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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/10/08)

TITLE: The Temp Job
By C.M. Erickson


“You should take the accountant temp job.” Lisa stated firmly.

Josh hadn’t held down a steady job in over a year. Right now he was taking some work as a fill in UPS driver getting paid about eight dollars an hour. Lisa’s full time job as a church secretary garnered a paltry nine dollars an hour. They had three young children at home and one on the way, and no insurance among the 5.5 of them. Winter was coming, and the price of heating gas was going up.

“The temp job is only good for a year, and they might not renew. Shawn promised me if I went for the permanent accountant job, he would guarantee me the slot. I’ve worked with a bunch of them before, and they even requested me. I want to provide some financial stability here for the family.” Josh countered, desperation written on his face. The shame of not providing for his family ate at him every time he walked into their run down farm house with broken windows. The landlord never fixed anything, but at the same time, she never complained when they were late on the rent.

“I think you should take the temp job. We need the money. That’s forty grand a year!! With that kind of money, I could quit at the church and be with the kids. We only have one car, and getting up early enough to drive you half an hour one way for your shifts, and then still getting to church at eight thirty in the morning is painful for the whole family. They could renew the temp job. You’d have a year to build a solid track record at work.” Lisa stuck to her guns. Looking at her husband’s face, she relented a little. “But you have to make the choice. You need to do what you think is right. I trust you to make the right decision for the family.”

Josh applied for the permanent job. The interview was great, and Shawn told him afterwards that he was a definite shoo-in. Lisa was so relieved to hear the good news. She had never worked all the way through a pregnancy before, and wasn’t sure if she could make it all the way. She’d had complications on her last pregnancy, and the reassurance that the rent and utility bill wouldn’t be dependent on her was a massive burden off her shoulders. Relief was in sight.

Months passed. Christmas came and went with still no word. Lisa remained faithful, praying for patience and the peace that passes all understanding. Everyone knew the hiring office was slow. Then one day in mid January, Josh came into the church office visibly furious.

“I was the accounting office today on a UPS run, and I ran into Tim. I asked him what he was doing there, and he told me he had been accepted for the permanent accounting job and was getting the standard tests done before his taking the job became official. He told me Shawn had promised him the job and had really come through. I tried to track down Shawn, but when he saw me in the hall, he turned around and went the other way.” Josh snarled.

Lisa decided this was not the time to bring up past conversations. She told her husband that God just had something better in mind for the family, trying to hide her disappointment. Josh refused to be placated and returned to work. Lisa prayed once again for strength to face the coming months of late bills, no heat, and a burgeoning pregnancy. God had carried her through worse storms, and she knew he would carry her and her family through this one as well.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Yvonne Blake 01/21/08
What a difficult situation!
You described well the frustrations of not having a steady income.
Good job...keep writing.
Janice S Ramkissoon01/25/08
Carolyn, I was hooked and then disappointed to reach the end -- I wanted to know more... I am job hunting at the moment and so I could relate to some of what was implied but not mentioned. But when we pray we just have to believe that God will respond according to His will and not ours. He sure has a plan and we just need to apply patience. It was an ecourager for me this morning -Thank you. As I am not sure if you receive PM, I'll use this space to say thank you for your comments on my story on the critique circle. Keep writing and stay blessed.