May 13, 2010

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Posted 13 May 2010 in Uncategorized

There was a cute guy at Trader Joe’s who helped me out yesterday, “Do you have a bad cart?”  I wonder if folks working in the grocery industry have the same hang-ups as people (me) working in the administrative assistant industry.  Especially folks in LA – where there’s always some creative talent under the work attire.  And more importantly, if he asked me out for coffee — would I say yes?  Actually, now I would, because. . .well, because I have a better grasp of what work and life is.  A mere arrangement of circumstances around which (sometimes against which) the human spirit must battle, or make peace with, or alter.

Anyway.  I’m thankful for the learning experience of the last two years.  For the way it has taught me how “hardship” is sometimes just a way of life and how God may be more than good fortune.   My current position is that He redeems everything if you wait long enough, but things can get pretty ugly.

The values characterizing our ideas of a “good life” or “positive” circumstances varies, but have some consistency.  We have global ideas of success. . .involving recognition, opportunity, financial ease, the luxury of being able to do what we want, when we want, being held in the esteem of others, being able to enforce and reinforce standards of living, education, and beauty through our choices, purchases, ways of hunting and gathering people and things into our worlds. . .But these values and the activities that uphold them are not very helpful at ground zero.

Ground zero.

I think in my two years of I-can’t-believe-this-is-happening–misfortune, per se– I came to the conclusion – it (the bad stuff) was all really happening and that my idyllic, naive belief in things being dictated by a partnership between my will and God’s will (namely to aid my agendas) was false.  I don’t know that there’s another word that fits here.  It was a false, limited view of the nature of reality.  In reality (which or may not include God’s will)–anything is possible and a lot of it, you really might not like.  That’s not a very inspiring statement, but it does help to balance out the ecstasy.

The great trust (I meant to type truth, but trust is right) is that pain and hardship doesn’t alter God’s nature, which is love — or so we’ve heard many times.  He could have an interest, passion, close eye on you the whole time you beat your head against a wall in the darkness.  Am I rehashing, “Footprints In The Sand?”  Yeah, a little.  But different, too. . . The image in the poem of being carried in the sand is always accompanied by a photo of wet footprints — by a beach in Barbados or some place like that.  That’s not quite right.  Let’s say instead maybe He’s carrying you through the desert–where there are no sign-posts, no measurements of your value or being from the structures of civilization–just a wide unfathomable expanse where you have nothing.  Except for a journey, a sore throat, and His arms still around you.

Sometimes, I’d rather have a fur coat, but you know, it’ll have to do.

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