By Adria Edwards
It was about nine or ten months ago that I had decided it was time for me to start looking for a job. I was fifteen and was ready to start making my own money and to save some for college and have a little spending money.
I was interested in some type of restaurant work, and that is where I headed first. I filled out an application at a nearby family style restaurant, that was close and very easy to find. Two weeks had gone by and I didn’t hear from them. I called them and they told me that I was a little bit young for the job, but they had not fully decided yet. This process went on and on for about a month. I made up my mind that I would call one more time, and it was a success! The manager told me to come in so she could talk to me about the job position. The interview went well and I began my job as bus girl/dish room helper shortly after that day.
My first evening went extremely well. All of the other employees showed me around and took time to explain everything that I needed to know. One of the things that I noticed immediately was that everyone helped each other out. I was pleased that I had found such a nice job where everyone worked together like a family.
The schedule that I was given was just enough work for me to do and not be so worn out by the end of the week. On my application I wrote that I could not work any Sundays or any Wednesday nights because I attended church services. They told me that they wouldn’t have a problem with that.
As the months went by, I became attached to my job and all of the other people that I worked with. I was getting quicker and beginning to feel comfortable. The owner and the manager told me often that I was doing well and that they liked me a lot. Shortly after that I got a raise in pay. The owner took all the employees out for dinner a few times and gave us presents and gift certificates. I greatly enjoyed those times being with them and getting to know them better outside the work place.
About a month before New Year’s Eve we were all told that it was mandatory that everyone work that night. At the time I didn’t think much of it until I found out that it was on a Sunday evening. I wrote the manager a note asking her if I could have off an hour and a half for church. She told me that I would have to write the owner of the restaurant and ask him. I wrote him a similar note, but I used stronger words that I thought would be appropriate. Shortly after he read the note, he told me that there was no way that he could let me off. He said that it would not be fair to just let me off and no one else. He told me that if I didn’t show up I would be fired! At that moment my emotions went crazy. My heart was pounding so hard and fast, that my tears wanted to come out, but I tried my best to hold them in.
I went home with mixed feelings about my job. I knew that I had already made up my mind that I wasn’t going to work, but I hated to lose my job. I had a very hard time understanding why everything was going so well and it had to come to a sudden stop. I realized that I had an extremely tough decision to make. I knew what my mom and my dad wanted me to do and they told me it had to be my decision.
I went in shortly after this and told them that I would not be able to work on New Year’s Eve. They were extremely upset and they tried to talk me out of it. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but I’m glad it’s over.
Several passages helped me make my difficult decision: Hebrews 10:25, which reads, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (I knew that if I worked I would break this command and might be forever lost.) In Matthew 6:33 Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” From this I learned that I needed to put God first in my life and let no one cause me not to keep him first. I also read in Matthew 5:11-12 that we are blessed when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you and falsely accuse you for Jesus’ sake. I realized that throughout this life there will be many obstacles in our way and things will get tough at times. If we didn’t have obstacles such as this one most of us probably wouldn’t be as strong as we are.
I hope that you never have to go through an experience like this. But I hope that if something like this comes up that you will make the right decision and be stronger because of it. Always remember that if you stand up for Jesus that God will bless you more than you’ll ever begin to imagine.
Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen you, yea I will help thee, yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Guardian of Truth XL: 8 p. 5
April 18, 1996