As I prepared to leave for my current part-time dead end job and an awaiting four-hour shift calling people to get their voluntary cooperation taking some survey, I dreaded that particular night because my employer (Abt SRBI - a NYC-based research firm that operates a half-dozen call centers across the country, including the one where I work in Huntington, WV) assigned one project usually on Sundays - Wednesdays each week - a recruitment travel survey for selected counties along the Delaware Valley of eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey. The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission is conducting a survey (done every ten years apparently) getting households in the region to keep a travel diary record for one assigned day. The problem I (and perhaps other fellow Research Interviewers) have with this survey is the generally abrasive nature of the folks living in the eastern regions of the United States that can be abusive in reacting to unsolicited phone calls from callers who are not telemarketers (due to the bad reputation telemarketers have caused for our telephone survey work). The abuse one can suffer on the telephone talking to complete strangers gets to me much more than the average person, suggesting I have no skills for any work that involves customer service.
At any rate, I dreaded the prospect of calling for DVRPC on Tuesday evening and have also suffered doubts regarding my chosen would-be career field of fiction writing often enough due to any lack of commercial success in the past 13-14 years of working at it (a career choice I came to realize within two years after my salvation experience in accepting Jesus Christ during the early to mid-spring of 1997). So as I left for work, I asked God if He truly wanted me to continue my seemingly fruitless pursuit of writing in my spare time. I took a lesson from the Book of Judges in the Old Testament (one I recently heard a preacher on TV use in his sermon) in which the Hebrew military leader Gideon tests God's Will for his life by asking for signs about his God-given destiny. In Chapter Six, Gideon asked God to make a sheep fleece laid upon the ground one night wet the following morning with dew but for the surrounding ground to be dry by contrast. The next morning Gideon found the fleece soaking wet and squeezed the water into a bowl. But he was not yet convinced God had chosen him to rise up against Israel's oppressors of that time and asked for a second test - this time the fleece would be dry the following morning surrounded by dew-moistened ground outside. The second day came and the fleece remained dry on dew-covered ground.
Taking this lesson in testing God to determine His Will when He called a faithful man to do something, I simply asked The Creator to spare me from having to call the DVRPC household travel survey for Tuesday and Wednesday evening at Abt SBBI. I reasoned that one night of such an event might only seem like just a mere coincidence, but two nights in a row the unmistakable Hand of God reaching out to intervene in my life for the better as a demonstration of His Power over the universe - something I would never forget. Tuesday night came and more good things happened than I even expected. First, I found a vacant parking space on 9th Street in Huntington in sight of my work suite's building, something that happens rarely if ever since I usually must park one block away in a municipal parking lot on 8th Street (it also costs slightly more to park there on average). Second, and most importantly, I was not assigned the DVRPC survey, but instead one of the BRFSS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/State Health Department health surveys (the one for Ohio, my home state). Third, I was able to complete surveys that night (on both the landline and cellular phone versions) at a rate of one per hour (a respectable rate I've heard). I was elated needless to say and silently thanked God during and after my shift often. But the greatest test about my prayer for a sign He wanted me writing was yet to come.
Last night, I went to work reminding God of my request through prayer to receive a sign from Him if He wanted me to continue with any writing work even if I never gained financial rewards from it. Again, I found a vacant parking spot on that street in sight of the building. Again I was assigned to call the Ohio BRFSS health survey for the four hours I was scheduled to work that night. And once again I completed surveys (all landline this time) again at a rate of one per hour! God had spoken to me and His answer was unmistakable - continue with the writing I had given you as your life's assignment back in the late 1990s. And so, dear readers, as a result of my last two nights at that job, I will NEVER doubt that writing fiction or whatever else I'm inspired to do with the writing craft is God's Will for my life and future, come what may in that future.
The main result of this experience is that my faith in pursuing this labor has been confirmed for the first time by God's Hand intervening to ease my burden at the job He provided me in late January/early February of this year. I may still suffer various nights or days while doing it from the pain of people's rejections and rude behavior due to their hatred of unsolicited phone calls (beyond my control since a computer dials each number at random), but now I have no doubts remaining in my heart and soul that I'm doing The Lord's Work He assigned me right after I'd accepted Jesus Christ's free gift of salvation to all mankind. Now, if there are any unbelieving troll out there who want to belittle my experience and claim it was all an amazing coincidence, go ahead. I know better than that.