Modified: July 31, 2013 at 4:00 pm ? Published: July 30, 2013
EL RENO ? Thunder rumbling, rain pinging against the metal building and sporadic power outages at Monday's OKC West Stockyards cattle auction, were eerily reminiscent of May 31, but this time there was no tornado.
Monday's auction was the second since the business was destroyed in the EF5 tornado, said Bill Barnhart, OKC West managing partner.
The auction house opened in 1989 and takes cattle on consignment and cleans, sorts and sells them.
Thirteen people and 160 cows were on the property when the tornado came rolling through. All humans and cows survived, but the business' four buildings were demolished.
?Good Lord ordered a remodel, so we're going to remodel,? Barnhart said.
Barnhart also decided to make some improvements.
Since his employees had to find creative hiding places from the storm such as under a stairwell in the restaurant or under the cow-weighing machine, Barnhart decided to install a storm shelter in the new arena, employee Sonny Barthold said.
Improvements also included newer camera equipment to film proceedings for the online audience. The auctions are posted on the Internet in a live-stream so people at home or at work can bid on cattle.
?Bill took this on like a war and he won this war,? Barthold said. ?If you've got to go to battle, you want him on your side.?
Two of the four buildings at OKC West have been rebuilt. It was essential to rebuild the arena and feed barn in order to get back to business, Barnhart said. Until the office building and truck wash are rebuilt, offices have been temporarily moved to the back of the arena.
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Hours of networking and combing the classifieds and Internet postings don?t necessarily lead to that perfect slot, and ? speaking from experience ? it can feel discouraging. It?s easy to become overwhelmed by the deluge of news about unemployment or to sense that our skill-sets are outmoded, even obsolete.
It?s easy to get caught up in listening to these negative scenarios ? but whatever the arguments or forces that seem stacked against us, God has a unique place and an ongoing usefulness for each of us. He has designed us for the fulfillment of His infinite and diverse purposes. And there is always a divine and unerring voice that thunders directly ? to set us back on course.
Many years ago, we were living in a rural area in northern California. My husband occasionally found employment doing small home remodeling projects, and I had been working in real estate. Both professions were very slow and quiet over the winter months. As we came off a recent chapter, in which we had closed down a restaurant venture, our careers seemed at a standstill.
I finally resolved one day to retreat to the Reading Room of our small town?s Christian Science Society. I wanted to shut out all the negatives, while quietly praying and listening until I could hear an answer. The?Christian Science Bible Lesson that week focused on those ancients who often heard God?s word directly, described even as a thundering voice: ?God thundereth marvellously with his voice? (Job 37:5).
When God needed to get Moses? attention, a bush flamed in the desert, and a voice distinctly called his name (see Exodus, chap. 3). The call directed Moses to a new mission and purpose. He was to leave his humble occupation as a shepherd, and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. Moses didn?t dream up this radical career shift, nor did he find it on the Internet. God revealed it to him directly, showing him that he was uniquely qualified for this pioneering demand. Our individual directives may not come on such a grand scale, but the employment shifts can feel just as unexpected and radical.
I left the Reading Room that day at peace. I felt a conviction that the import of these spiritual illuminations and career redirections were not just biblical history ? but present-day fact. Like Moses, each of us can humbly turn aside at our own burning bush. We can drop our mortal r?sum?s and histories, and expectantly listen for whatever redirection might be demanded of us. We can expect to hear that ?thundering voice.? I became convinced that my husband, too, could hear whatever message he needed for forward momentum.
When I returned home, my husband greeted me with, ?You?ll never guess what I heard on the radio today.? He proceeded to describe an unusual job announcement posted by a nonprofit venture some 100 miles away. They were searching for a couple with an unusual skill-set: restaurant and hotel management experience, handyman skills, marketing and public relations, retail and customer service, and some boating know-how.
The job ? lighthouse keepers!
Between us, we met all the requirements for this post as bed and breakfast innkeepers at a historical lighthouse on a tiny island in the San Francisco Bay. Never in a hundred years could we have envisioned such a calling. Although some 250 couples applied for the post, we were not intimidated by the numbers. Because of the way the announcement came to us, through that ?thundering voice,? it felt as if the job was pre-scripted for us. And so it proved to be when we were hired.
Many years have passed since that high-adventure chapter in our lives. But it remains a beacon reminder whenever I feel stymied by an impasse. It?s a reminder to drop worrying and outlining, to tune in quietly to the all-knowing Mind, and listen expectantly. The thundering voice is always speaking, waiting only for our undivided attention. If the voice demands a 180-degree directional shift, we can trust that divine Mind has been preparing us for it. If we need to acquire new skills, the opportunity to learn will be provided. Gently and persistently the voice commands our forward momentum. In the words of Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, ?[P]rogress is the law of God, whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfil? (?Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,? p. 233).
It is not God?s will that any one of us ? as His infinite idea ? should be stagnant, defeated, or unproductive. Divine Love orchestrates a free-flow of unfolding good. We cannot be left out, forced out, or opt out of this Life force. Tuning in to the thundering voice, we can hear it, follow it, and carry out its directives.
From The Christian Science Journal.