Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Want It Now!

I'm having another one of those moments of selfishness. You know them: the blind red rage that rises when something you want is denied you, followed up immediately by "Why? It's not fair?"

Stuart Scott in The Exemplary Husband notes that if a desire, want, or need rises to the forefront above obeying God, even if it is legitimate, we are to temporarily put it aside in favor of obeying God - or, as James says, "The anger of man does not work the righteousness of God" (James 1:20). To sin, even in pursuit of a legitimate goal or want, destroys the bottom line of pursuing anything: to glorify God.

Which is all fine in print, of course, but does nothing when I am in the throes of dealing with it.

But it occurs to me that it is in those times, perhaps above others, that God is working in us: enabling us to deny ourselves, to put aside the things that we want for the thing that He wants (at the bottom of it, of course, is His righteousness and His character that He wants to give us), to give witness to the world about the surpassing glory of God (i.e. we can sacrifice something that the world considers worthwhile for something else - what's up with that?), and to show that, in the end, we are truly dependent on Him for everything.

It is the truly strong person who can say, even it the pursuit of a legitimate goal or desire, "Not my will, but Thine be done, O Lord."

Monday, September 29, 2008

Uisdean ruadh

I spoke with Uisdean ruadh last night. His spirits are still up - far better than mine would be, given the circumstances. He has officially been off the payroll for 1.5 months now.

I asked him how the job hunt was going: E-mails? None new, beyond the automated "Thank you for your interest" responses. Phone calls? Nope. Regular old style mail? Again, nope.

That is hard. I know something of that, having been without work after the failure of The Firm. But I had relative advantage of not looking in his industry (computer services) in this environment. Still, I remember the days of spending your time looking (and it seemed to get less ever day, as you had already covered more and more websites), doing this and that around the house, punctuated (in my case) by brief moments of sheer panic (What are we going to do?).

But not Uisdean Ruadh. He was the same level headed, methodically planning, taking one day at a time self that he usually is. Admirable, really.

Continue to pray for him and his employment, if you would. In fact, take a moment and pray for all who are unsettled in this time of economic uncertainty, not only for their physical needs, but if their minds are on things other than the God, that He would focus them on Him.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

New Blog

Nighean gheal has a new blog: http://www.rabbitduchess.blogspot.com/. Go support her.

You. Why are still reading this? Go here.

Top Dog

This weekend we had a visitor: Bandit (my sister's dog). As the Ravishing Mrs. TB was out of town on a retreat and I had Na Clann, I said "Sure - how much more out of control can it be?"

How wrong I was. As it turns out, the dogs were the bigger issues than the kids...

What I observed, up to this point (Sunday afternoon, where both have blissfully collapsed into slumber), was the interaction between the two: partially playing, but partially interacting to see who was the top dog; the jawing/sniffing/runaround to get the advantage on the other one. What I also noticed was that Syrah became jealous unless I first pet her and then moved to Bandit, who was very eager to please with literally her whole body wagging.

It hit me this morning: Isn't this how we act towards each other? Each of us, in our own way, trying to be "Top Dog" to God? Look at any church body or any church meeting (ever watch the dynamics of before and after church, or a men's breakfast?) and you'll see what I mean: sometimes in subtle, even unconscious ways, we try to "prove" to God that we are more into serving Him than others.

I wonder if God looks on the church with the same frustration that I look upon the dogs. He loves all His children in the church, but we are trying to clamber over each other to get His attention. He has created each of us with spiritual gifts to be used to build up the body - but not all of this are visible and seemingly rewarded in this life. Instead of being what He wants us to be (working hard on conforming to His word and using our spiritual gifts as they have been given), do we try to get His attention by doing visible things to show our devotion and service?

My best example is set up and breakdown at church. Every Sunday, a small team of men arrives early and stays late, bringing up the music equipment and setting up the class rooms and then bringing everything back down. There is a small faithful core that comes every week to do this. It is a critical task to the operation of the church - yet seemingly invisible, largely unrecognized and unrewarded. By their silent, faithful service these men are using the gifts and faith God gave them - lifting and moving, and the heart of a servant - to build up and support the church. They are serving God by doing what He has given them to do, rather than promoting themselves as "good Christians".

God gives us all the tenacity and faithfulness to serve where we are, with what gifts He has given us.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's all about me!

I was impacted yesterday by the thought of dying to self.

It happened innocently enough at work - doing some minor work on some document, essentially word processing, when the thought drifted through my head about checking something out online for just a second. No, I decided, I needed to finish this, even though it was mind numbingly dull.

