Posts Tagged With: stories

Restless

“I wanted to be a rockstar–sing for a living. I did for a while, I guess. I opened for a few famous bands…you wouldn’t know them. But hey, if that’d happened I’d never have gotten to work at this palace.”

Sarcasm runs thick in his last sentence. He works morning crew, up well before the sun to stock shelves; he sings for a local cover band on  weekends, always looking for a gig. He piqued my curiosity. I started asking others: “What was your dream job when you were younger?” She was hesitant to divulge.

“I don’t know…

“Come on there must’ve been something.”

“Well, I used to want to work at a bakery.”

You should. You would be good at that.”

“Oh, it’s too late now…”

Her attention to detail, the perfectly dribbled white chocolate accents on her once-a-year chocolate covered strawberries, her flawless fruit trays. On her off days she bakes cookies with her young granddaughter, then comes in showing pictures. (“Look how well she did for her age.”) Maybe it runs in the genes.

“I wanted to be a major league baseball player, but my realistic dream was to be a teacher.”

“What kind?”

“Oh, I didn’t have that nailed down yet…maybe History or Economics. A teacher and a coach.”

“Why didn’t you?”

My dad ran off with his girlfriend, and we were kind of backwards, you know…didn’t know how to get loans and stuff.” 

He would’ve made a great teacher and coach. He teaches in church now and again, using object lessons; he’s and umpire during the softball season in the effort to earn a little extra cash.

I’ve been restless lately, itching to move on. I think it’d be fun to work at a zoo or as a truck driver, or something… Maybe it’s stupid to want that. My manager is amazing. He gave me two ice cream sandwiches today, slipped me money to take a coworker who’s been down out to eat last week.  You can’t put a price tag on that. Money shouldn’t matter, even if I could make more money working at McDonald’s than here, but, at the same time I don’t want to work produce my whole life long. I want to make a difference, see the world–but also watch my brother’s grow up. As usual I’m conflicted.

I don’t want to be a tragedy like their stories. Years go tricking by. I have enough dreadlocks to enjoy, but not too many to hide. Could I get hired? Do I want to? I’ve not always had much luck with that in the past, but now I can say I have some job experience under my belt. Even so, there aren’t many options for jobs around here, unless I want factory work. Or I could move. Now there’s a scary prospect.

These are the thoughts that occupy my mind, my time. Is this restless a prompting of God, or my own selfishness manifested? I’ve always been enticed by the idea of travel, being a vagabond as described by Robert W. Service in his poem The Men Who Don’t Fit In:

“There’s a race of men that don’t fit in,
    A race that can’t stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
    And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and they rove the flood,
    And they climb the mountain’s crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
    And they don’t know how to rest.”
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But that’s just the first stanza. The rest reads:

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“If they just went straight they might go far;
    They are strong and brave and true;
But they’re always tired of the things that are,
    And they want the strange and new.
They say: “Could I find my proper groove,
    What a deep mark I would make!”
So they chop and change, and each fresh move
    Is only a fresh mistake.
And each forgets, as he strips and runs
    With a brilliant, fitful pace,
It’s the steady, quiet, plodding ones
    Who win in the lifelong race.
And each forgets that his youth has fled,
    Forgets that his prime is past,
Till he stands one day, with a hope that’s dead,
    In the glare of the truth at last.
He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;
    He has just done things by half.
Life’s been a jolly good joke on him,
    And now is the time to laugh.
Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
    He was never meant to win;
He’s a rolling stone, and it’s bred in the bone;
    He’s a man who won’t fit in.”
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No matter what I do I’ll never fit in, but it seems to me that this is the part of life where I choose if I’ll go straight and (supposedly) far, or bounce around everywhere and get (supposedly) nowhere., My instinct says go roam, though my comfort zone holds me back. Any advice for someone on the brink? Any stories? What did you dream of being way back when?

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Categories: Journey Prologues., My Life, Ponderings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

In Which I Think

I thought today, walking down my driveway in bare feet and observing the violet butterfly which flitted around my ankles, how good I have it. We talked about that in class today, we threesome. J. Said that things were better now that his Mom remarried. All he has to worry about now is his real Dad doing something stupid and destroying the family name. Before, he said he had watched his Dad  hold a gun in his mouth, finger on the trigger. I said he had it bad, but he denied it.  I know he has friends who have seen worse. D. Said he had it bad, but J. and I disagreed. I know D. struggles with depression, but I also know that his life is like mine-easy. Caring Christian parents, and a loving household are things easily taken for granted.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I thought today while hanging up shirts on the clothesline how we have it all wrong. So many of the emerging Christian teachers want to teach at Christian schools, but that’s  not where  most of the hurting are. Most of those who hurt the worst can’t be found at Christian schools for lack of religion or money. We say we want to  be able to make a difference, but we’re going to the wrong places. We send undercover missionaries to other countries, why not here? There are many more stories like J’.s.

I thought today, bringing in a full laundry basket and enjoying the sun’s warmth of what a friend of mine mentioned that his pastor said on Sunday.  “Our problem today is that we don’t read the Bible.” I tend to disagree. You can read the Bible and still be apathetic. You can read the Bible and keep it to yourself, within your Christian school for instance. Our problem is that we don’t know how to share God with a world resigned- a world that, in many ways, isn’t even seeking. Our problem is that we’re not even reaching our own youth, let alone the world.

I think today, reclining on my bed as I write these words out longhand, that whatever I do, whatever my future holds (which is  a matter I’ve been pondering a lot lately) that I want to reach those ones: the lost, needy, and ever running. They hide under a facade. Often times they’re the funnest and funniest kids in school. But they’re hurting. They hide in music, words, and laughter. They never allow silence long enough for reality to creep in. they’re far from perfect- often judged “the bad kids” –  but they need God just as much as me and you.

Categories: Ponderings | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

Stories

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about a quote I first discovered on her blog: “No man can walk out on his own story.” So true. So interesting to ponder. We’ve got to stick with it; we’ve got to endure no matter what. We can’t abandon our story once we get bored with it, and we can’t leave when we lose control. We are forced to stick with it no matter what. And yet, despite the fact that we can’t walk out on our story, and despite the fact that we can’t entirely control it, we can use it to impact the stories of those around us. For better or for worse we’re stuck with ourselves, and we get to choose which one it will be: for better or for worse.

Our lives are started like a story prompt: she was born to so and so parents in such and such a place, and then she inevitably grew up, and… And what? What do other people think of me? What impact will my life leave? Will I choose to use the boring times to grow spiritually? Will I become complacent? Everyone has a future, but no one knows for certain what that future holds. I find it funny when people want to know what I’ve planned for the future. Planning is futile- it will be changed. Me? I’ll just figure it out as I go along.

Sometimes it’s easy to envy people who have their futures made. Those who have never pondered this not being able to walk out on their story. But then I remember that they are in for disappointment. No one can write their future until it comes, and just like all good stories no character is entirely certain what will happen next. Surprises happen in stories. There are things to be overcome. The Author knows what will come next, and he knows what we will do about it, and still somehow he lets us choose. It’s an advantage of being outside of time I suppose: knowing, and controlling.

No one can walk out on his own story, but we can choose what to do with it. We can choose our reactions, and we can choose our friends. We can live to give or to get. We can make our story worthwhile or not. There’s a lot of power in our hands, in our choices; power can be wielded for good or bad. In our mortal stories we cannot rewrite, so remember you only have one story, use it wisely. Give it to the one who controls the stories. Surrender, keep living, and don’t look back.

Categories: Ponderings | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

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