I Wonder

I know that possessions do not grant happiness. I know that “growing up” (aka figuring out how to fill out forms for insurance, taxes, employment, car purchasing…) is supposed to be hard. I know that keeping busy does not equal having peace. I wonder where this summer will lead. I have a car now, or, as my manager calls it “a dependent”. I like it, but it takes gobs of my savings money. I get in, turn the key, open the sun roof, accelerate…and I still don’t really feel that it is mine.

There was a nostalgia in hearing that once familiar echo of my footsteps heading up the stairs to the second floor of the high school. It hit me how much I have grown since the last time I hurried up those steps. Walking the halls I am the recipient of enthusiastic greetings and hugs from the gals I love here, or, from the guys, at least acknowledgement. A wave, a question “What are you doing here?”, two of them staring (in what was supposed to be a creepy way) at me through the office window. I’m subbing for the high school secretary today. I like it here. It feels good; it feels like home, but it is also a bit odd to hop back in time.

I wonder…Will I ever be a high school teacher, the career I think that I desire? If I am, will I like it? Will it be here? The time to apply to colleges again is coming up all too soon. It is odd to think of no longer being here, of packing up and leaving this fall, heading for college in my new (to me) car, of submitting my two weeks notice to work, of studying again and reentering that realm of tests and homework. It may or may not happen. If I am accepted to a college I will have to make a decision and deal with these apprehensions, these currently “What if?” thoughts in full. For now they only linger on the fringes of my mind. I’ve learned, more or less, how to function in the real world, it is mostly normal to me now, But I may yet have to learn how to live well in that transient world of college before jumping into a different version of this “real world” again.

I do not know what the future may hold, and I suppose there is not use predicting. Usually I don’t have the time for that sort of thing anyhow. But today in the downtime between the first hour of school and the time I will leave to go to my regular job I have time to think, and ponder, and rest my busy mind. Times like this are valuable, and I don’t get them often. Usually I keep myself too busy, I suppose, busy to the point of hurried prayers, scattered writings in the attempt to figure out my thoughts, sometimes reading a chapter of the Bible.I have kept that promise to myself, at least in part. I’ve been revisiting my favorite chapter of the Bible, only now reading it in The Message version. I think it would be fitting to end this post with that Psalm. It fits…it always fits, but this wording especially fits my life right now.

Psalm 42

A white-tailed deer drinks
    from the creek;
I want to drink God,
    deep draughts of God.
I’m thirsty for God-alive.
I wonder, “Will I ever make it—
    arrive and drink in God’s presence?”
I’m on a diet of tears—
    tears for breakfast, tears for supper.
All day long
    people knock at my door,
Pestering,
    “Where is this God of yours?”

These are the things I go over and over,
    emptying out the pockets of my life.
I was always at the head of the worshiping crowd,
    right out in front,
Leading them all,
    eager to arrive and worship,
Shouting praises, singing thanksgiving—
    celebrating, all of us, God’s feast!

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
    Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
    soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
    He’s my God.

When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse
    everything I know of you,
From Jordan depths to Hermon heights,
    including Mount Mizar.
Chaos calls to chaos,
    to the tune of whitewater rapids.
Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers
    crash and crush me.
Then God promises to love me all day,
    sing songs all through the night!
    My life is God’s prayer.

 Sometimes I ask God, my rock-solid God,
    “Why did you let me down?
Why am I walking around in tears,
    harassed by enemies?”
They’re out for the kill, these
    tormentors with their obscenities,
Taunting day after day,
    “Where is this God of yours?”
 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
    Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
    soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
    He’s my God.
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