If someone asked you to pick the one trait that you feel is lacking in most people (Christian or not) in this industry, what would it be? I asked myself this, and the first thing that came to my mind was contentment. People in our industry are well known for moving around to different positions quite often. The culinary industry also has the reputation of having a fairly quick promotional scale (up to a point). Additionally, other actions of people in the culinary industry seem to indicate a lack of contentment. For example, what is the average time a chef/cook will stay in one restaurant? Gauging from my own personal experience, and from watching others, I'd say that most restaurants average close to 75% turnover every year, or every two years for a real good restaurant. So how is it possible for us to be content with our lives, when it seems that all we ever do is move around to a different restaurant when we get tired of the one we're in, and try to move around to attain different job titles so we can be "successful"?
Before answering this, we need to examine the motives for our actions. Being constantly on the move isn't always bad. Look at Paul. You see him constantly going to different places, letting God's Word be known wherever he went. In Hebrews 13:5-6 (NIV), we're instructed to "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.' So we say with confidence 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?' " The bottom line is, what is the attitude of our heart? If your greatest desire is to do God's will, that's great. As instructed in Matthew 6:34, you shouldn't worry about tomorrow, for you should give 100% control of your life to God. If you do this, you can't go wrong. Problems begin when we desperately try to figure out where God wants us, when all He really wants is for us to be content where we are. God may even allow you to move around fairly often so that you can profess His name, His Word, and His love to even more people. He may even guide you to move so you can learn more about your craft, cooking. Unfortunately, it seems that what I have found is that more often than not, we, as cooks, move most of the time for the purpose of running away from our problems. It may seem to help in the short run, but when we run away from our problems, rather than overcome them, most often the problems multiply. It seems the same old problems occur in the new job. We can spend our entire lives running away, trying to get to the next place, always thinking that "The grass is greener on the other side," which obviously isn't true.
As difficult as it may be for us to comprehend, we need to remember how short this 70 year life is compared to eternity. Nothing done in our own will can be considered righteous, for all should be done according to His will. Contentment can be achieved at any time, as Paul wonderfully demonstrated when he wrote from prison to the Philippians: "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." 4:12-13 (NIV). I challenge you to search your heart; NOT to try to find out what God wants you to do with your life in the future, but to discover how He's working in your life right now.
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