Saturday, March 14, 2009

When In Plenty, When In Want

They say be careful what you wish for and they are right.  

Randy has contemplated a job/career change for quite a while now.  Recently, we had determined that it was wise to stay at his current job because the income and added benefits were too good to pass up.  Still, he had joked about the economic downturns and the instability of his job, saying that he kinda wished he would get laid off because it would force him to go in another direction. But overall, he confessed to me, he was getting into a nice groove at work.  

In another aspect of our life, we have both (but he especially) have been studying more and desiring spiritual growth more significantly than before.  So much so that on Wednesday night after services we challenged each other (partially joking, partially serious) to a race to spiritual maturity.  Hope and intentions were very high.

Thursday morning Randy came in the front door much too early for lunch with his hands full of stuff and greeted me with "Guess what happened to me today?"  Utterly perplexed I may have mumbled a "What?" but hardly having a chance to respond he says, "I got laid off today."

Of course, we are blessed with health, safety, education and ability to work so this period of want we are entering is still very plenty.  It's scary to say the least.  But its more ironic than anything else.  Randy longed for something else.  We longed to really grow.  God said, "Well, okay. Here you go." :)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Kicking over those mushrooms

Mushrooms amaze me how they can show up overnight and surprise you!  Regular living does nothing to anticipate their arrival or help you plan for them in any way.  Mushrooms are not a significant force in my life, of course, but they resemble hidden problems to me.  Problems, personal weakness or unfinished business can be overlooked SO easily and for so long. But then, just as the mushroom does, they appear as though overnight and magically.  The environment obviously was favorable for those mushrooms, any scientist could have safely predicted their arrival.  In the same way, some partially skilled outsider could have predicted the pitfalls about to arise in my life.  For that matter, I am capable of predicting these issues myself, but not nearly as diligent.  We try so hard sometimes and think that surely its enough.  Enough to get the world off our back, enough to fulfill a requirement, enough to get the job done.  But no matter what you do to your front lawn, the world around it sometimes creates an environment where mushrooms will grow.  It takes a daily 'kicking' sometimes to get rid of those mushrooms.  When will I ever learn? :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Pushed Out In the Cold

Boy Meets World was a staple television show from my past that ran from 1993-2000.  In the final season the show sweethearts, Cory & Topanga, get married and in the episode "The Honeymoon is Over", they get a harsh bite of reality.  In not fully preparing for adulthood, they find themselves living in 'married dorms' at school that turn out to be the local slums. When Cory finally reaches out to his parents for salvation, they refuse to help him saying they have to figure this out themselves.   In 1999, when I first saw this episode, I was 19 years old and couldn't imagine parents being so heartless to their kids!  In the end, the couple makes the best of a horrible situation and learns many lessons, but I was still unconvinced that such tough love was necessary.  
Marriage is a good illustration, but I think its more applicable to adulthood in general. What I thought was so heartless was perhaps hard to swallow but very realistic and healthy.  Parents are given the responsibility to care and raise their children, but for what reason? So that they can do things for them the rest of their life. Some might think so, but that isn't the case. It is so that those same children will one day be able to do for themselves and eventually do for their own children in the same way.  But, like in Cory & Topanga's situation, if their parents had set everything up for them, they  never would have known how to adapt and function on their own completely.  There is a time to take training wheels off. Taking the training wheels off doesn't mean you won't fall. It means when you fall, you do the picking up and trying again.
I hate doing certain things by myself and can grow exceedingly impatient when Randy lectures me that its good to be able to take care of things on my own.  But he's right.  Sharing and helping are wonderful things, but not if they are handicapping or enabling a crutch. I like to be propped up, but I'm learning that propping myself up makes me so much stronger and able.