I have been practicing ERISA law for 42 years. It’s hard to believe, actually. It’s a very challenging area of practice that regulates pension and 401(k) plans and is jointly adminstered by the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor. Needless to say, both agencies look at the same rules, interpret them, and come up with different conclusions. Therein lies the fun and challenge of this work.
However, in the last year or so, my number of cases has been going down and I have had to cut back my hours. More recently I have become concerned that there may not be enough of this kind of work for me to do to justify even my part-time salary. Last week my employer agreed and we decided that I would be paid hourly starting this month.
Okay, that is quite scary. I am old enough to be retired but not really in a place to be without predictable income. I totally love the work I do for the Messianic Jewish movement, and especially am excited that Camp Or L’Dor has grown to be its own 501(c)(3) (Baruch HaShem!!) taking even more of my time. But until now, my part-time law job supported my volunteer efforts.
So on the very same day last week after this change from salary to hourly had just occurred, after literally a year of few client calls for what I do, the phone rang, more than once, asking for my services. No dog food for Sid and me at least in the immediate future!
But the experience gave me pause, time to think about the bigger picture, time to focus on what HaShem may be saying to me. I discussed this new turn of events the next day with Marcia, the owner of our firm, who is awesome and really wants to make sure this will work for me. I observed with her that just as I tell her not to worry about how slowly clients pay and to have faith (her Achilles heel), perhaps this is our Abba saying to me to stop worrying about my caseload, He will provide (my Achilles heel). For it seemed more than coincidence that so much work came in just that very afternoon and next morning (and is still continuing!!) when I went hourly, as if to say, don’t worry, everything will be fine. Have faith.
I don’t know what it means. I don’t know if work will continue to come in and I’ll be busier, and perhaps make more than before. Or if my law work will continue to dwindle, freeing me up to serve Him more through my volunteer efforts. But the synchronistic burst of work, even if short term, felt like that wonderful God wink to remind me, He has our backs.