My day-mare

As I was laying half awake, this series of scenes played themselves out in my head.  I’d call it a day dream, except it wasn’t all peaceful and happy.

It resolved around my current health struggles, and the impact they are having on my career.  The drama in my head ended with me out of work, on disabality or unemployment or something.  The feeling of being that way was really tough.  I had this sensation that to be that way, to get money that way, would be a terrible place to be.

Please hear me out.  I’m doing quite the opposite of judging somebody who is not able to enjoy gainful employment, for whatever reason.

I had this feeling that if I ended up that way, it would be my illness, my brokeness that is providing for my family.  I had this sense that to mantain that way of being I’d have to almost nurture my sickness, that it would become the center of who I am.   It would be like I’d be a professional patient: my way of providing for the family.

(I hope it doesn’t feel this way to people who are recieving disabality.  Again, this is a system we all pay in to and are all entitled to.  I’m thankful that it is there.  But none of this makes it any fun.)

On the heels of this was the realization that it’s an awesome thing to be able to provide for my family through the better parts of me, through my skills and through my hard work.  It’s a pretty awesome system, for all it’s problems, that allows us to make the world a better place and care for our families at the same time.

If you’re somebody who is working hard, making the world a better place, and taking care of your family, I hope you’ll share with me a sense of how blessed it is to be able to do this.

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jeffsdeepthoughts

The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

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