Friday, March 27, 2009

Finding and Saving

God will speak through His word if we are willing to let Him.

As part of my daily devotionals this year (I think I've mentioned this before), I am taking small blocks of the Gospels and reading them continuously for a month. This month is Matthew 9-12.

As I was reading through Matthew 10:37-39 this morning

"He who loved father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. He who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take up his cross is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it"

I scanned down to look at the commentary (MacArthur Study Bible, NKJV) to look at the cross referenced verses. As I went to the cross references, I noticed a difference. I will use Matthew 16:25 here - "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." - but the same wording is used in Mark 8:34 and Luke 9:24. Note the difference: "finds" versus "saves" or "desires to saves".

Hmm. Maybe a translation issue here. I pulled out my Nestle-Aland 4th Revised edition of the Greek New Testament. Nope. There are really two different words used here: heuron versus sosai or thelei sosai (willingness or desire to save).

Heurisko (heuron), means "to find for oneself, gain, procure, obtain." Sozo (sosai) means (not surprisingly) "to save", in the sense of salvation. Thelema (thelei) means "A will, that which is willed" (All definitions taken from Vines Complete Expositionary Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words).

Now as I've lectured in my work life constantly, words mean things. I carefully choose the words that I send out on an e-mail or use in a document because I want the reader to read them in the spirit and understanding I sent them. So there is a difference here - what is it?

The saving part seems pretty straightforward - Christ is simply saying that anyone that seeks to save his life (and by life here, we mean eternal soul) by an other means than the free gift of salvation, will in the end lose it. Works can't save. Only faith in the atonement of Christ can -but that means denying any ability you have to save yourself, a recognition of my sinfulness and the need for humility (i.e. I can't do it myself and what God says about me is really true).

But the finding - how can I "find" my life and not save it?

I think - and to be fair, this is my opinion and my application - Christ is speaking to those who seek to find their gain or procure their life in anything but Him. This would also be works, certainly, but could be anything to which we would give our lives which is not of God - the good cause or noble work which is more important than doing God's work God's way.

But (and this is perhaps a big but) in our current age, I think this speaks poignantly to us. We hear a great deal about "finding ourselves", "finding our way", "finding the perfect job/mate/lifestyle/coffee flavored drink" for us - as if finding temporal satisfaction will somehow improve our standing with God. "God wouldn't want me to be in a job I don't like" or "God wouldn't want me not to find the way to express myself" we say, and then off we go trying to argue that self actualization plus a form of the Gospel will cut it.

Not so, says Christ.

Remember the previous verses: "He who loves father or mother or son or daughter or will not take up his cross (additionally in the other referenced verses, will not denying himself) - is not
worthy of me." Anything plus Christ for salvation = no salvation.

I write this mostly to myself - I fully know that I can't save myself, but have I grasped the truth that finding myself is equally as non-worthy in Christ's eyes? In a sense, what a relief - I can shed this load of worrying that I'm not doing everything I should with what I think I've been given. If God wants me to use it, He'll provide the outlet. My job is to remain faithful and concerned with ensuring I remain in that state of self death and self denial. On the other hand, what horror the church has created - so often we give the illusion that temporally satisfactions and lifestyles are the equivalent of salvation from Hell.

Will I spend my time more concerned about finding my own life or about losing my life for the sake of Christ and His gospel?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Work Worth Doing

My garden has been a beneficiary of my current unemployment. That has now begun to spill over into my backyard courtesy of Daibhidh Mor, who is the king of "Do it Yourself" - he has been working hard over at his house getting his yard in shape, which has put me to shame.

So now that the garden is basically done (except for planting), I've moved onto the back yard. Mostly little stuff - finishing up trimming the grass where the Ravishing Mrs. TB started doing it, trimming back bushes, working on the back fence (badly in need of repair in at least one spot) - and then sweeping up after the whole thing.

It occurred to me, as I was washing down and sweeping up the dirt around where the garbage cans sit, that this was a moment where the doing of the work was not effort - that in amidst the warm breeze of spring and the sun, that this was work worth doing, whether or not it was paying. It just felt good. In a real sense, it was motto of the Cistercians: Laborare est Orare, to work is to pray, that point at which doing work is actually a prayer - sometimes even more so than a formal prayer service.

