Watchin' the Wheels
There's so much going on.
That sounds unlikely, given my current state of forced under-employment, but it's true.
Years ago, John Lennon wrote about a song about his life, which, at that time, took the shape of a 40-ish-year-old, stay-at-home dad.
He was not a hermit, but he was not working non-stop, as he had been since he was a teenager. He wasn't acting like a rock star, doing rock star things, going to rock star places with other rock stars. He was taking his kid to preschool, picking him up after, feeding him, bathing him and generally being a parent.
The song talks about how he had well-meaning friends asking why he was 'no longer riding on the merry-go-round.'
He answers that he is at peace, comfortable with his life and not anxious about anything but being a good father. Of the other stuff, like fame, fortune, groupies, travel, non-stop buzz, etc., he says, 'I just had to let it go.'
I am technically a stay-at-home dad, although unlike John Lennon, my kids are 29 and 25 and no longer live in my house. That gives me a lot more time to 'watch the wheels' than John had.
I believe the Lord set aside this time for me to do important things. To connect and reconnect with people. To help other people, individually and in groups. To share my faith and hope for the future. To be an example of how a person of faith deals with adversity. Or success. Or anything else in between.
It is as though God opened a window in my schedule, of an as-yet-undetermined duration, and He is looking for me to make a difference. I have been praying for such a window for some time, suggesting to Him that I could do more without that pesky full-time job. Now, He has called me on it.
(Be careful what you pray for!)
He provided me with not one, but two safety nets, one worldly and superficial and the other far more durable, versatile and also, heavenly.
This is not to say that salary continuation and availability of health benefits are unimportant. After all, I wasn't fired for failing or being a bad guy or anything heinous like that. My position was eliminated. So, I do get some cushion, though it is not indefinite. I am grateful to have it.
The more meaningful safety net is my faith, which has been growing gradually over the past few years and has accelerated sharply over the past month. Since being jobless is considered by most to be an 'adverse' condition, it may be that I am being tested by this adversity.
If that is that is true, I am acing the test. That is not a boast, it is a sincere assessment in how I am feeling as I type this piece.
I am not being cavalier. I am fully aware of the situation and its potential consequences, including impacts on my family. I am aware that the first safety net will eventually go away, and some arrangements will need to be made to keep the train on the rails.
Those arrangements do not keep me awake at night. I have faith that things will pull together at the right time, and I, in concert with the Bride, will make the right decisions and take the corresponding actions, guided by the Lord, in His perfect wisdom and timing.
A regular routine is evolving, albeit slowly. I am rested, and healthy, and my mind is at ease. I am exercising. I am reading the Bible daily, along with a wide variety of other reading. I am journaling daily. I am writing, either the book, or this blog, or both, for about 6 hours a day.
I am getting ready for whatever is next.
The current project is converting parts of the journal to a book about prayer. I have been writing the journal, which contains my prayers, in the form of a daily letter to God for about 2 1/2 years. It is a prayer journal, and it is in the format of a daily letter to God.
The plan is to organize the best parts of it into a book that teaches people like me. Busy people, with competing priorities, challenging careers, families, outside interests, and so on. People who are asleep as soon as head hits pillow. They are vaguely aware that they have a spiritual life, may even go to church regularly, but is not excited or interested in it. They feel funny praying, thinking it is weird or mystical or delusional (talking to oneself). They may not have the right words or know what, if anything to expect. They might be intimidated too.
They are 'I-go-to-church-on-Sunday-what-else-do-you-want?' kind of people. Faith is too mystical, nebulous and qualitative to justify any more than the minimum obligation of time and energy, which means not sleeping too late on Sunday.
I want the book to strip away any perceived complexity, need for precision or arduous rules and regulations that may prevent these harried folks from starting a relationship with God. As so many good relationships begin, it's a conversation.
(Note: Putting this out publicly to my vast readership creates more accountability for me, so thank you for providing the necessary extra push.)
This is strictly a faith project. I take little credit for the work, as it is guided by the Holy Spirit, so all I do is type, and follow the Lord's lead. He knows what He plans to do with it, but right now, it's giving me something useful to do during the 'open window' through which I have now climbed.
I am excited about the next step, whatever it is, but for now, I am finishing the book. When it's done, I will see if there is a publisher who would want it. Like I said, it's a faith project.
In addition to the book, I am committing myself to 2 blog posts per week. I appreciate the kind words that you've shared in response to some of these posts. If you see something you like, or even just part of a piece, please share it. Your comments on any and all of the content on the site, including this one, are encouraged.
Thank you for reading. I am grateful for your interest.
God bless you.