Devotional Thought for April 7, 2020
By: Matthew Winslow
“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not. Nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” Deuteronomy 31:6.
Jamie loved her new job. Jamie worked as a sales associate at a specialty coffee shop that sold 100% natural premium coffee beans. Her manager was kind and had no issue allowing her Sabbath off. Jamie was one of the top sellers every day usually meeting, if not exceeding her sells goals. She got along with all her co-workers. The job paid well too. One day her boss suddenly left and a new manager, Joan, was put in place. One day before, Jamie and her co-worker, Maxine were restocking the back room. “I wonder what the new manager is like.” Jamie stated.
“Like a drill sergeant meets a bulldozer”. Maxine replied with a straight face.
“Seriously, she’s no joke. She’s detailed and particular.” Maxine continued. “She specializes in ways to ensure the store will make the most money. That’s why they are bringing her in.”
“That can’t be a bad thing, we’re all here to make a living. She can’t be that bad” Jamie replied.
“Last time she was here, she called me in on my day off, threating if I didn’t come in, I would lose my job.
“She threated you!”
“Not in so many words. She said that if I couldn’t come in it was fine, but if I didn’t, she couldn’t guarantee all my hours for the week. I have children, I couldn’t risk it.”
“When I got here that morning, I had to do everything. She helped one or two customers, but she was defiantly watching me the whole time. She made me clean the store, make coffee, rearrange each shelf all while helping customers.”
“I later found out she had called Tim and Darren off, just to see how I would perform under pressure. If you want to keep this job, do everything she asks you to do, no matter what it is, even if you have to come in on your day off.”
Jamie later started to wonder what would happen if Joan called her in on Sabbath. She didn’t want to lose her job, but she didn’t want to disappoint God. “I will just have to pray she will not call me in. If I do a good job, what’s the worst that could happen?” Jamie thought.
The day arrived and the new manager came in. She was everything Maxine had said. She made them clean the store, rearrange the shelves in addition refill all the coffee beans. It was a slow day, but Joan kept them busy all day. Jamie was drained the minute she got home.
The next few weeks were hard, Joan wouldn’t let them stand still, even on the slowest days. One day they rearranged the shelves multiple times while practicing making cups of coffee. If a cup didn’t taste up to Joan’s standards, she would pour it out and make them do it again. She was scary and made everyone feel on edge, but Jamie did her job and made her sells goals. She thought “At least I still have Sabbath”.
One day Joan called Jamie in on a Tuesday to help prepare for the seasonal displays. Jamie thought “Oh no, this must be a test.”
When Jamie got there, everyone was there, but Joan was sitting just outside the store on a computer.
“Hi Joan” Jamie waved as she walked toward the entrance.
“Jamie, before you go in, would you join me please?” Joan asked.
Jamie froze. “What could I have possibly done!” She murmured.
“Yes, ma’am.” Is all Jamie could get out as she slowly turned, put on a smile and walked cautiously to the table. “Yes ma’am?”
“Please sit down.” Joan stated without looking up from her computer. “Do not call me “ma’am”.
“Yes, Joan…” Jamie sat, still trying to be as pleasant as always. She thought that if she seemed warm and friendly it would ease her fear.
“You’re one of our top associates.” Joan states without looking up.
“Thanks, just doing my best” Jamie started to feel a relived and thought “Awesome, I didn’t do anything wrong!”
“Yet, you don’t work the full weekend. I will need you to work Friday’s and Saturday’s starting this weekend. You can have Monday and Tuesday’s off from now on.”
Jamie’s heart sank. “Well, I’m a Seventh-Day Adventist, I go to church and serve my God on Saturdays. I can work some of Friday, but I must be off at least an hour before sunset.” Jamie states in one breath.
Joan glares into her eyes over her glasses. “You can make a lot on commission.”
Jamie states firmly. “I will not be able to work those days”.
Joan takes off her glasses. “I can’t promise you all your hours for each week going forward.
“That’s fine, I can work Mondays and Tuesdays, all day if you like. Jamie negotiated.
“I see…go on in. I will post the holiday schedule later today”. Joan glared.
“Yes, ma’…I mean Joan…” Jamie got up from the table and went into the store. She didn’t feel as defeated as she thought. Her heart stopped racing and she felt better, because she stood up for the Sabbath.
Jamie did her job and went home without looking at the schedule. For the rest of the week, she avoided the schedule. She was nice to Joan as normal. She did wonder “Is this my last day? Is she going to fire me?”
On Sunday, Jamie came in knowing she would have to look at the schedule. At the end of the day, just as she and Maxine were closing, she had to take a look. She had Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Sabbath off. She only worked four hour, three days a week.
“What happened? Why did she cut your hours?” Maxine approached.
“I wouldn’t work on Friday night’s and Saturday’s. I’m a Seventh Day Adventist, It’s a day of rest for me.” Jamie stated boldly as she started toward the door.
“I like how you were able to just tell her and move on. That’s respectable.” Maxine reassured her. “Plus, I’m off on Saturdays as well, you go to church, right? Can I come with?”
Jamie slightly surprised “Yes, of course!”
As Christians we are called for a higher purpose. Yes, we need job, but we are also called to be witnesses for Christ. Jamie could have folded and told Joan she could work Sabbaths, but what good would have come of that? She ultimately was able to faces her fears and stand for God, even though she lost hours, Maxine can now be exposed to the truth. My point is, people are watching how we respond and do things. They notice when we stand out from the crowd and that’s what God has called for us to do.