I was desperate for a job. I looked high and low and prayed, but nothing seemed to happen. I was doing short-term contract work and the time was running out.
As usual, my thoughts were going wherever they wanted to as I set off this morning for my run. First, a verse came to mind. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)
Here are some scenes of my 50k run this morning.
Then my thoughts went back to those desperate times. In 2002 we left India and went to Cape Town to start over. I believed that I would never go back to India. (Ha-ha) We’ve done our part; now it is time to settle down and get a good job. But finding a job was not easy. I never could market myself well. I went to many interviews, but I just couldn’t clinch it.
When that went on long enough, I had a call from an old friend. Pieter told me that they have a vacancy at the Agricultural College for someone who could teach computers to their students. The pay wasn’t much, and it also was not a permanent position, but it had the potential to become so. So I took it.
But in my heart, I asked the Lord the reason for this. I want to do programming. I did not know if we could survive on my salary. And it was quite a far commute.
We did survive and in fact, I thrived in my job. We even bought our first house during those times. I also got a chance to design, build and implement a comprehensive student and course management system all on my own from scratch. I even enjoyed the teaching and developed the curriculum since there was nothing available. In this way, I learned a lot about the basics of being a software developer and a mentor and a coach.
I loved the historic farm where we had our offices. Mine was in a separate building, and I had thought space and time for a lot of creativity. The silence and beauty there has a way of seeping into your soul.
Another thing that happened is that the other lecturers inspired me to take up running. I was privileged to become for a short time a part of their tight-knit community. Another Pieter (Langenegger) was in his fifties, but an ultra-runner per excellence. He and Jasper and Alwyn and Willie believed in me and that is where it all started, 13 years ago.
But before I could become too attached, I got replaced due to our equal opportunity policies of our country. That was the next step God had for me, and again it seemed wrong at the time, but “not leaning on you own understanding” means you may not know why, but God is trustworthy.
So much of who I am today is because of the two years and some months that I worked at Elsenburg Agricultural College. I took the job, not expecting much, but God’s plans were far more comprehensive and far-reaching than my own understanding. Today, here in India, I see the path that God made possible through that preparation.
By the way, I am not against planning. This 50k run today is part of a plan to help our friend Emmanuel to get his kidney. Read more here (please :-))