Archive for April, 2010

Later in April

April 28, 2010

This week, I started my 4th different job since coming to New York.  this job will take me throught the 1 year anniversary of being in NYC–which is about a month away.  So, in this past year, I have had as many different jobs as in the previous 4 years combined–or something like that.  This one is with the Census Bureau.  So, in 8 weeks, this job will most likely finish and I will have to find another waitering job.  I’m okay with that and I’m also discovering that sitting through training classes for (at least kinda) lame jobs has become almost like a 2nd home to me…or at least like a mediocre action film (or romantic comedy for the ladies)–comfortable and very predictable.               

There is always one or more persons that act like they know more than everyone else (instructor included).  This time we have both types:  the kind that laugh by themselves everytime something is said they think is stupid, correct minor details within examples–taking the conversation to the galaxy of Pointless–just to show off knowledge they assume no one else is blessed with, and make rude comments and observations just loud enough for people around them to hear but not quite loud enough for the instructor to make out…and the type that angrily corrects anything said or done that they KNOW will RUIN minds and lives if it is simply let go while consistently sounding as if they might kill someone at any moment (both types immediately turn incredibly sweet and charming if given the spotlight and seem to be festering in the hope that the rest of the class will rise as one and revolt to place THEM as the new instructor…which they obviously deserve).

There is also always the person that really took it to heart when one of their grade-school teachers said “there is no such thing as a stupid question” while also managing to either be partially deaf or incapable of listening and thinking at the same time. 

The instructors are always either unqualified to teach anything and uninterested or incapable of attempting to show otherwise or unqualified to teach anything and dead-set on proving that they know more than any human that has ever walked the earth and can make people weep with the sheer power and viciousness of knowledge.  This week’s training has the former.

We have some funny people though.  During the obligatory “now let’s take a few moments to get to know each other” time we were supposed to stand up and state our name and why we wanted to work for the census.  The second guy to go looked about as apathetic as a person can and said as boldly as he could muster “My name is Phillip and I want to SERVE MY COUNTRY.”  Everyone laughed.  He offered a half-smile as he sat down.  Another guy said he thought it would be a good way to pick up chicks.  Another young man said “counting people has always been a passion of mine.”  A cute, petite lady who looked to be around 40 said, “I’m just looking forward to getting raped and murdered by the man that asks me to come into his apartment” and the instructor smiled and said, “Very good.  Very good.”

Also, having gone through this sort of thing before, I knew the first day would be a bit of a train wreck and there would be a lot of dead time.  So, I brought some reading material and came mentally prepared.  This led to the best part of all.  While instructors were scrambling and fumbling around endlessly for something or other, I was getting more and more into a book that was leading me to think about God and what I believe about certain things and all that.  Lately, I’ve been wishing and praying for freedom and no fear.  I’ve been so bogged down by this feeling of never getting over the same sins that have had their hooks in me for so long, and always feeling trapped in this worthless version of a person, and feeling like nothing will ever change so there is no reason to hope.  Then (and it didn’t really have anything to do with the book), the most wonderful thing that has happened to me in a long time…uh, happened.  God spoke in me and truth rang in my chest like it hasn’t in a long while…and the words “I AM free” started repeating over and over again in my heart.  I’ve read that Jesus Christ has freed us from sin with his death on the cross so many times but it wasn’t until that moment that it all…just hit me.  I am free.  I am not chained to any sin, or bad decision from the past, or fruitless habit.  I am free.  Meaning sin cannot touch me.  I could swim in it for a week and it can’t touch me.  Jesus’ blood covers me like a shield of armor.  So all those things that I constantly think I can’t do and shouldn’t think or feel…I CAN…which completely demolishes any power that sin has over me.  My nature (I think all of our’s) is to want to do whatever I’m not supposed to do, whatever I’m told or I know I CAN’T do, I long to do it.  That is the nature of the sin inside us.  But my sins are forgiven.  My stains are washed away.  Every turn from God has been forgotten…past, present, and future.  So, I can do anything.  So, I don’t feel the tugging pull to any of those things I thought enslaved me.  I am free.  The beautiful part is that God has been working on me so much–like He’s refining silver–that He gave me this truth at a time when I have no interest in displeasing Him.  I love Him.  I want to obey.  I genuinely desire to please my Heavenly Father.  It brings me joy…and sin does not.  All those things that grabbed at me and led to the whispers “you know what you could do”…those things used to lead to guilt just by popping up in my head and immediately led to a battle that I rarely won…now I say “yeah, you could do that”…and the suffocation stops.  Then I ask, “but do you really want to do that?”  The answer is no.  I want to do things that bring me joy.  Those things do not bring me joy.  They never did.

