Every Sunday, I take a break from writing about Work, Life, and Changing the World. Instead, I write about my imperfect understanding of God’s perfect love as my personal mission to spread His word and His love and to make a difference. You can read more Mission posts here.
After passing the CPA boards in 2010, I thought my whole future was going to be secure.
I thought a multinational company was going to hire me as a management trainee immediately after our oath-taking.
I thought my starting salary would be twice as much as an entry-level employee.
I thought in one or two years’ time, I was going to become a manager.
I thought I was going to stay with the company until I retire while starting my own family.
Instead, I failed during my final interview. And some more interviews with other multinational companies after that. Honestly, I really don’t know how many interviews I failed. Seven? Maybe. Okay, maybe I didn’t fail, but I wasn’t called back.
Three months after, I still did not have a job.
There I was struggling to land a job while my peers were getting accepted in multinational companies here and there. Some of my peers did not work in multinational companies, but they had a head start in top auditing firms.
At the start of my once-promising career, I already felt left behind. Even when I finally landed a job in the top food and beverage company in the country, I always felt pressured. Even when I left my job and moved to one of the Big Four auditing firms in the world, I never felt happy. After all, I was one “busy season” late in joining an auditing firm. That meant that I was going to be promoted one year later than my peers.
From 2010 to 2013, I saw my classmates, my peers, and my friends getting hired by multinational companies, getting promoted, going abroad, and achieving the successes that I could only dream of.
For two years, I was filled with envy.
And those were some of the most difficult years of my life and here is my usual prayer to God:
“Father, I have been so good. I have been so faithful. Yet, why not bless me? Why bless others instead of me? I know I have been more faithful.”
I couldn’t understand why I had to be the one having a hard time achieving any breakthroughs in my career.
I always cried out to God, “I do not deserve this. Give me what I deserve."
If you knew me from 2010 to 2013, I was very insecure and bitter… and angry.
God was blessing people I thought were less worthy right in front of me.
Before I proceed, can I share with you a story from the bible?
Jesus said: "The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. Going out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what is just.’ So they went off. And he went out again around noon, and around three o’clock, and did likewise. Going out about five o’clock, he found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’ When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and ending with the first.’ When those who had started about five o’clock came, each received the usual daily wage. So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage. And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’ He said to one of them in reply, ‘My friend, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?’” — Matthew 20:1-15
Sometimes, we are like the first batch of laborers who feel God is not fair.
We work so hard, yet others who don’t even work half as hard are getting more blessed.
We have been so good, yet some people who cheat or who play dirty succeed more.
Sometimes, we feel that we don’t get what we deserve like how the first batch of laborers probably felt.
I'd like to borrow this from Bro. Bo Sanchez: "Life is not fair. Grace is not fair. But, God is generous.”
He blesses others not because they deserve it, but because He is generous.
God also knows what’s best for us.
He knows what we need in every season. He gives us what we need, not what we want.
Today, I have never been happier. I have never been clearer with my dreams. I have never been determined to succeed. My dreams have never been bigger. Most importantly, my dreams are bigger not just for myself and my family, but also for others, especially the Filipino poor:
- I dream of building 1,000 houses for the poor. (Join me in this mission!)
- I dream of building communities.
- I dream of sending kids to school.
- I dream of providing jobs by hiring Filipino virtual assistants on my blog (and teaching them to start their own blogs or businesses as well).
I also have never been more faithful and trusting.
And I have never been as hard working.
If I did not go through those three difficult years, I never would have found my passion, my purpose, and my mission for the remaining decades of my life. I never would have gotten out my comfort zone. I never would have learned to love others, especially those who are feeling left behind. After all, I, myself, felt left behind. God knew what was best for me.
When others are being blessed instead of us, let us rejoice. It’s a reminder that God is generous.
When others are being blessed instead of us, let us be happy for them. God is giving them what they need right now.
When others are being blessed instead of us, let us remain faithful. God is teaching us something we need for our mission.
Trust in God’s generosity. Trust in God’s grace.
Stop fighting for what you think you deserve. (Besides, if God gave us, sinners, what we deserve, I don’t think we can handle it. I cannot even imagine it! Jesus saved us and died for us not because we deserve it.)
Borrowing from Bro. Bo Sanchez again, “Take your grace and go!”
Take what God has given you and make the most of it.
Did He give you a trial? Take it. He is growing your character. It’s what you need right now. Take it and go!
Stop saying, “Lord, I have been so good.” Instead, say, “Lord, I trust in Your will.”
Someday, your season will come.
Someday, you will be part of the last batch of laborers.
Someday, you will receive grace you do not deserve… simply because God is generous.
Most of all, be grateful.