I want more work like that.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Fabulous Bentley Brothers

Many of you who know me know how much I enjoy music, especially clever music. On Phil Vischer's new venture JellyTelly, he has a segment called "The Fabulous Bentley Brothers", which is posited on the notion of what would it be like if two brothers did bible songs on an Ed Sullivan style format. The songs are well written and orchestrated and the costumes are great. Here are a couple. You can check on You Tube for more.

One on Judges:




And one on Leviticus:



Enjoy!

What if?

I had coffee last week with An Sagart Eoin, my pastor. I always enjoy having coffee with him, although I don't do it as much as maybe I would like or should, because I'm always conscious that he probably has to talk to a lot of people with problems a lot more serious than mine. He's open and sincere and has a good perspective to offer, often one I don't see myself (and his sermons rock!).

As we were talking through my current situation and where I was looking, etc., he suddenly blurts out "You know, have you ever considered going back to school to get your doctorate in Theology? You'd probably be pretty good at it. I know there's a lot you wouldn't know right now - how to pay for it, etc. - but just a thought."

"Just a thought" - three of the most dangerous words in the English language to end a thought on, because inevitably one chews on them.

So I pondered a bit yesterday on the thought. The initial reaction was sort of exciting. I like going to school. I'm very good at studying. And it is certainly subject matter I enjoy - to teach, I should think, not to be a pastor. I know pastors - and I know the compassion and long suffering they have to have. I, unfortunately, am neither.

But then the follow-on came, as it always does: it's probably another 5-7 years to finish the program (I'd have to get one, maybe two Master's degrees and then the Th.D.), and how would I pay for that, we'd probably have to move, etc. And, to my mind the most constricting, I would worry about going through the process of application and finding out that there are parts of my past that would simply not make it possible.

But the thought still hangs there today, the day after I did all the research and the initial rejection of myself: what if? If not seminary, what if something else? Sure, I don't have any of the details worked out, but if it is the will of God, that will work itself out.

What if?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Direction

So I've had that "God wants to talk to me" feeling twice within the space of a week. No, not the "I'm hearing God talk to me audibly" or "I had a vision involving avocados and shrimp and I'm sure it was a vision" - just a sort of nudging in the soul, a "Go pray and read - I want to interact with you" - which is, I think, the way it is supposed to work.

It's amazing how easy it is to shove that feeling away - I managed to do it for two hours this morning, buried beneath job searches - looking for the perfect time, yet pretending that somehow my frame of mind after a fruitless search will be as good as starting my search after speaking with the Creator of the universe. Funny how I try to convince myself of the impossible.

I did a combination of things: read 1 Corinthians, underlying commands of Paul for the Christian, read a chapter or two in Created to be God's Friend by Henry Blackaby and a chapter or two of Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper. It was all good, but it left me more frustrated than ever. Why? Because I still can't discern what God wants me to do.

I crave direction. I'm in an unusual position at the moment: looking for employment, wondering what to look for and where to look. I don't feel any "sense" that I should move (our church is excellent, I love Na Clann's school, and we're relatively close to family), but at the same time nothing seems to be moving forward here. I've read conflicting opinions about the "Open Door" policy of God - a telling comment by Blackaby that I read today was "We are free to choose - but we must live with the consequences of our choice." For me, a person who doesn't like making decisions anyway, this is almost an absolution - except that by making no choice, of course, we choose.

Proverbs 3:5-8 came to mind as I drifted off to sleep last night:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And do not rely on your own insights.
In all your ways acknowledge Him
and He will direct your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will bring healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones."

Notice my part: Trust in the Lord with all my heart, don't rely on my own insights, acknowledge Him in all my ways, don't be wise in my own estimation, Fear God, turn away from evil. His part: He will direct my paths resulting in healing and refreshment.

Seems easy, but oh how hard. The line that stuck with me as I drifted to bed last night was "Do not rely on your own insights." How often have I followed my insights, or disguised an "answer" from God as merely an acknowledgment of a circumstance I set up in my mind knowing it could be met (a very low hurdle). How often I rely on me: God gave me a brain, I'm to use it. Notice also that intelligence or common sense is not addressed: the focus is on God, and looking to Him for guidance.

Which presupposes that He will give and reveal it - but on His terms and in His timing, not ours.