And then the thought plastered itself on my mind: this is what it means to die to self.

We tend to think of dying to self in big ways, grand deeds, giving up things - and yes, this is part of it, but perhaps not the core of it. It is relatively simple (I won't say easy, as it often is not) to give up a big thing, get support for it, and move on from it. But it occurs to me that when Christ says "Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me" it's not only the big areas but also the smaller ones.

And the smaller ones are more difficult. Why? Because they are often much more things that we only know about, the small and secret things of our lives that it does not feel like doing them or not doing them makes a difference to anyone. It makes no significant difference to anyone else if I choosing to work on a document for another five minutes and complete it rather than do my impulse of looking up something online - but it does impact my both my slothfulness and denial of self, and so is important to God.

If I then apply this standard to my life retrospectively (never a fun task, handle with caution) I realize that much of what I could have done, for Christ or in terms of goals, was constantly set aside for the goal of pleasing myself right now. In particular I think of one girl I dated after college (foolishly, she live halfway across the country) - I could never understand how the goals she had set for herself trumped a dating relationship - after all, this was love! But now, I see that in fact the pleasure of satisfying self (shall we call it the ugly term self gratification) was secondary to the achievement of the things that to her really mattered.

In other words, our selfishness prevents us from truly focusing on what is important. This is part of what Christ is trying to protect us from when He calls on us to deny ourselves.

Think of it - God has given us the opportunity, through saving faith in His son, to live with Him eternally in a place far beyond anything we can possible imagine. Furthermore, He has given us the capability of doing good deeds not that save us but for which He will reward us - and yet, we are far more concerned about making ourselves happy now.

In that sense, death to self can mean not necessarily the drastic "I must die to everything" but the far more insidious "I must die to pleasing myself right now."

For me, it will have to start small - even as small as five minute intervals or denying myself one more small thing - but every stronghold that I hold onto, every right I cling to as mine, everything that is directed toward pleasing myself right now is one more thing that neither brings glory to God nor will be rewarded in eternity.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Miyamoto no Yoshitsune (right, 1159-1189) and Saito Mushishibo Benkei (Left, 1155-1189) viewing cherry blossoms. Painting by Yoshitoshi Tsukioka (1839-1892).


I have been doing some soul searching over the last two weeks. The point? What am I doing in regards to the ministry I believe God has given me?

I make note of the fact "I believe". I think we can believe a great many things about God that He never said, or that He never did.

To wit: At one time, I had a great belief that I was meant to go into the ministry. At that time, I belonged to a denomination that had a series of interviews that one advanced through, including a psychological exam, to demonstrate fitness. Over a 6 year process, at the end, it was found that based on my psychological test, I was not within the "butterfly pattern" of the traditional pastor

(An amusing sidebar to this story is, of course, that based on their beliefs today, I would never have been happy in that denomination...)

The odd thing is, when I look back, I don't know when I felt "called", although I know a number of people that said "you should". The other thing is that at that time, if I felt called, I certainly did not live like it, and in fact did my best not to do so.

It hit me about two weeks ago that rather than continue to carry around this dream? ambition? that is seemingly beyond my ability to do anything - lets be honest, I'm not going to drop out work now to go to seminary - what are the ministries that I am involved in or can do right now?

Music, for one. I sing on the worship team weekly and have a bit of musical ability - but when was the last time I worked on developing it? Writing like this as well - maybe never a book, but as Am Polleanach has said, who knows who reads this? Teaching - when was the last time I lead my family in a Bible time, or prayed with my wife (there's a scary one!), or used the opportunity of my small but faithful faith group?

My point is that God has given us all an area of ministry, maybe not the one we thought or initially wanted, but the one that is best for His glory and our purposes. I also had to remind myself this week (repeatedly) that we are His creation, His tools: if He puts one up on a shelf to grab another more fit for the purpose, it is no business of ours. We, as tools of the Master, are here to glorify Him, not our own toolness. We celebrate the master craftsman or artist who uses tools to create, not the tools themselves for being used.

Unfortunately, unlike tools, we are far more prone to taking the credit due the Craftsman...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Turning away

There are times in life when your life is like the entry in a blog, blank, the cursor blinking, just waiting for you to start an entry.

There are times in life when you think you need to write, even though you're not really in the mood and not really sure what to write about.

There is a time when the silence of the soul becomes so deafening that the sheer act of trying to distract one's self seems as a sort of self immolation, trying to distract the thought that is hovering at the edge of the conscience that will not seemingly appear.

