Devilish Dance Part 2

Part 2

When I hit my 50’s one mood suffocated me. 

“It’s too late… ”

I am not one of those folks who found what they loved and never worked another day. (not sure I believe that either). In my early days, the path I followed was to enter the ministry. I put in 6 years, well, I squeezed 6 years into a 4 year degree. By the time I was out, my classmates were married, punching out babies, and having an adult life. 

The story of my life… behind the curve for sure. But we all were created to walk our own path… something that has taken me years to get deep in my soul. 

Another way to say this is, 

The Only person I am competing with is myself.

My first step into adulthood could be considered a dismal failure. I continued to be behind the curve yet, looking back, I was walking my path. Post torturing a small congregation south of town, I did what every adult has to do…work…whatever was out there. I went to a steel and sheet metal factory, painted houses or whatever I could find. I wasn’t hired for my brains, nor my theological knowledge, which I worked so hard for. I just plugged away at what I could find. 

Retirement plans you say – behind the curve. 

Stable home – behind the curve.

Financial stability – WAY BEHIND THE CURVE.  

Yet, little by little the gifts God gave me kept coming to the surface. I landed a gig managing a small help desk and traveled as a corporate trainer. I loved the travel/training work. But like all good things, it came to an end, and finding a job I loved wasn’t the priority. I had built a life with real bills and real responsibility. Paying the bills was the name of the game. It was a game I didn’t play well.

The years went by fast, (except while they were occurring). The daily drudgery of trying to stay ahead while living in the shadow of my failure in ministry, was a continuous reminder of what I wasn’t doing in life. I never became an airline pilot, I never became a Navy Chaplain, or a missionary pilot in Micronesia. The mountain of regrets continued to grow in direct proportion to the disappointment I saw everyday in the mirror. 

I thought these battles within and without just couldn’t be normal. I didn’t see my peers from college struggling with this. I didn’t recall my parents or brothers going through this. It seemed they all hit the road with what they wanted to do and did it. However I didn’t walk their path so I couldn’t know what their struggles. I floundered…or at least I thought I floundered. The ‘too late’ had me in a death grip, and the temporal took its seat on the bridge of my spirit. 

“Where did I go wrong?” 

“Is this because of sin?”

Trust me, I have my Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar’s (Job’s friends), as well as my own voices convincing me every bit of this all falls on me. 

It never occurred to me that this too, this long zig-zag line of life wasn’t off course. What appeared to be misdirect was direct. It was my course and it only took me 50 years to begin to recognize that this is the glorious life I was given. Like a ship that has plowed through tumultuous seas for years, I picked up a lot of barnacles. The torture of the ‘immediate’, the lies of the ‘urgent’ and the focus on the ‘temporary’ were holding me back. 

Who am I to believe? The hourly everyday voices? 

Or what I know on my insides fed from God…

This life, my life, my path is a gift. All I can do is my best, and let go. It’s clearer than ever that being part of life means I will always be tempted to get caught up in the shadow of things to come, the false gods of popularity, fame and the driving need for money. But in the end, this God-given life is worth it just to be…alive. 

When the apostle Paul said he is ‘content in any stage of life’ I more than ever realize how little I know about this. 

I can say without a doubt, part of my calling, my purpose in life is just learning to Be. 

Psalm 62:1

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

Peace on your Journey this week.


6 Responses

  1. Jeff – when I look back at the many twits and turns of our lives, it is very clear that HE planned our path, and even though we could not see it clearly at the time, we are where HE wants us to be. We found contentment, and fulfillment with what we do. Sometimes it takes many years before you look back and understand it.

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