— Midweek Meditations:
thoughts, inspiration and encouragement
from ACF community members —
Research from Huawei revealed that we make around 35,000 decisions per day. Imagine that! and 99% of those decisions are unconscious… the brain works in a routine manner and takes simple decisions such as: what should I wear today? What should I eat today? A delicious cake but with lots of calories or something healthier having determined to reduce alcohol or sugar intake for a set period of time? Or perhaps more complicated decisions such as: should I live here in Freiburg or should I move again to a city with more sun? Should I have less income and live a simpler life or should I keep working under stressful conditions? One single decision could change drastically our lives…
Today, I would like to share the conscious decision I made last week regarding a “new and promising” job opportunity, which would result in changing my current job at the University of Freiburg and moving to my own continent in a familiar country (Ecuador) and how I received the guidance from the Holy Spirit to make the rational decision you will read later in my text.
I got an offer to start a new position with a German technical organisation with good reputation which provides health advice to LMICs (Low and Middle Income Countries). I would be responsible for doing what I know and what I love to do: “training health managers to formulate better health plans” with a big difference: in my own language!
Coming from a developing country, we -Colombians- are resilient and exposed to continuously adapt to new situations and environments due to the many challenges we face in various aspects (political, security, job opportunities, and many more).
This has been my life since I was a child … with the separation of my parents … working to finance my university studies … and later when I got married with a German… making the decision more than 20 years ago to leave my secure academic job at the university in Colombia and move to the UK; working in Liverpool for 10 years where our daughter was born… then moving to Geneva to support my husband who started a new academic position at WHO… living in France… finding a new opportunity to work in the UN system for 8 years until we made the decision to move to Freiburg 10 years ago to give our daughter the stability we did not see in an extremely international environment exposed to 4 cultures (Swiss – German – French – Latin) feeling as an international citizen but with no cultural basis at the same time.
In the past, every time I made big movements, I was clear and confident that it was the right thing to do… the internal voice talked loudly: “Make the big change… do it!”. I even saw a light coming from the Sky telling me “You have my blessing.”
This time I was feeling something different… the internal voice (i.e. for me The Holy Spirit) was restless… feeling uncomfortable… I could not sleep… I was unsure…
The organisation gave me a deadline and in the end (after many nights without sleeping!), finally I turned down the offer…
Now, I am in peace and I have no regrets for not taking this “good” opportunity for my career being perhaps again professionally fully independent …
Today, in our weekly meditation, I would like to share what were the values in making this decision:
- Prayer: My favourite verse in the bible which I highly recommend to my Master students when they finish their postgraduate studies and do not know what path to take: Doing a PhD? Starting an internship in the UN system? Working in an international NGO? Or perhaps making a pause after the intensive Master and having a baby? is
Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you”.
- Advice from wise people: I asked my mother and a few close friends that I am sure want the best for me and my family. All of them concluded that moving to a new continent was not a good idea when my only daughter is in Europe.
Proverbs 1:5, “let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance… No matter how wise and learned and knowledgeable we may be, we will never know everything about everything”.
- Walking to the forest and talking to God… imagining how my future would be …
Psalm 29:9 “The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare”.
- Asking continuously what would be the will of God… I am sure the thoughts from God produce always peace… freedom … joy and love … the “other” thoughts produce fear and anxiety.
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”.
I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit was guiding me… I am pretty sure that those feelings of internal restless and insecurity were sent by the Holy Spirit … the comforter… the counsellor … the advocate to make this decision and I do hope that my text will inspire you to make now or later good rational decisions which will receive the blessing from our wonderful God!
Your sister in Christ
(who also made the decision to return to the Anglican Church Freiburg!)
The ACF Midweek Meditations
are written by a diverse group of our church members with the intention to seek God’s fingerprints in our lives. They range from somber to humorous and are inspired by all facets of live and faith. Written by ordinary people from all walks of life, they reflect a wide range of Christian backgrounds and spiritualities.
Each week’s text portrays the individual viewpoint of its author. They might not always resonate with everyone, and are not meant to be understood as representing the Anglican Church Freiburg as a whole. Yet, as a church that is aiming to ‘Build a Community of Grace’ we seek to practice learning from and listening to one another.
We pray that these humble ponderings add a small spark of blessing to your week.