How odd, this. There is something that I am turning away from - yet I cannot truly tell you what it is. Only that perhaps subconsciously, I am doing everything in my power to distract myself from it.

It damns me, almost. What is this thing that I will not see or hear? I know God is trying to bring it to my attention even as I try valiantly to submerge it beneath waves of not feeling like doing anything or doing anything but that.

"The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately corrupt; who can understand it?" - Jeremiah 17:9

Monday, September 15, 2008

Technology is a wonderful thing

So it is far, far too early this morning, and I find myself in the local municipal airport. When I arrived, I was (pleasantly) surprised to find that the airport now offers free wireless Internet access.

What a change. Four years ago, when I first start with The Firm and a laptop, one paid a not insubstantial fee for limited use at the airport. You did it, of course, because that is what you needed to do.

The next step up (at my last jog) was the service, where the company paid for access for a number of hubs throughout airports and cities. Cheaper overall, I'm sure, but still, I (or the company) had to pay. An interesting subversion of this was that ATT/Yahoo also allowed me access through any Starbuck's - at one point, I was doing a work related trip completely out of Starbuck's, because that was where the access was.

And now, here I sit, typing away for free.

An interesting (and for me, within my lifetime) example of the democratizing principles of technology. At first, it is hard to come by, expensive, and and exclusive. Then, as technology becomes more advanced and produced more frequently, the cost goes down and access goes up. Finally, we reach the point where it becomes inexpensive (and available) to many.

Now, if we could only get more free coffee....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

No King over Us

As part of my driving to work yesterday, I listened to my daily part of the Audio Bible on CD. Part of yesterday's listening was 1 Samuel 8, where the people of Israel asked Samuel for a king. The two parts that stuck out in my mind were, first, vv. 7-8 "And the LORD said to Samuel 'Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day - with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods - so they are also doing to you.'"; secondly vv. 19-20 "Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said 'No, but we will have a king over us that we also may be like all the nations and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.'"

The thing that sank into me as I pondered this was "How could the Israelites do this? They had God as their king, God to fight for them. God pledged Himself to their physical aid in a way never done to any other people. He promised to hear them and lead them, if only they obeyed His voice." The accompanying text from my study bible (John MacArthur) confirmed this "The problem was not in having a king but rather the reason the people wanted a king i.e., to be like other nations. They also foolishly assumed there would be some greater power in a king leading them into battle (p. 389)." But instead, seeing everyone around them, they wanted to be "just like them."

Pondering this a bit further, the though occurred to me (as it always seems to) "How am I different from them? Really?" Certainly, I'm not in the streets asking for a new ruler, but if I am a child of God and an heir of the kingdom, who else's authority and teaching do I constantly try to put myself under?

I ask this of myself because I am a great believer in books and reading - if I can read it, I can do it. The part that I am questioning is those books I go to for success in living or life. I go to them because I am looking for a better way to be successful, perhaps even to indulge my sins (greed, covetousness) under the banner of Being Better for God.

Is there anything inherently wrong with most of the genre? Not in and of themselves, although many of them seem to have a rather flawed spiritual view. Certainly, I have learned useful organizational tools from them.

But if I am honest, that's not only reason I go. I go because I desperately want the secret, the one thing, the idea that will push me over the top and make me successful. Heaven forfend I should go to God about this - not only are the things sometimes hard to get out of it (Proverbs 6:6-11 has a fine discussion of planning ahead (scheduling) and diligence, but you actually have think about it and there's no handy graph), but that I immediately expose myself to His goals and His authority, which is certainly not what my self love desires.

In a sense, I realized, every time I go somewhere else to seek guidance on life and living, I am telling the God of the Universe, the Creator of all things, the One who loved us so much that He gave His only son to die for us - that God; I am telling Him "I don't want you to be King over my life."

Oh, I want the salvation. I want to be saved from my sin, to go to Heaven, maybe even to become more Christlike if it improves my life. But how shallow is all that?

It's not that we don't have the weapons of victory in our hands, it's that we fail to pull them out of the sheaths and use them.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

That Horrible SPLAT sound your hear...

...is the sound of my hopes hitting reality.

I had a conversation with a coworker this morning. My company had a meeting in front of a government agency this morning - a sort of non-binding "Go/No Go" vote - for which I had attended and he had not. I was relating to him in my broken, non-technical way what I understood the decision.

"Well that's good" he said is his slightly Southern drawl that I can't quite place. "This is kind of the last shot on goal for us."

The universe briefly stopped while I rearranged my reality.

