Archive for December, 2010

Finish Lines, Monopoly, and Perpetual Hope

December 18, 2010

You know what the great thing about school is? There is a finish line. No matter how many sleepless nights you experience studying for your finals, or writing obligatory papers on topics about which you do not care, or cramming so many facts into your brain that you are convinced you might develop a new way of defending your thesis (puking that is); regardless of all of this, the founding fathers and mothers of higher education determined that there should be a definable end to the madness. Heck, they even throw in a cool piece of paper with your name in fancy lettering, as a tangible way of saying, “You did it. You’re done. Way to go”.

What I am wrestling with right now is…where are the finish lines? Where are the clear demarcations that give me an indication whether or not I am making the most out of my  life? Where is the watermarked aged paper with my name in fancy lettering saying “You have successfully completed phase one of being an adult…and yes,  you can put this on your resume for that amazing future job which you have yet to discover”?

When we moved out here, Eric and I felt like we were starting a new game of Monopoly.  The Peoria version, full of Emo’s, Avantis, and Grandview Drive was being temporarily shelved. By packing up our life (and storing the rest in our parents’ basement …(shout out to Paul, Sue, and Linda), we were creating a finish line for ourselves. It was 945 miles wide, but we drove across it, metaphorically taking out the New York version of the game , and rolled the dice.

We are now on month 19 of our endeavor.

We have yet to pass GO and collect $200.

Our neglect of this blog is indicative that both Eric and I have felt a little embarrassed and depressed at our current lack of progress. Life has recently attached to itself a more mundane quality.  It is hard. It is really hard some days. But who wants to talk about hard work when you have nothing to show for it. 

I spend my days helping adults with severe to profound mental retardation  go to the bathroom and eat their food without choking, and (when days go as planned) learn how to better enjoy music. I leave the apartment at 7 am, walk 6 blocks, take two trains, one bus, and walk another 2 blocks before arriving at work at 8:30am.  I am home by 5pm and am usually out cold by 9pm. Eric spends his day temp-ing at the NBA store in Manhattan, fluff-ing over-priced jerseys  while a few painstakingly repetitive R& B selections blare on loop throughout the building. When he comes home I am either asleep or on my way out. He spends the rest of his time scouting for new auditions, mailing packets out to potential agents, and most annoyingly waiting to hear back from agents, producers, and directors who have shown interest, but have all temporarily fallen off the face of the earth.

It is just really easy to question why we are still out here, and gosh-darn it there isn’t a DEAN of LIFE STUDIES that we can annoy for hours on end as to which course load we should really be focusing on this semester.

As Kevin’s Mother in Home Alone so poignantly said  “This is Christmas, the season of perpetual HOPE!”, I too  am fiercely hopeful for what is to come.  I am one of those people who still at age 29, idealizes that things get clearer, God speaks louder, and maybe people listen better around this time of year.  What  hit me recently about the Christmas story is that God didn’t give anyone a long-term road map as to how things would go. He told Mary she was gonna have a baby. He would be the Messiah. He told Joseph to be okay with that. And that was it! He didn’t tell Mary if Jesus would be 3 or 33 when he would die  to save the world. No one knew except for God how this would play out. But they had this hope. This belief that God Almighty had a purpose and a plan for them.

I want progress, success, and finish lines. But I know I  already have what I need: love, provision, and hope.

“I long to accomplish a great noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble”.  Helen Keller said that once. God’s plan for us at the moment may be tedious, tiresome, and mundane. But it is not purposeless. It is full of opportunities to “accomplish small tasks” in a remarkable way.

To all the friends and family who have been praying us through this recent drought: Thank you. We have felt so loved, cheered on, and encouraged by you. To everyone reading this blog: May your Christmas be full of peace, celebration, and renewed hope in the Him who is our light in the darkness and our peace in the storm.

Merry Christmas