Sometimes, things spill out onto the page that speak more truth and wisdom than what could come from just me. During an Examen, while praying from my emotions, this appeared:
I’m happy to be busy and doing good things. I’m content to live without a straight line – no single goal or mission, but being able to do several small things that change and arise and disappear. This is the contentment of the season for me.
For those who know me well, you may remember I get frustrated, even anxious when I don’t know what my job is. Continually searching for that one task in every situation – or in life – designed just for me. It could be peeling potatoes for those who need a hot meal. It could be making signs or preparing the invitation or standing at the door to greet guests at the party. It could be waiting for someone’s arrival or clearing the tables. It could be speaking at church or watching the tiny ones.
It could be a position of secretary, paralegal, teacher, writer, mom, grandmom… these decisions being a bit more weighty than potatoes or the nursery.
But the question remains the same. “Please, just please, What is my job?”
I’m working on it. I know the balance is somewhere between
…Point A -living moment to moment in a beautiful haze of God will provide (la-la-la), and
…Point Z – living with my own agenda, void of regard for anything but my own success and sense of satisfaction.
As you also may know, my attempts to choreograph my life have been mostly painful and consistent failures.
Don’t get me wrong, leaving the field of education was absolutely the right thing to do. But it came abruptly – unexpectedly. And, because of that, I thought for sure there would be a new and fulfilling (if not lucrative) writing life just waiting in the wings.
Thankfully, for my own sanity, as well as that of my best friends and family, I did learn a few things from those painful dancing missteps and stumbles. Although I had my fair share of ideas for publication and saving the world, I did not seek out an agent, start writing a book no one wanted, or spend royalties not yet earned.
Yes, I thought about doing all of that. But I’m learning to tread a bit more lightly and slowly. I’m feeling the gentle hand of Jesus, hearing His voice encourage me to do the little things He’s asked – leaving the other things, the big things, for the right time, if ever.
This isn’t easy for me. I find myself occasionally looking for that “All Systems Go” message when a fresh idea pops into my off-balance world. I still consider it possible that something I do will have Kingdom-shifting implications – that a phrase or paragraph or book I write or person I inspire will achieve great things. Still asking, “What is my job?”
Still asking, “What do You want me to do?”
But as I continue to listen, wait, watch… I realize a billboard-sized message has been there all along, stretched across the heavens. It’s just been covered with a perpetual fog of trying hard, fame, success, book deal, grand purpose, me-inspired choreography. It’s message has been blurred by the constant demand for answers to my questions.
The fog lifts as I walk with Him. The message isn’t a profession or book title. It doesn’t tell me to move to Seattle or find an agent. It doesn’t tell me to try again or try harder.
It says “Abide in me.”