Christian Life | A Different Experience of Job Seeking (Audio Essay)
In today’s society, there are all different kinds of major enterprises and there seems to be a myriad of employment opportunities, but year after year, college graduates are a dime a dozen. The market of qualified employment candidates is so overcrowded you can’t gain a foothold, so the difficulty of finding employment after graduation has become a very practical problem. For every young person on the cusp of entering society after school, the most headache-inducing issue that they have to face is finding work, particularly at a good company. Everyone puts on their best face and racks their brains trying to squeeze their way in—the competition and pressure are intense. I, approaching graduation, had no choice but to face the plight of finding a job just like everybody else. The only thing different about me is that I’m a Christian and I believe that everything is prepared by God. However …
Tossing Resumes to the Wind, the Arduous Path of a Job-Seeker
As recruitment banners from all sorts of major companies began appearing and all kinds of recruitment ads were put up all over campus, students all crowded in front of the advertising board with the intention of reading every single recruitment notice. Work locations, salary, and recruitment conditions were our primary daily topics of conversation. The atmosphere on campus became very tense; the students were just like soldiers preparing for war, wanting to find a position to their liking. We were all rolling up our sleeves, preparing for action.
One day, a top student who was in my dorm came back once again, dejected with her head hanging, and said listlessly: “It’s hopeless, again. Every company says to wait for news from them, but as soon as I leave I’m like another grain of sand on the beach.” In spite of myself, her words made my heart clench, and I thought: “Even for someone like her, the best student in our dorm, finding a job is this hard. What am I going to do?” She then went on to say: “Having a record of my grades is no use at all. Recruitment agencies aren’t looking at all of that. They look at how good-looking you are, how you carry yourself. If your external image isn’t good, you’re just wasting your breath.” This time her words really startled me: “It’s true! Society is very superficial now, so you either have to look good from the outside or have a way in through your family. Bookworms like her who are short, not that good-looking, and don’t have a nice demeanor, no matter how well they’ve done in school, they’re just making everyone else look better. I’m just like her—short, average-looking, and definitely fade into the background. How am I going to face looking for a job?” Thinking of all this, I started to fret over finding a job.
Over that period of time, some recruitment agencies came to our school, and I went along with some of my classmates to talk to them. As soon as we stepped into the school auditorium it truly was an ocean of people. There were long lines in front of each recruiter’s table, and job-seekers were all eagerly crowding forward, intent on getting their resume into the recruiter’s hands first. However, I heard that successfully signed contracts were few and far between. Beautifully designed resumes with photographs affixed to the front piled up on the floor, scattered everywhere, some even with footprints on them. I felt pang after pang of sadness over this, and I couldn’t help but let out a long sigh: “Who says going to college will guarantee you a good future? Even finding a job is an almost impossible task!” Students were rejected one after another, chipping away at their confidence. Some even gave up in despair and said helplessly: “Whatever, it looks hopeless. I’ll just sign anything and be done with it.” Seeing my classmates lose their confidence one by one, my heart climbed up into my throat. I thought of a company I had been interested in with flexible work times that wouldn’t interfere with attending gatherings—everything was a good fit. I had prayed to God and left the issue in His hands to allow Him to arrange this matter—but later that company still hadn’t sent out recruiters. I couldn’t help but become anxious. I thought: “Why hasn’t that company come out to recruit yet? If they don’t come and I keep on like this, I won’t get a job anywhere else. Won’t that delay my future prospects?”
Anxiously Awaiting, Why Not Leave It in God’s Hands?
