Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Business Uncertainty

Ecc 11:1-4 Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. (2) Give a portion to seven, or even to eight, for you know not what disaster may happen on earth. (3) If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves on the earth, and if a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie. (4) He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.

The certainty of rainfall or the speed of the wind are so uncertain that the weather reporters only measure it in terms of probability. Often when making decisions in business it is the same way. God did not promise us that we would be absolutely certain of every future event that will take place with us. But He did tell us to trust in Him and to have faith. You don't have to be 100% certain in order to act. A person that waits for 100% of all of the parameters to come to pass will wait too long and miss the time to sow, therefore having nothing to reap.

Some pursuits in business leave you unsure if it is a good or bad investment. There are certain natural measures you can take to get you to a certain level of certainty but there is always that 20-30% of uncertainty. I think for Christian business people this uncertainty is good. This uncertainty is not bad because it rids us of our pride, arrogance, and presumptuous will and keeps us on our knees seeking the Father for direction. An achievable goal in many decisions is to get comfortable not knowing. That is right, get comfortable in uncertainty.

If I may, I want to take a page out of my favorite devotional, My utmost for his Highest, Oswald chambers called this uncertain state. "Gracious Uncertainty"

1Jn 3:2 Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

As a Christian we are taught that we have eternal life upon confession and belief in Jesus Christ. The bible also alludes to how we will be changed in a twinkling of an eye, we will be immortal, we will have incorruptible bodies . Is anyone certain what that will be like? Many orators, cinematographers, and artist have made great attempts at trying to express this concept,but to know avail. Even in the uncertainty of knowing how it will exactly be at that time, we still are certain of one thing…when he appears we shall be like him because we will see him as he is.

As leaders making daily decisions, with a limited ability to forecast we can have this assurance that God is certainly still with us. Spending time fostering an intimate relationship with God makes your uncertain moments exciting. We may not know the direction to go, we may not know how God is going to intervene, but we can be certain in our uncertainty that HE IS…. We are commanded to believe in HIM; not just believe in what he can do for us. My anchor of confidence is rooted in HIM not what he is going to do.

In time of uncertainty, like I am in now with my Engineering business I hear the Lord saying "cast your bread upon the waters." There are certain things that I believe I was to do that are hindering me from exploring other areas. My own belief when it is routed in routine and convention can be debilitating to future growth. For example, I spent 6 years in college and the last 12 years of my life designing commercial buildings; that is what I know. I can do it in my sleep and the funny thing is if you ask my wife she will validate that. Now I am pondering possibly becoming a licensed home inspector as a small splint of my business to fill the gaps between big commercial jobs. Do I know that this is a 100% right decision? No! God will be God if it fails or succeeds. I will trust in the Lord with all of my heart and lean not to my own understanding in all my ways acknowledge him and he will direct my paths, Prov 3:5-6. I am comfortable not knowing the outcome or how God will intervene. I find HIS grace in my uncertainty.

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