In who am I trusting? Who's wisdom am I relying on? Who am I acknowledging as my expert and guide?

It amazes me how in the midst of this He continues to drive me to Himself.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Life as Plant Cuttings

A remarkable thing happened to me this morning - in typical, fashion, as I was doing something most unremarkable, drying dishes.

In the process of removing the dishes from the sink, I was forced to move aside the runners of a plant sitting at the corner of the sink, in the window. It's been there for months now, really I haven't paid that much attention - and suddenly, it grew.

There is a history about this plant. It was given to us as a cutting, a gift for a small group church dinner we were invited too. I remember because that was the nadir of my walk in real estate, when I truly messed up - and then had to hold it together through dinner with people I didn't really know.

The plant came home with us, where it got re-potted and set out. The cats ate it, the kids plucked leaves off of it, it sometimes down to one or two runners - but somehow it always continued to live and struggle back. It became an emblem for me in my life, as real estate failed and the commute to one company got too long, and then when the other company failed: the plant came back, so I can too.

And then one day, looking at the plant, the Ravishing Mrs. TB decided to move it into the kitchen - the darn thing really wasn't do that well. And then, come these days of longer light, the plant is thriving, kicking out growth all over the place (including into our clean dishes).

The thought it triggered this morning as I was moving the runners out of the way is what changed for the plant. Plants, if you don't remember, need three things: light, water, and carbon dioxide. The water was always there (sometimes too much), the carbon dioxide is always present (can't really control that), which leaves (no pun intended) the light. A simple change in one of three elements changed it from survive to thrive.

Now admittedly humans are more complicated than plants, and typically need more input than water, sunlight, and carbon dioxide. But we're not all that complicated that the point is lost. If I feel I am surviving, what are the inputs that I need. What could I change that would move me from survive to thrive? A thriving plant is the kind that eventually we derive all our food and fiber from: plants that are just surviving do not produce fruits or vegetables or fibers because they're struggling just to hang on.

I would therefore posit that if I am not thriving, it's because one of the inputs I need is not sufficient and needs to be tweaked.

What's my input that needs to be changed?

What's yours?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Layoffs and Economics

Sorry I haven't written as much. I'm in sort of a funny place, not really feeling like I have anything to write, I suppose. I don't want to be the endless whiner going on about "I cannot continue to find a job", because that just gets awfully boring awfully quick.

Although I did get some more sadness this afternoon. Sigh. I got an e-mail from An Dreathan Ruadh today that she had been notified that she, along with 3o of her colleagues, were being laid off in three weeks. Being herself, she said that she held it together until she heard that her sister was being laid off as well. (You should probably pray for her).

It's sad as well because of a Wall Street Journal blog that states out of 360 small biotechs surveyed (my industry), 120 estimated that they have less than 6 months of cash left, and an "expert" consulted expect over 100 of those to fail. And then you start doing the math, of all the things they won't buy, and then the things the people who sell the things they won't buy won't buy other things...and so it goes.

It's pushing me in some interesting economic directions for food for thought. Thoughts about the nature of economy, the nature of production, all the things we spend our money on versus what is necessary, the nature of producers and consumers.

A thought: If we only spent money on necessities, how long much longer would our money last? What would those who sold non-necessities do? Starve? Go into work that produces something instead of transferring something? The service economy (which we now live in) is essentially a new economic construct of the last 30-40 years - a blip on the timeframe of economic history. Do we truly know what is viable? Do we know what happens if it fails?

Riddles, riddles in the dark...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Defining Things

So today I found out more about Uisdean Ruadh's Father in Law's death. Apparently, the house he and his mother in-law lived in was being foreclosed on. His mother in law had no idea there were any money problems whatsoever. His mother in law now has a triple loss: her husband, her home, and all the network and friends she had in her current situation; in a very real sense, her life.

In a horrible way it does not make sense to me, and yet I can fathom where the despair came from: he was of an older generation where such things were considered a personal disgrace. I have been to the edge of such a mindset, where the pain of suicide seems less than the pain of enduring so I can imagine the emotional turmoil he was probably undergoing, the sense of helplessness and loss and inability to make everything right.

But only to the edge. I cannot see beyond that curve in the road.

