Friday, June 23, 2006

the way of a pilgrim

last winter over dinner at an overpriced, franchised, suburban incarnation of a texas roadhouse, i asked my uncle how work was going. my uncle is more likely to randomly interject his roadrunner impersonations into a conversation than to take a question seriously, so i was surprised we he said, with his eyes as well as his voice, “you know, i wish i would have found a way to do something i actually like with my career.” then, as though he sensed reality could not withstand too much of his gravity, he gave me a goofy smile and said “youknowwhatimean, vern?”

that was just one strand of a conversation that took place over mediocre cuts of meat, but i’ve returned to it many times since. i love my uncle and deeply appreciate the way he provides for and deeply loves his family. but, in my occupational life, i do not want to follow in his footsteps. in fact, i suspect that one of the best ways to express my affection for him is to learn from his experience and find some kind of work that i can love.

of course the latter is easier said than done. ever since i was unexpectedly ousted from i’ve been working a job that i hate and looking for work that i can love. i wish i could reveal what the latter work is, or at least tell you that i know what steps it is going to take to get there. but I can’t.

at this point, all i can affirm is that i am struggling to fix my sights on an occupation that can mesh well and maybe even dovetail with my vocation. moreover, once i find what i’m looking for (or at least something close), i am going to work like hell to make it happen.

why am i telling you this? because i need your help to make it happen. already, within the past week a number of you have listened to my bitching and kept me from capitulating to the fear that could keep me from moving forward and convince me that i should stay in a place that is as dissatisfying as it is safe. thank you for lighting a fire under my ass and reminding me that fear is a shitty master. i am also grateful for my more contemplative companions who are struggling through prayer and conversation to help me set a course. i am still hopeful that, with you’re help, i’ll find some sort of work that not only utilizes my gifts, but, much more importantly intersects with the interests of the body of Christ and the deep, desperate needs of the world. finally, i cannot thank the pixie enough for putting up with my oft dissatisfied self, pushing me forward and constantly reminding me that it is no small thing to live an ordinary life for Jesus. without her i would be utterly lost.

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