When my classmates saw that I wasn’t looking at other companies, they all told me: “You’re waiting around for nothing. It’s not certain if that company is going to come recruit at the school this year. If they don’t come, you won’t even have a chance at a job. What will you do then? Your hands will be tied!” I couldn’t help but feel concerned, hearing them say this. I thought: “They’re right! If that company really doesn’t come, once these companies are done recruiting, it really will have been in vain. I’ve spent four years in college. If I have to pack my bags and go back to my hometown after all this, how could I face all my family and friends who have placed such great hopes in me?” But I once again turned my thoughts to God, always keeping in mind that God will prepare something for me. I thought and I thought, and I still decided to wait. But waiting made the days really drag by. I heard a few rumors that that company wasn’t coming to recruit at my school that year, and every time it really agitated me. I was constantly concerned for my future and my confidence in God was shrinking. One time, a family member called me to ask about my job hunt and I explained my situation to him. He asked me: “Do you have a second-level certificate for computer?” “I didn’t test for it.” He then asked: “Do you hold some office in your school?” “No.” “Are you a Party member?” “No.” Hearing this, he said: “Don’t even think about that company coming or not. Without any of those things, it’ll be hard for you to get a position anywhere!” His words were like a bucket of cold water dumped over me, soaking me from head to foot. My heart was thoroughly chilled. I thought: “It would be great if I had successfully tested for those certifications! If I had participated in those school activities more proactively, wouldn’t my chances of finding work be greater?” But it then occurred to me, “But the top student in my dorm has all sorts of certifications and isn’t it just as hard for her to find work? They don’t play a decisive role either.” I felt much calmer after thinking about that.
Day after day passed and the number of recruiting agencies dwindled. I was unbearably anxious but there was nothing I could do. I could only come in front of God and pray: “Oh God! I’m really suffering now and I can’t figure out what I should do about this issue of looking for a job. I’m afraid of losing my future prospects and of gaining nothing, ultimately becoming a laughingstock of my classmates. What should I do? God, please guide me.” After praying, I got out a notebook that I frequently wrote God’s words in and flipped through it. I stumbled upon a song praising God written by David: “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up on a rock. And now shall my head be lifted up above my enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD. … When you said, Seek you my face; my heart said to you, Your face, LORD, will I seek. … Teach me your way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of my enemies. Deliver me not over to the will of my enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the LORD” (Psm 27:4-6, 8, 11-14). Seeing the words at the end, “wait, I say, on the LORD,” my heart was drawn to them. I continued reading: “That which My light shines upon, you must rely on Me to cast it away, live by Me always, be close to Me, and your actions must reveal My likeness. You shall fellowship with Me more when you are unsure of what to do, and I will guide you toward the right actions so that you may move forward. If you are unsure, do not take arbitrary actions; just wait for My time” (“Chapter 29” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning). “You truly lack faith in My presence and often rely on yourselves to do things. ‘You can’t do anything without Me!’ But you corrupt people are always taking My words into one ear and out the other. Life nowadays is a life of words; without words there is no life, there is no experience, not to mention that there is no faith. Faith is in words; only by throwing yourselves more into God’s words can you have everything. Don’t worry about not growing up; life comes through growth, not through worrying.” “You are always apt to become anxious and don’t listen to My instructions. You always want to exceed My pace. What is that about? It is people’s wild ambitions. … Blind men! Why don’t you come to My presence more and seek? Why are you just acting blindly? You must see clearly! It is certainly not a person who is working now, but rather it is the Ruler of all, the one true God—the Almighty!” (“Chapter 37” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning).