But what a terrible reminder to the import we can place on those things which have little value in the light of eternity. What is a house, a car, in fact all our things compared to our relationship with God and with others? Losing things does not diminish me as a person. Indeed, even losing my reputation because of situation and circumstance does not diminish me as a person.

But one cannot hold it inside. That is the point at which problems occur. Even with my own (drastically less serious) circumstances, the temptation is to begin to disconnect with others, especially when there is a sense of futility, or depression. At that point, things become a self echoing chamber, and all the bad thoughts we think become self fulfilling prophecies. And the problem with self-fulfilling prophecies is that the finite self cannot see what the infinite God sees, and so makes poor choices.

In my daily life, am I letting the things and circumstances define who I am in Christ? How I see others in Christ? Or will the inanimate determine the value Christ has said I have?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A prayer for Uisdean Ruadh

If you could spare a prayer for Uisdean Ruadh, that would be good. He was notified tonight that one of his ex-father in laws killed himself at home. No other information at this point. Pray for him, his ex-wife's family, and his daughter.

God bless. Hug your spouse a little tighter tonight.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Transposition

I had a reality moment just now - one of those things that just catches the corner of your eye and you initially ignore it, then it slowly works it's way back into your consciousness.

I was going through my e-mails and found an e-mail from the Voice of The Martyrs, a Christian organization which speaks for the persecuted church. I sort of quickly scanned it, as I often do, noted it said something about becoming involved with the persecuted church -wouldn't that be nice? - clicked the link and read it sort of haphazardly, then went back to the e-mail.

And there, as I looked one more time, the advertisement to the left of the text caught my eye: "Get a free Gucci Handbag +Watch" the ad proclaimed - right across from pictures of the persecuted church.

There it was, plain as the (somewhat oversize) nose on my face: the temporal and the eternal, the thing that matter and the things that don't. Persecuted for the faith on one side, free handbag and watch on the other. And so often like myself, both on the same page, as if they were bonded together.

When people read the e-mail of my life, what do they see? Faith or handbag?

Stripped

Being unemployed is, I'm finding, a desert experience. Every week - sometimes every day - it feels like another layer of self is peeled away, revealing more of what is actually inside.

It's curious to me how much I can use the interactions of things like jobs and people and phone calls and e-mail and the Internet and radio/CD noise to drown out what is happening inside of me. It seems like only now, that all of that has essentially stopped, that I can in some different way truly see and hear myself.

And frankly, I don't like everything I'm finding.

My inadequacies become more revealed. My sin becomes more apparent. Those things that I manage to cram down beneath the facade of getting through the workday bubble up in a wretched cauldron of foulness. The emotions that I usually seem to be able to manage burst out like a volcano.

All in all, not a pretty picture.

And then I am confronted with the reality of the Gospel: this is what I am without Christ. Look at everything I manage to hold together in my own power - but the reality is, all that is managing this is finite. It's me - and even in the me, it is really only gifts from Him. It's going away. Imagine suddenly facing God with the self - the true self, with none of the aides I use to hold myself in check -revealed. At that point, the foolishness of thinking that I truly controlled myself and my life will be gone - but it will be too late.

But for the reality of the Gospel: That God through His Son did what I could not do and paid the price of my sin, so that when God sees me, He sees the righteousness of His Son, not the mess that I am. Certainly I need to endeavor to deal with my sin - but never in the belief or conclusion that it is under my own power.

Look at the mess I managed to make on my own.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Crushed

So I heard from the recruiter today. I am out of the running for the interview I did last week.

She was very kind - apologized for leaving a message but knew I wanted to know, that they were inundated with candidates, and had found a couple they felt were more suited to the company culture and their needs.

Surprisingly enough, I was very disappointed by this - I believe one could use the word depressed.

Looking at it clinically, I am somewhat as to why this is the case. Certainly this was no guarantee - in fact, nothing more than a hope, because I knew going in there were plenty of resumes they would be looking at. I also knew that the first interviewee (which was me) is either in a very privileged or unprivileged position by being the benchmark.

Still, deep disappointment.

I think the disappointment comes from the process: this was my first true interview in seven weeks of looking. It took almost precisely a month to get the process to this point - now, it has to be started all over again somewhere else. And the same factors are all in place: many resumes, many skilled people, too few jobs.

Intellectually I know all this; emotionally, it still stings.