One knows this, of course, in coming to a start up - and I've been to more than one. It's just the hearing of it in such stark terms that makes things so darn alarming.

I wouldn't mind so much, but within a week my industry has gotten notice that two employers in my greater geographical area are selling/closing down their plants, potentially affecting 1500 individuals. Yes, it's a good industry to be in, but there are not that many jobs in this area.

It's a wonderful thing to focus the mind.

How do we have? Originally they told me through the end of 2009, barring anything odd happening. That's about a year.

It's good to keep reality in mind.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Tonight I harvested my soybeans. Most of the pods have gone the golden brown of harvest, and the pods themselves rattle in the wind as you pull them off the stalk. I had never grown soybeans until two years ago, and found the experience delightful. I like them as edamame, as slowly drying and slightly chewy, and even as dried.

The disappointing part this year is that I did not get that many.

Why? Because my careful allocate rows were overcome by the pumpkin I planted, which overran everything. Part of it is my fault - when I got the pumpkin and planted it, I though I could control the growth. I had no idea it would be so productive.

Actually, the other part is my fault as well. I had a plan for my garden, and I ignored it. The pumpkin was a late addition, something I had not originally planned, and it got up and over everything - my cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, and peppers all suffered because of it.

It reminds me, just as in life, how little things -especially the unplanned, last minute things that we suddenly let in over part of our plan -can overwhelm our life. Sin especially, but even things that are good but are not best - if not rooted out and ignored, they can have a vegetative growth in our lives effect, crowding out the things that are good and shading them to the point that they are stunted and die.

Next year, if I grow a pumpkin, it will be on a trellis, and away from the garden. If only I can remember to trellis the other things in my life as well...

Monday, September 08, 2008

Honey Harvest 2008

This weekend we pulled the honey off our hive. It was a bittersweet experience, because I think the hive has lost it's queen. It may be trying to requeen, or maybe not - either way, I'll have to do something. So in a sense, the honey that we took may be existing beyond the life of the bees.

We got fourteen 12 oz. jars and 2.5 10 oz jars, about 10.5 lbs., which is probably more than enough to last us the year and then some (we still have the 2006 vintage!). This honey is a warm golden color, not like the 2006 which was a much darker gold color, almost opaque. This year's is a lovely translucent gold that you can see through in the bottle.

I also understand, as I related to my niece as she was helping, that I felt a bit like Pooh Bear: I was sticky all over my hands, licking it off, then wiping my hands, and then inevitably getting more on them!

I like honey. I like bees. There is just something about the process, watching them throughout the summer, getting the honey out and packaging it, then knowing that it is there to eat. It's not quite animal husbandry - if everything goes right, the bees are pretty self sufficient - but it's the next best thing.

Now, if we could just keep them alive through the winter...

Golden Morning

We have reached the part of the year where the sun is rising later and later - and thankfully, so am I. As I sit her this morning, looking out the side window of the house, the sky appears as almost a golden white with no blue, the precursor of the sun's coming.

In a conscious effort not to look, I've not actually stood up and looked over the fence - it would spoil the effect of the moment. It is the anticipation of the thing that is producing the mystery and the beauty, not the thing itself. Sunrises I've seen. This, I don't know that I have.

Or have I? One of the terrible things (among many terrible things) about the world of commuting is that we come to ignore most things like this. Part of it, I'm sure, is a simple survival instinct (Look at the sunrise, hit the car in front of you). For three years I made a drive through 30 miles of vineyards and cattle ranges. I saw some things of surpassing beauty - but I bet I missed a thousand more through the sheer need to drive and survive.

We do this every day with our friends, our coworkers, our children, our pets - letting the small snatches of beauty get stolen away from us in the rush of doing the things we think we need to do. If God is that still small voice, how often do we rush over Him as well in the hustle of doing "needful" things?

P.S. Vintage Chick has an excellent post on this matter which is far better. It is here. You should go see it. Now.

Okay. Stop reading this. Go there.

Kleenex and patience

God is teaching us patience.

The Ravishing Mrs. TB has been sick for almost three weeks now, since the middle of August. At first, she acquired Nighean dhonn's strep throat, which she managed to get over after a visit to the doctor and some antibiotics. She seemed on the road to recovery when she then contracted another cold, which turned into a cough, which is what she currently has right now. Originally a bit annoying, it sounds (to me) like it is building back up to something.

For her, it is frustrating: she always seems to get sick in the fall, always about this time, always seriously. This year, she tried to avoid it by consciously taking vitamins (including echinacea, and large doses of vitamin C) and getting rest - all to no avail. She hates to be sick, has a great deal to do, and is just miserable.

