Posts Tagged With: happiness

Conformist Success?

I like to think sometimes that I am a nonconformist, but really I work within the system, and today I am tentatively excited to announce that I’m taking what I’m hoping is a step up within that system. I’ve gotten accepted for a new job. I don’t expect it to be perfect. Nothing is all it’s advertised to be, but I can say that the workers there that I saw through the large glass window while I waited in the lobby for my interview, well…they seemed happy. Happiness at work is something I value highly…though a laid back dress code, flexible hours, and benefits don’t hurt either. I wonder what the names of those people are? I wonder, what are their stories?

I’m taking a risk. Today I have to tell the owner of the grocery store, see if he’ll keep me on part time or not. Today I’m taking a tangible, somewhat scary step forward in response to my restless spirit, of late. I’m accepting the possibility of leaving my comfortable, routine job entirely after my two weeks’ notice is up. I’ve always appreciated the lyrics to the Carmen song that defines faith as “Stepping out on there and finding somethin’ there.” I feel like I’m stepping out on air right now, and I really hope that I do, in fact, find something there. Yet I realize that I may not. And, if that is the case I’ll have to find something else, maybe a lesser job. Performance based employment is risk. Telemarketing isn’t  exactly what many would consider to be an honorable career. But, for me, it is at least a refusal to settle. I see so many people who have given up and settled for a job at the store permanently. Sometimes I see the sentiments that caused them to content themselves with this lot in life in myself, and that scares me. So yeah, that’s what’s new in my life. I’m becoming a doer, and not just a talker. We shall see how it all turns out. Not many people would consider a job of this nature an adventure, but for me it is, and I’m setting out to prove all the naysayers wrong.

So, that’s the long and short of where I am right now. Actually, it’s the short version. There’s more that it isn’t ready to be written yet. But I can’t leave a post as short as two paragraphs, so I’ll share this poem of St. Francis that I happened upon framed on the wall at my sister’s future college. I may write on it more on the future, I know not. For now I shall commentate only that it was thought provoking for me, and I would love to hear your reactions…

 

” 

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen.
                                                                                                 “

 

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Refining Fire

Preoccupation with stuff that will burn at the end. Living for perishables, not just that which is perish-able, but the stuff that I know will soon perish. Contest, battle, fight, war…the thoughts that get away from me. The voices that distract me from seeking out Him. Good things can turn into idols very quickly when I’m not purposefully seeking out Him. When I know I should, but don’t. You can read the words without letting them in your head. You can force yourself to ponder, but not really care.  It’s so easy to slip into a habit; it’s so hard to stop-or start again.

Fulfillment. The pursuit of happiness. Isn’t  that what we’re all seeking? But what about going beyond happiness, what about seeking out joy? Seeking purposefully, with a will and an unbending determination. Is that possible? Or will the stuff of earth win the alligence that I owe to the Giver of all good things? It’s two steps forward and  one step back; recovering that one step is not an easy thing to do. Do I have what it takes? All things are possible with God, but will I let God fight my battles on this one? There is more to life than mortal things. There are things worth fighting for, things worth struggling over until your eyes are dark and puffy, until your heart is weary and worn.

And so I will fight.The traditional remembering around Easter is easily seen as redundant. Fighting redundancy shall be my mission. C.S. Lewis says “We are far too easily pleased.” I agree.  It’s easy to agree, but it’s not so easy to act on. How does one go about not being easily pleased? How do you train yourself to yearn for the immortal things that we may grasp in this life? How do you start living with open hands and unclenched fist. I don’t know. I doubt there is any formula, no ‘one size fits all’. But I will try. Fighting redundancy,and preoccupation because there are some things worth fighting for, and this is one of them. Fighting for fulfillment, and yearning, and relationship. Standing firm. Will you stand with me?

One illustration from my pastor’s sermons about the armor of God has stuck with me over the years. The illustration of the Roman shields, how they literally locked together like puzzle pieces, how they carried each others burden as well as their own. It’s a very applicable metaphor. This time I am the one struggling, fighting the blows and trying to get back up. I say it again, will you stand with me? Maybe in this fight, in the midst of the struggle and the turmoil we will find joy and fulfillment. Maybe the stuff of heaven permeates our hearts better when there is nothing else.

Categories: My Life | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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