The Forge of God

"But the LORD has taken you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be His people, an inheritance, as you are this day." - Deuteronomy 4:21

"Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction." - Isaiah 48:10

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ..." - 1 Peter 1: 6-7

The realization came to me Saturday night that I am on the forge of God.

This period of waiting, of being between, is not wasted: instead, it is a fire to heat, purify, and mold my life.

The frustration I feel are not those of opposition: they are the hammer blows, shaping me and honing my edge.

The heat of my frustrations and seeming inaction are those of a fire, burning away the impurities and lesser things of my life.

Why here? Why now? That I cannot yet answer - or maybe will never answer in this life. But physical items are beginning to assume their proper role; spiritual matters are rising to to the surface to be dealt with as needed; that which is not critical is being burned away and removed to leave that which is critical.

I do not like being here - but with this realization, there is no place I would rather be.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Lost

I am adrift without moorings.

I have been nagged over the last week with a feeling of increasing, I do not know how to say it: aimlessness, purposelessness, lack of direction - like the boundaries of one's life have expanded to the point that they simple do not connect one to another, and therefore have no current meaning or ability to guide one.

It's as if the old paradigms of my life no longer make sense. In some ways this seems logical: I don't have a job currently, so the structure of a job and life arranged around that job would of course not be present. But there is a greater sense that the paradigms of my life no longer make sense, as if I am thrust into a world barely hinted at with no instruction except the knowledge that I should be doing something.

The odd thing is that even if I were to get offered a job on Monday (the earliest any such thing could happen), I would not be the same man that left the industry a bare month ago. Something happened, something I cannot fully define except to know that it has occurred - and this colors my perceptions.

It is a damnable thing, this knowing without understanding. It relentlessly drives one to some action, even as it will not suggest the action it requires. It is the sense of great things occurring without and occurring within, and being prevented from truly seeing either one - or what I am to do about them.

It is odd to me because I don't recall this kind of...of...aimlessness and unease the last time I got laid off. I marked time, looked for work, and pretty much went in the same as I went out 1.5 years earlier. This feels different; a month should not make this kind of difference.

It makes one want to scream "Tell me what you want and I'll do it" - to hear only the echo of the request banging through one's brain.

It is a veiled mystery. I do not like veiled mysteries. I like clarity and focus, because that can guide me.

This only seems to leave me in one place, tempted to go five others but not knowing what to do or how to get there.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Purpose

Purpose (pǔr’pəs): (Middle english purposen< Old French proposer, to intend resolve, or plan) - 1. something one intends to get or do; intention; aim; 2. resolution; determination; 3. the object for which something exists or is done; end in view.

I have been encouraged by Lus a' Chronn Chionn to write about what it means when someone says they have "A Purpose in Life". Something about me being depressed and out of it and retreating into a shell (like that ever happens).

So. For life I'll skip the big definition. Let's just call it the time of our existence for ease. I'm not setting a time frame here (like consciousness or adulthood) as there are those who undoubtedly meet their purpose in life without reaching either.

Then I have three potential meanings:

1) The intention/aim of my life (let's personalize, shall we?).
2) The resolution/determination of my life.
3) The object or end in view of my life; what should be completed by the end of my life.

Interesting that. There are three different things that one's purpose in life could be. It could be argued that all three can be set by an individual, or maybe only one and two.

#1 obviously is set by the individual. I determine the aim or intention of my life - sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously. However, I cannot guarantee that I will meet them.

#2 is again set by the individual. I make resolutions or determinations about what I am going to accomplish in my day, my week, my life. Again, I cannot guarantee that I wil meet them.

#3 is not necessarily set by the individual. Again, interesting. I can think I have the object or end of my life in view, but I don't really control that to a great extent, do I? If I don't control it, then I don't necessarily know what it is, do I?

As a Christian though, #3 is not an option for me. The command is to glorify (magnify, make great) God to the world in whatever I do ("Whether you eat or drink or whatever, you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:31). That doesn't spell out where I do it or how I do it, only what must be done. And it also sort of spells out how long it should be done - to the end of my life which, since I don't control, could effectively be tomorrow or forty years. Again, relieved of the responsibility of knowing how long I have to do it.

