“Show me the work of your hands, yes show me the work of your hands.” This is part of a prayer that one of the great patriarchs of the bible prayed some 6000 years ago and some 2 years ago I found myself praying the same prayer. Funny how people can be separated by thousands of miles or even thousands of years but have similar life experiences. Two years ago, I was working for a Christian engineering nonprofit focused in water and sanitation in developing countries. With a background in civil engineering and 12 prior years of experience in the for-profit world my life experiences had been influenced greatly by a world of numbers and data points. Ironically, I found my greatest satisfaction was when I was engaging and helping people not working with numbers. That passion was fostered greatly by my time in the non-profit arena but strangely I found myself feeling called away from that, but to where I did not know. For over a year my wife and I talked and prayed about what options were out there for us. With an eight year old and an eleven year old daughter my options seemed constrained by the need to provide, yet the longing in my heart for a change could not be denied. My situation was confusing and complex. I had a good job that was missionally minded, yet I had an undeniable tension for something else. What I didn’t know at the time was how dramatic of a change God had planned for me.After about a year of floundering, my wife and I had just about given upon making a change. Maybe we had misunderstood this tug. I said to my wife God must want me right where I am, but right about that time I came across a prayer that changed my approach. If you like to be in control then one of the worst things you can do in life is to really open up and asked for God to take the reigns, because He is good to His word. When I changed my prayer life from, “show me the work I can do” to “show me the work of your hands” things happened.Shortly after that, I received a phone call from an old church friend whom I had not spoken with in over a year. His message was short and simple, “I have a crazy idea I want to talk to you about. If interested call me back.” Ok, he had me. I had to know what he was talking about…who wouldn’t? John and I set a time to sit down and talk about this “crazy idea”. In that conversation he laid out an idea that radically changed my thinking. He started off the conversation that he and his wife had discovered a concept that focused on people and community and he was going to invest in that idea. He further stated that he wanted the girls and me to be a part of this venture. As he laid out the vision and mission of Maple Street Biscuit Company the parallel call in his life and in my life was undeniable. This was a place that was bent on serving and help people. Shortly after our meeting John, Sandy (his wife), Dot (my wife) and I hopped in a car and headed to Jacksonville, FL to meet the founders of this great concept. Not sure what to expect I wanted to see for myself if the vision statement and the founders heart would align. In short, did they ever! On the ride back to Charleston, SC the four of us dreamed about what could be and how we could impact our community through Maple Street Biscuit Company all along trying to stay grounded. We knew that it was a long shot that everything would align for us to be part of this amazing mission. The next eight months were filled with hurdles, but slowly one after the next got knocked down. It was a parlous time that had emotions running high. As each hurdle fell our decision was affirmed. In fact, the list of affirmations are too long to write about here but as I told Dot, “even if this does not work out the way I think it will, we are here for a reason.” As we open in Charleston and start to live out the mission statement of, “Helping people, serving others, and being part of community” I do so with the hope that we make our community a better place and under the umbrella of “show me the work of your hands”.
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