So, I’ve been doing this temporary gig. Job. Thing. It’s been both fun, and good for our bank balance (if you know what I mean). Some steady work for a few weeks, helping to pay off Big Blue, the new trike on the block.
First couple of weeks, it was the honeymoon. New routine, new stuff to learn, new new new. Getting up at 3:45am – new and exciting. Riding the trike up Leonard Street at 4:30am – new and VERY exciting. Getting the groove of running a shift live 6am to 10am – new, exciting and a little scary.
But now we’re beyond the honeymoon. 3:45 snoozes its way into 4:15, the trike gets left because it’s raining/too cold/too late ’cause I didn’t get up on time; making an egg sandwich moves over to a dash through McBreakfastWorld, which is not the best choice for me; and because I’m getting used to the mechanics of the shift, I relax and don’t sweat the details as much as I should. The bright shiny new starts to fade into the background, and instead of being different and wonderful, it all starts to look the same.
The mundane. Where everything gets reduced to sameness. Instead of seeing the small graces of God’s hand, painting the bright colors of His presence all through each day, they get lost in the grey of “life.” I lose my awareness of how He is so active, each day, each hour, each moment.
I said to Vicki, I feel directionless, pointless, and have no idea how I got that way. As always, time to get out the iPad and keyboard, get to writing, trot things out there to see the patterns, identify the truth and the lies, and refocus.
The only thing that’s changed in the last few weeks is the addition of the temporary job. It’s not going to be around all that long, but it is a litmus test of sorts to see how I respond to something like this in my new life and my new body. I haven’t had a “regular” job since I was laid off in 2006, so Vicki and I have been interested to see how I would do with this.
First observation: I’m more than capable of holding down a job, physically. I’ve stepped up to the demands of this gig, including the very early schedule, and done well with it.
(In fact, once it ends I’ll probably stay on a morning schedule – I seem to do well being up early and going to bed early. I’ll probably sleep in until, say, 5am, but I’ll stay on this side of the day.)
Second observation: I’m a much nicer employee and person now than I ever was when I was working full-time. No surprise there – when you become Tabula Rasa, everything changes. A lot of old crap got left behind with the pounds and, while some of it tries to climb back aboard, the Lord provides the strength to toss it off when it tries to grab on.
OK – so if everything seems to be groovy, what’s up with feeling directionless? The only thing that I can make of it is that as things become routine, the mundane clouds my eyes, blinds my senses and blends everything together. It’s like a wagon that’s traveled the same path over and over. The ruts in the road are worn so deep that the wagon couldn’t turn to a new direction if it wanted to. Just the same deep grooves, over and over.
So? That’s life, isn’t it? Go to work. Come home. Earn daily bread. Keep your head down, nose to the grindstone, hiney to the… something. No one gets to just flit around, thinking, writing, dreaming, and observing. Who has time for that? Got to get out, make a living, keep going, provide for the family, GO GO GO GO GO GO GO!
Believe me – I get that. The guilt and angst I’ve wrestled with over the past years that I wasn’t contributing anything to our family financially tore a hole in my heart that I’m still filling in. (ok – the Father is doing the filling – I’m just holding the shovel.) Having to rely on Vicki’s paycheck alone, while feeling that I’m just sitting around, spending resources and bringing in none? That tears me up. And still would, had God not intervened and whispered to me,
“My chains are gone, I’ve been set free…”
So, here’s the refocus… I’m never allowed to just wander through a day, never looking around, never really seeing. When God has brought such grace into your life, remaking you from the inside out, you can never just wander through a day and ignore all He is doing.
Well, you “can,” but you shouldn’t. I shouldn’t. I can’t.
Lemme ‘splain. I don’t mean to sound churchy, hyper-spiritual, judgmental, preachy, condescending, holier than Swiss cheese, or anything else along those lines. But God has made it so clear what He has done for me and why. I’ve been given this gift for a purpose – not out of obligation, like He expects me to pay Him back for it, but He has remade me in every way for a reason…
My direction, my point, my purpose is to be a signpost. I point to myself and I point to Him. I say to any and all, “Look! Look what God alone has done. Look at what He can do in one life, for someone who does NOT deserve His grace, who has NOT earned His favor, and who is NOT worthy of His attention. See how He still is in the miracle business, as He has always been. Look at me, not as an example (good heavens NO!) but as a recipient of unmerited, unrestrained overflowing grace from the hand of our Father.”
“Now look in the mirror, and see someone who is a recipient of that same grace. I am no different than anyone else – God loves all of His children without reservation. And His hand moves in all of our lives every day, every hour, every moment. Look around and see Him weaving and molding things together – His hand on all things at all times, nothing out of His grasp or falling out of His notice.”
“God moves. Right now, right here.”
Father, thank You for showing me what I was missing. Thank You for the gift of a job, however long or short it lasts. Thanks that You already know what will come after it ends. And thank You for showing me that whatever I am doing, the routine of a daily gig or the endless variety of whatever You bring my way, I have to keep my eyes out of the ruts in the road, and up to You. I can’t point to You when my eyes are down on the mundane in front of me. Lift my eyes to You.
“I lift my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2)
Up to the hills, away from the mundane, up to You, every day, every hour, every moment.