Hmmm. If I think about that, what a lot of freedom I've been granted. As long as I am not doing anything expressly forbidden or something that will cause another to stumble (always parameters), I'm free to do what I want, as long as I glorify God. What a nifty thought - if for no other reason than I would not have wonder if I'm fulfilling my purpose in life. If I am magnifying God, I'm doing it. And interestingly enough, if I am magnifying God, I can guarantee that I'm meeting my purpose, even though it may be in something that doesn't seem to possibly be able to glorify God.

Huh. There's a thought for a Wednesday night.

Obedience

I have come to see that obedience is the core of the Christian life.

Obedience to God is simply obeying all that God commands us to. Yes, that includes loving the Lord with all our heart, mind, and strength (and interestingly even that was given as a command), but it also includes loving others, serving others, and obeying what God has commanded. In a sense, Christianity is the most straightforward thing in the world: we know what we are to do, we need merely to do it.

Ah, needing merely to do it. There’s the rub. In a great many ways, it is the rub because simply put, we cannot do it ourselves – only the power of the living God in us through His Holy Spirit will enable us to do it. To the extent that we present Christianity without the empowerment of God, we delude others (and ourselves) into their (or our) ability to be Christ-like. “Be transformed by the renewing of your minds” said Paul in Romans 12:2, not “Be better through your own power”.

But the other rub involves the choices we make to simply ignore what God says. Many now question if we can even know what God has said – which I find unusual in the fact that they would become greatly upset if I applied whatever meaning I wanted to their words. “No, no” they would cry, “we meant this.” Odd that they will not apply the same courtesy and standard to the Book they profess to follow.

God has made it abundantly clear what He wants from His children and requires of us. The Bible is replete with examples of where God’s children failed to obey Him fully, or obey Him at all, and the terrible consequences that came as a result of not obeying Him fully – yet we in our arrogance believe that we are somehow immune to the Divine Mandate.

And we wonder why the Church is powerless.

I say requires purposely. God is God and we are not. Scripture says that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. Every knee, every tongue. God is worthy of our praise and worship because of who He is and what He has done – even the damned will be forced on the Day of Judgment to admit God’s worth, holiness, and perfect justice.

But the 21st Century Church does not take obeying Him seriously. In so many ways, we have become the church of Pergamos in Revelation 2:12-17, wanting to have God but also wanting to have the world in our midst.

To be obedient to God is to be sold out to God. But to be sold out to anything means that one is completely consumed by that thing, conforming to whatever it is, ridding one’s self of anything that is not that thing. Anyone who has worldly high achievements – athletes, intellectuals – understands that to achieve a great thing, one needs to be obedient to requirements necessary to make that thing possible.

But we, the church, continue to cling to God and the world – sometimes for “good reasons” (we can’t be thought of as extreme, or unloving), or sometimes for the pure pleasure that a lack of obedience brings (I know it’s not necessarily right, but after all, it’s not expressly forbidden and we are supposed to have some fun, right?). And then we wonder why we are not having a bigger impact on our world.

What will it take for the church – which is really ourselves – to begin to obey God completely, fully, as He both requires and deserves? What will it take for us to, as John Piper says, make much of God and nothing of ourselves? Only that kind of obedience is both worthy of the God of the Universe and is the obedience that He says He will reward.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Silence of the Soul

I have been grappling this week with a silence of the soul; more plainly put, a lack of desire to write (or material to do so).

It's interesting in a way I suppose. This has come up from time to time. It almost the anti-writing period - not so much of a writer's block as a lack of inspiration. Which again strikes me as odd, because one would think that this very period of my life would be chock full of insights and material to write about.

Perhaps in one sense, it's merely a sense of grief. We were notified via e-mail that my former employer is officially defunct. It's very sad - and as at least one person noted, very quick: essentially within a one month period, the company went from fully functioning two trials to everyone either gone or recognizing they were being laid off.

In another sense, perhaps a feeling of futility. I've blogged on this before, but the reality is there is very little I can directly do to secure a job. It takes time and patience. One can search everyday, follow up where possible, hone one's CV and interviewing skills - and then sit until notification occurs. Perhaps in a real way that futility is bleeding over into other parts of my life as well.

In a third sense, perhaps things aren't fully cooked yet. I keep finding things or am giving things to ponder or think about, leaving me with a sense of being the cusp of some big breakthrough, but not there yet.

So I wait. I ponder. And sometimes, I write about why I can't write.