This is a bit of a selfish post, but I wanted to do it anyway (subtle joke… I point it out, because maybe it was too subtle).
I’ve been a little melancholy over the past few days. It’s not because of anything that’s happened. It’s actually quite the opposite. The past few months, it feels like nothing is happening. And while nothing is happening, I’m getting so beat down with the drudgery of the day-in day-out routine. I want things to be new, fresh, and fun. I’ve sat and thought about this a little, and I think my frustration is because of two reasons.
1. All my life has been a progression towards something. I have always had a goal. When you are a kid, you long to be an adult. When you are a student, you aim for graduation. When you graduate, you look for a job. When you are single, you envision married life with the right girl. When you are childless, you chart your way to having a family. There’s always a next step… isn’t there? Of course raising these children that God has given me to be Godly, happy, and successful (in that order) individuals while I try to be those things myself will always be going on in the background (and something at which I am always working hard), but I think, for the first time in my life, I don’t have a concrete deadline, event, or benchmark that I am fighting towards… a tangible goal to hallmark my progress at a particular phase in life. I am absolutely not saying that being a Godly man, husband, father and friend are not always on my plate or am downplaying their importance, but that process is probably never over, and the milestones are definitely fuzzier. Also, as someone that is keenly aware of the 80 years of vapor that God gives us here on earth, I’m in a hurry to pack as much as I can in the life I get for His Glory. I’ve been praying in earnest for vision. I’ve tried asking God what He wants me to do. Heck! I’d be content with just the next step. He didn’t show Abraham the entire vision, but at least he told Abraham to go – Step 1. As best as I can tell, the answer He has for me right now is “wait” or “keep doing what you are doing.”
2. God has been saying NO a lot. I wanted to buy a new house last year. I still do, and I crave more space as these children continue to grow, but every time I ask God if it’s OK, I get a resounding “no” again. It’s frustrating because I keep hearing how now is a good time to buy while interest rates are low, but it won’t be that way for long. Doesn’t God want me to have a low interest rate and a big house? Work has been good, but it’s been monotonous here of late too. I am not complaining because they take great care of me and my family, but there has been no significant change in what I do or how I do it for five years, and I sometimes feel a little stagnant. The ebbs and flows of business sometimes do that, so I understand that it’s the nature of what I do. Despite the lack of change, it looks like my new project I started a few weeks ago is morphing into some exciting opportunities, so my rut here may be getting worked out. We’ll see. Financially, I was so excited to have our adoption expenses paid off in March of this year only to have a van die in January. We thought we were rounding a corner on our financial goals only to have our plans set back another few years by buying a new car. This rippled into putting some other purchases on hold. It’s maddening! It seems like I am always fighting through debt… I don’t know if others feel the same way or if they are not as bothered by it as us, but Dang! It’s so frustrating having all of your money spent before it’s earned and to see the same problem before you year after year! More waiting. No moving on.
So, for whatever reason, God wants me in this weird hollow spot in life where I just keep doing what I am doing and wait.
I hate waiting.
I contemplated actually posting this before I could put a nice pretty bow on it. I thought I would just write down my frustrations and leave it at that, but tonight, God provided a little bit of that nice pretty bow from a random source…
I wasn’t too keen on going to bed at my bedtime, so I stayed up and watched “Moneyball”. It’s probably in my top-twenty favorite movies. I read the book by Michael Lewis a few years before the movie came out, and I loved both.
Of course the book has a lot that the movie leaves out, but it primarily illustrates how the Oakland A’s used statistical analysis to draft and trade players such that they could be one of Major League Baseball’s best teams despite having a fifth the budget of some of their competition. One of the things that both the book and the movie show is how the GM, Billy Beane, challenged the conventional wisdom of scouts and experts by looking at players from a quantitative point-of-view and less from a qualitative and/or emotional point-of-view. Using statistical techniques that are leveraged in business all the time, he changed the way that sports teams think when they acquire talent.
While watching the movie tonight, one of the themes hit me: When you follow the script (conventional wisdom), you get what everyone else gets. When you don’t follow the script and view the world from a different perspective, life can go down some pretty amazing paths and possibly give you more than you expected. The Oakland A’s were looking to just be competitive and possibly make the post-season in 2002. What they got however was one of the best records in baseball for the regular season, a record-setting 20-game win streak, and a chance to play in the American League Division series before being defeated.
God doesn’t look at scripts. He doesn’t follow “conventional wisdom” (what man thinks is right). I sometimes think he colors anywhere but inside the lines. God’s wisdom is viewing the world from His perspective. When you trust it, it can take you down some pretty amazing paths too. Sometimes we follow Him not fully understanding, but when we do, He blesses our obedience far and away greater than we ever thought possible.
My wisdom says I need to working toward something new… I need to “shake things up” to get my out of my rut. I think it’s human nature when we get bored to crave something new or different. However, I’ve been down that path before, and I know where it leads. I don’t want to live a normal life following my own wisdom or the wisdom of those around me. I want to live the amazing life that God has for me, and he has told me to wait. I still don’t know how “waiting” equals “amazing life” right now, but what I did realize is, in a sense, my waiting is like Abraham’s going. That IS the next step. That IS what I need to be doing right now. I’m still not entirely cool with this answer, but I’m getting there.
At the dinnermesa,