Monday, September 27, 2010
Hope is always in season
I see that the George Muller quote is from a book called The Roller Coaster Ride of Unemployment by Sarah Hupp. This is a subject with which I am particularly familiar, since as a former recruiting manager for a major national corporation, I sometimes interviewed as many as two hundred candidates a year. Those were the job seekers I personally met. My staff met with many more.
It was always difficult, knowing that we had only one position to offer and that out of the eight or ten or more applicants, only one could be given the opportunity. My heart went out to each person needing a job, and I sometimes assured them that I had "been on their side of the table and knew what it was like."
But after the tests had been administered, the panel or group interview scores had been ranked, and the careful responses thoroughly considered, there was often one factor that made all the difference. That was the attitude of the person applying for the job.
A hopeful attitude shows in the set of the shoulders, the applicant's posture, the expression in the eyes, the corners of the mouth. And hope calls forth a response. As a Christian working in the corporate world, I often prayed about which person would make the best employee, would work most cooperatively with the team, and might contribute something of real value.
Southwest Airlines had a famous recruiting philosophy that was summed up succinctly: Hire for attitude, train for skill. In other words, you could teach the basics of the job duties, but it would be much harder to instill the "right attitude" in someone who had a poor one to begin with.
Hope is a choice. Hope is an expression of faith in the One who knows us best, loves us anyway, and wants to give us only good things. Unemployment is one of life's tougher trials, and it has been especially widespread during this recession. But hope is never in vain. And as the prophet Jeremiah reassured us:
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future.
(Jer. 29:11 NIV)
Hope is not futile. It is real, vibrant, and God responds to us when we put our hope in him. Just like a mirror reflects light and images, our hope reflects God's faithfulness. He is the source, we are merely reflections of His goodness. There is reason for hope.
One quick true-life illustration. A fellow was standing in line at the local Home Depot, waiting to donate blood at the mobile van in their parking lot. A woman (let's call her Tina) behind him struck up a conversation with him, and he ended up telling her that his wife was looking for work. She asked "what kind" - he told her. It was the same line of work Tina was in. Tina worked in my department, and the next day she brought the man's wife's resume to me and asked me to consider it. I interviewed her, hired her, and we worked together for the next seven years! God had a plan.So keep hoping. It is not in vain. ...Marsha Y.