After reading God’s words I suddenly felt my heart brighten. I thought: It’s true! Aren’t I an arbitrary person who is blind and foolish, trying to rely on myself? Even though I had left the issue of work in God’s hands for Him to decide, when the matter wasn’t settled I lost confidence in God and still didn’t wait for God to arrange circumstances for me or have an attitude of seeking and obedience. Instead, I fretted over my own future and fate. Faced with the facts, I finally saw that my understanding of God’s almightiness and rule was just a slogan, was just doctrine, but my actual faith in God was truly paltry and could not stand the test of time at all, nor could it hold firm when God arranged the proper circumstances. I thought of David writing the song in praise of Jehovah God; it was because he had seen so many of God’s deeds and had a true understanding of God’s almightiness and rule. So no matter what sort of hardships he encountered, he was able to genuinely lean on God, believing that God was faithful and would certainly guide him. Pondering all of this, my heart suddenly brightened: So, God actually carefully arranged all of this for me in order to perfect my faith and obedience for Him. What I need to do at this time is to exalt God as great in my heart, to set aside my own worries and concerns, and to experience God’s work and words within this environment, waiting for His will to become evident. I then came in front of God and prayed: “Oh God! Although I said with my mouth that I was putting the issue of work in Your hands, yet as I saw the hope of finding work growing fainter and fainter, I just wanted to do it on my own and I no longer believed in Your almightiness and rule. Oh God, my faith in You truly is so small! Now I understand Your will, and I will no longer rely on myself when doing things. I will no longer live within my worries and concerns, allowing Satan to toy with me. I only want to hand everything over to You and wait for Your time. I believe that everything You prepare for me will be the best.”
I Will Never Fathom God’s Deeds
Around midday three days, later my phone rang. It was an acquaintance from the Office of Academic Affairs, who said to me anxiously: “You better hurry up and get yourself out there. The leader from that company you’ve just been waiting for has come recruit and they’ll probably be away tonight. Hurry up and get out there.” This wonderful, unexpected surprise was very exciting for me and I simply didn’t dare believe that the company I had been waiting and hoping for, was suddenly coming three days after my. Just then a passage from God’s words surfaced in my mind: “Any and all things, living or dead, will shift, change, renew, and disappear according to God’s thoughts. This is how God rules over all things” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life”). I felt amazed at how marvelous God is while quickly putting on a suit, grabbing my resume, and rushing to the recruitment center. The whole way there my mind was full of thoughts on what they would ask me and how I should answer. The more I thought the more nervous I got, so I quickly prayed to God, asking Him to calm me down. When I got there I saw a group of students outside who had gathered there some time ago. It seemed I was the last to receive the news. I went to the end of the line and watched one classmate after another go talk to the company leader, and they were all tactfully dismissed. They said they weren’t looking for female candidates, or they didn’t want anyone trying to test into graduate school—there were many reasons given for the rejection. My turn finally came. I very cautiously handed my resume to the leader—it was the very first resume I had handed over since the recruitment drive had begun, and it was the first one I had even printed. He looked it over and asked me if I had brought a copy of an employment agreement. I had. Unexpectedly, he didn’t ask me anything at all, but just said casually: “Sign it.” I didn’t dare believe my ears; it was just like being in a dream. When I finished signing it I felt like I was in a trance. Was I grateful, was I happy, was I excited? It was difficult to describe with words; all I could do was give my thanks and praise to God nonstop. I praised God and I praised Him more. Not only for getting a stable job, but even more because by going through that process, I had seen God’s wondrous ways and that all things and all events are under God’s rule and arrangements. Human thoughts and ideas are even more within His hands. God arranged the work for me, so no matter how high or how rigorous people thought recruitment conditions were, they could not change God’s rule or what He has determined. God’s words sprung to mind: “Without God’s work, no matter how good man’s doing, it will count for nothing, for the thoughts of God shall always be higher than the thoughts of man, and the wisdom of God is unfathomable to man” (“Only He Who Experiences the Work of God Truly Believes in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). This experience provided me with profound personal experience of these words from God.
This job-seeking experience allowed me to genuinely see that God’s marvelousness and unfathomableness completely exceeds my imagination. Although those days of waiting felt long and arduous, after undergoing them they became a precious treasure in my life. My faith in God was too small, so He wanted to perfect my faith through the process of waiting to have me learn to give my true heart to God, to obey His rule and arrangements in all things. Thinking of it now, I sincerely feel that no matter how long that wait was, it would have been worth it because God reveals His deeds in His own time, letting me see that His actions are everywhere, that He is the most trustworthy, most practical One who is worth a lifelong faith and dependence! All glory be to God!