Iíll Give You the Job I Have for You

by John C. Westervelt

On July 20, 1969, my family and I gathered with friends to watch astronaut Neil Armstrong become the first human to walk on the moon. I had a personal interest in the televised event, because I had worked on the Apollo program in Tulsa for the previous seven years. The entire country was euphoric as the United States passed Russia in the race for space.

Within a year after the exhilaration of successful space exploration, Tulsa Apollo staff reductions began. For the next couple of years, I selected engineers for layoff until the one hundred man electrical group dwindled to four engineers.

I, too, had been looking for another job. Every inquiry resulted in the same answer Ė no jobs available. One rejection was from Amoco Research Laboratories in Tulsa. A new job had been my primary concern for over a year. I began to question if God was going to help.

In the meantime, I stayed on at Rockwell working on proposals for new work. In time, Rockwell was awarded the contract to build the B1 aircraft. Not long after President Carter took office, he cancelled the B1 program. At age 49, I accepted a layoff.

Once again, I applied for work at Amoco Research Laboratories, and this time was hired. Later, I was to learn that the man whose job I filled had just retired. I finally realized that I had not been listening to Godís answer, "Iíll give you the job I have for you, but just be patient."

I could have avoided the anxiety and depression of those waiting years, if I had had more faith in a dependable God. I worked on the technical staff at Amoco until age 67 and beyond that for five more years as a part-time consultant. Every day was challenging and fun.

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