Now I know that freedom of any kind does not guarantee against attacks.  Nor does it always protect against slander and prejudice…and more attacks.  But I have hope now.  For the first time in a long time, I have hope.  I’m writing again.  I believe there is a plan again.  I believe that He will lead and I am capable of following.  I have joy.  I have Jesus.

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Later on April 13, 2010

April 13, 2010

I want to be free and I want to be fearless.  I want the power that comes with this.  I want God’s eyes to see.  I want Jesus’ heart in discernment.  I want the empathy and focus that come with that.  I want to snap the chains of entertainment.  I want to not need a song and dance playing for me at all times because it is all just a sideshow.  I want to honor and glorify God with the way I work without yearning for man’s approval and affirmation.  I want to be beyond reproach on everything.  I want the only questioning I am put to to be interrogations of spirituality and heart for which God gives me all the answers I need.  I want the Holy Spirit to be present for me and with me every moment.  I want righteousness to set my path before me every day.  I want to yearn for Jesus and then know how to run closer in a real way…not cheap actions or attempts.  I want every other desire to be secondary so much that it doesn’t show up on the radar.  I want life in a real way–I want it in the way it was supposed to be, with some new adventure every day in the midst of material simplicity…and every second of it laid at the feet of Jesus.  I want freedom.  I want fearlessness.  I want choice to be shackled to God’s will.  I want truth to have no choice but to come from my mouth–I want it tied to the end of my tongue.  I want peace amid chaos instead of stress amid boredom.  I want to be stunned by His beauty and glorious majesty continuously.  I want to spend more time weeping in gratitude than grovelling for help and blessings.  I want to be free.  I want to be fearless.  Please Lord…grant me this.  Give me freedom.  Give me fearlessness.  Give me your power.  Give me your presence.  Give me you.

April 13, 2010

April 13, 2010

Most of the time, being out here makes me feel like I am in a barely-lit conference room with a small movie screen taking up one entire wall.  The screen plays on it specific excerpts from my life.  All my goals, all my dreams, all my potential…every single thing I went after wholeheartedly and attempted to accomplish is right there.  Then, me coming up short and eventually quitting the pursuit and letting the gifts and potential given me fall limply to the side until it is almost forgotten.  This goes on for a little while and then a 50-year old Julie Andrews turns from the screen to face me and says, “By all practical accounts, a complete failure.”  Well, gee thanks.  How about screw you Julie Andrews!  “Well, my dear, if you really look at it, there can be no other conclusion.”  Oh yeah?  Princess Diaries 2!!  Huh?!  Huh?!  How does that make you feel?!  Princess Diaries 2!!  “Well of course before that bit of rubbish, there was the world-loved jewel:  The Sound of Music and my Oscar-winning turn as Mary Poppins.”  Psssshh.  Your Oscar was nothing more than a sympathy win because people felt bad that you got passed over to take the role you originated on Broadway in My Fair Lady for the already screen-savvy Audrey Hepburn.  You were just weird and she deserved the win even if she didn’t sing a note of it!  And I saw part of Sound of Music and I wasn’t at all impressed.  The supposedly-German soldiers sounded like they were from a New Jersey-based barbershop quartet.  I could’ve made a better version of it when I was 19!  “Could’ve, should’ve, would’ve…but didn’t…and won’t….right Mr. Gordon?”  Grrrrrrrr.  I hate you fake Julie Andrews!