clapp
I had always dreamed of a career where I traveled. I wanted to be the guy who jumped on a plane to go from this city to the next, joining the upper echelon of the corporate world and living that life of what I deemed “meaningful”. For years, I had been on the bottom of the pole of influence within our industry and once given the opportunity to rise to the level I had dreamed of, I took it.
Little did I know that I was not designed to be a part of that world.
Upon meeting the other people who were doing the same job in different areas of the company, I began to figure out quickly that I had stepped into a whole new atmosphere.
What I thought would be so exciting, I found it to be nauseating. It was fake, nothing more and nothing less.
There were airplanes and expense reports, corporate meetings and a corporate office, which I had believed made you “significant”. However, there was deception at the root of it all. A cloud of shallowness hung over the initial meetings and I began to see that I could not fully execute their plan and stick to principles that I had learned from the Bible.
It was all about appearance. They wanted an appearance that said we were better than everyone else. They could care less about the heart of a person. They just wanted people who looked good. I am a person who does not care about the outward appearance, because I know that it fades over time.
If a person’s primary focus is how they look, what lasting effect will that leave when they have gotten older and they can’t sustain the look that they had when they were in their twenties and thirties?
If a person has heart, that will last beyond because the heart of a person doesn’t age. If their heart is about Christ, others are truly impacted by their lives. It always takes me back to 1 Samuel 16:7 which says, “for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Time wore on, and I became more disillusioned with the job as the principles were completely misaligned. The final straw came when we were told to steal business from our competitors. I couldn’t do it. Their belief was that any business was fair game; I could not cross that threshold to where I thought I was doing something shady.
It would not be long before I would have to step down from my position as I was not meeting the criteria for the job and upon being notified of the demotion, I breathed a sigh of relief. I would take a large cut in pay but the reward was distancing myself from anything that could cause others to slip away from God.
There are so many times where we visualize what it would be like to be somewhere else, rather than where we are. We dream of it being a paradise and those ideas often cloud our daily judgments and lead us to pursue the wrong things in life.
I found that living in those visualizations causes us to forget that God has us where we are at this moment for a reason. I was put in the position to where I would have to compromise biblical truths to keep a job that existed in a world which I would never want to take up residence.
As we sit at work and dream about those perfect careers, we must ask ourselves two questions. Are we really willing to compromise what we believe for the career we have dreamed of for so long? Are we paying attention to see what God is doing with us in the place that He has us now?
The other side may seem appealing, but once you get there, it might just be appalling.
This article was previously published in Prodigal Son Magazine and can be found here .
Andy is a youth pastor and freelance writer who lives in Graham, NC. Most of his time is spent with his wife, Crystal, or his students at the church. Any other time he might have is spent relating that which God is teaching him to others through his writing.