Today is a day of anger, and yet of joy. Like Gimli the Dwarf in Tolkein's The Two Towers, I am torn between such fury and such celebration that I might well burst.
The fury is three-fold. First, I am furious that this is the fourth anniversary of the war in Iraq. I want to dump everything I am doing for my employer and just go protest - chain myself to something, take some anarchist action. Three thousand lives irrevocably lost; five hundred billion dollars spent in useless destruction. Do you feel any safer today? Any more terrorism-proof? I sure as hell don't.
It makes me want to hit something.
Second, almost every indication at The Evil Empire is that they are preparing to "outsource" a significant number of jobs on our project, either to other teams doing similar actions or to our service bureaus in India. I'd say that I probably have no more than 2 months of employment left; perhaps much less. I am terrified (for myself, and for my family), and furious with myself for not seeing it sooner. What a freaking waste of life this last year has been. What an incredible sucker I have been, to allow this to happen to me.
The urge to hit something comes back, big time.
Third, I am once again reminded of how badly out-of-shape I am physically, and how little I have done to counteract that condition. Buying a new suit for interviewing was yet another reminder of how disconnected from reality I am about my health and my physical appearance. Once again, I am at the "I need to change everything right now" stage of the game, and I hate it.
None of that makes where I'm at a necessarily nice place to be.
Yet despite all that, some incredible blessings have come my way. The work I get to do with new people in sobriety has been incredibly frustrating, yet incredibly fulfilling. Every "ah-ha!" moment is an amazing gift of joy and bliss. It's not that I am some kind of hero for having been a part of this; I know better than that. But I cannot help but see the positive changes in certain lives... and that is worth everything that went before.
I've had the opportunity to share some of these writings with some people outside the traditional Christian community, and that has brought a great deal of blessing, as well. And I'm going to be spending some time away this weekend - first, visiting a DeMolay chapter with my friend Ted on Thursday night, and then at a recovery conference in Troy, MI through the weekend. So that's all good.
My brother-in-law is going back to work at the job that laid him off at Thanksgiving. While it's not the answer I would have prayed for him, it's better than four months of unemployment. And sister Sue is starting at a new employer, as a permanent employee (even though she will not have benefits for 3 months yet) - and so far it seems like a much less toxic situation than her previous attempt. So there is hope there, as well.
But perhaps the most incredible gift of affirmation came from my friend Tim B., a faith brother from Kansas. He recently sent me a CD of my former church's choir, and some incredible photography of the church at Easter and Christmas, and of landmarks from around Kansas City. Those, by themselves, were true blessings. But his hand-written note contained the greatest gift of all:
As my blog comment from the other day said, I truly believe God is using you and the talents He has given you to the fullest, and He wouldn't be able to use you as effectively after ordination.Thank you, God. And thank you, brother Tim. I needed to hear that, more than you know.
I believe you are truly living God's will for your life. Do not discount yourself for a roadblock He purposefully placed in your life, so you would be better able to do His will. If you are the blessing to other's lives as you have been in mine, you are making a far greater difference than you know.
As the old story goes, I ain't where I wanna be; I ain't where I'm gonna be. But thank you Jesus, I ain't where I used to be. And for today, that's enough.