I lost my job recently. I’m actually not unhappy about it. The people there were wonderful, and it paid really well, and I think that what I did there really helped society. It ended well, and it really was time for me to go. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that I had that job.
I’m looking for a job now. I’m not actually unhappy about that either.
I’ve been looking into going into ministry for some time. I’ve sold my houses (we were renting our Texas house after we moved away), we’ve gone to trouble to be out of the obligation of our debts, and I was thinking that now is the time. However, we have run numbers on it, and it seems highly improbable that I could support 3 adolescent boys and a wife and myself on that kind of money. Truthfully, I don’t see that I could support a pet hamster on that kind of money. I think there is faith, and there is groundless presumption, and this seems much closer to the latter. I have no relevant academic credentials and I’m obscure. Jon Acuff posted about his difficult early days blogging, and the numbers he posted from then are better than my best days after 7 years of doing this. Let’s just say my web traffic isn’t attracting big advertisers, and I’m not exactly getting rich off of book sales.
I wonder if Jesus started to think that His influence was a little spare when everyone abandoned Him at the cross? Where were all the people offering Him book deals or tweeting His last words?
So, I’m a little burned out on my prior career, and I don’t see how any other thing I work at could support us, so I am going through a phase of feeling a little trapped and unhappy. This is the one truly cardinal sin, apparently. People want to hear that I’m happy, that I have a plan, and that everything is going to be OK. This is the number one thing I’m asked these days, and it is embarrassing to admit that I don’t have this under control. There is grace for all kinds of heinous sin, but I can’t be in a funk, because grace is supposed to have solved that problem. But we don’t believe in the prosperity gospel, that would be ridiculous. Right?
And you know what? I reject that I can’t be in a funk. I am in a funk. How can I walk in the light if I can’t confess the truth, that I’m in a funk? I am not going to pretend to be dealing joyfully with this when I’m not. I know I’m supposed to be anxious for nothing. In fact, I’m not really anxious in that way, and that is honest. I can get a job doing database admin / web app development stuff if it comes down to it. I’m upset because I have gone to a lot of trouble to be available to follow a calling into the ministry and it still seems like those doors are closed. The gospel is burning a hole in me and I don’t really want to spend the bulk of my time in a basement pecking at a computer. So I’m mad about it and I’m having a bit of a row with God. However, I believe that grace transcends these things, and that I am ultimately loved and that in the end everything really will turn out for the good. This includes that I can allow others to be in a funk and still accept them, because I know what that feels like. Grace means that it is OK to not be OK. So, in a weird way, the fact that I’m allowed to be in a funk and that God would rather be in a row with me than a fake happiness, cheers me up tremendously.