For myself, I want my wife to be back healthy. I don't handle other sick people well, especially when it does not fit into my plans. I tend to think "Sick? Then rest and get better!" The problem is that that theory does not work for everybody. I'm even willing to ride the "Let's be a helper" train - but not, it seems, for over three weeks.

It makes me reflect on the difficulty that those who care for loved ones who are chronically ill, or those who are chronically ill, go through. What would it be like to know someone is ill and they will not ever be getting better? Especially if the illness affects not only their physical health, but their mental and emotional being as well, perhaps becoming a different person than the one we originally knew? - because, if you've even been around someone with a long cold, you know how the physical suffering influences their outlook, personality, and emotions.

In a way, I suppose it is lamentable that we have struck "In sickness and in health" from many of our wedding ceremonies. Sickness and health are two conditions that marriage partners face each day - you're sick or you're healthy. The interaction of the two, especially when one is sick and the other is not, is another mechanism that God uses to grow us, especially in patience, self-control, caring, self-sacrifice, and love.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Time keeps on slipping...

So this is the end of week two at my new job. I've made a discovery of sorts - that really, I don't have any more time.

Simply put, all the time there is is all the time there is. It is not necessarily a bad thing - it is just a fact.

Realistically put, there is only a finite amount anyone can do. We all work, we all have to sleep, we all have to spend time with the loved ones in our life. After all this, then, is the time we call "ours".

What I've found (and this will come as a shock to no-one who knows me) is that I was stealing time from myself - in my case, through lack of sleep. With the new job, I'm actually doing a little less time at work - 11 hours including commute - but I'm getting more time in sleep (a regular 7-7.5 hours). The thing I'm working on is not cheating my body of the rest or my family of the time that they need.

The upshot? I really don't have as much time as I felt I should have. Not my fault - a simple function of temporal actions.

So there is a finite limit to what I can do. Now I need to figure out, based on what God has given me to do and the talents/gifts He's blessed me with, what is important.

Seek ye first Part II

Yesterday I had the rare opportunity of practicing what I wrote about in the same day.

The Ravishing Mrs. TB called me around 11 AM - she was at Costco, and the truck had a green puddle under it. My first reaction was "Oh NO - Another radiator leak" after the pain of the Escort and it's $900 repair. I was already upset.

And then I had a choice: do I worry about this (worry being a sin, of course) or do I not worry, trust God, and move on?

I chose to move on.

There is no great spiritual lesson here - I didn't suddenly have a mystical "Seeking the Kingdom" experience or anything of that nature. Just a conscious, obedient decision not to worry.

The upshot? I looked at it last night - turns out a loose hose from the radiator to the reserve tank, easily fixed.

Go figure...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Seek ye first

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you."- Matthew 6: 33

So peeling off from yesterday's discussion in terms of purpose and doing, perhaps I'll start with those things that Christ Himself said. Today's verse comes from the Sermon on the Mount, where Christ is discussing the various attitudes that will be true of Christians, and that obeying God is a matter of the heart as much as it is a matter of outward actions. The verse above comes at the end of the discussion concerning serving a master - either God or mammon (money). The comparison is made between unbelievers, who seek after money ("What shall we eat? What shall we drink? What shall we wear?") and the followers of Christ, who are apparently to do something else.

What? Certainly not go naked and hungry through a lack of attention! -Christ says that their Father in heaven knows that they have need of "all these things". But in counter to the question of seeking these things, of serving money (by extension, I suppose, the world and all our own "empire building"), we are seek the Kingdom of God and God's righteous."

In seeking, we are looking for something diligently to find it. In this case, the Kingdom of God - which, God says elsewhere, is not found in eating and drinking but in righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). We are additionally to seek the righteousness of God - as found in God's son Jesus Christ, the offering for our sin, and therefore our salvation.

Do I seek Christ as my salvation daily - to the extent that I am not concerned about more mundane things (concerned to the point of worry)? How does what I perceive I should be doing in my life, about my goals, relate to seeking the kingdom of God (righteousness, peace, joy) and Christ? Are they building up His kingdom, or mine?


Sigh. It has been pointed out to me by Buttercup that I am somewhat too depressing of late, and I need to write something more "happy"...

So Autumn is here. I know it's not officially here, that we have another month or two of warm weather. But if you're a gardener, you know. The pumpkin and bean plants are starting to die off, and larger swaths of the garden are becoming bare earth, awaiting either the covering of fall grass for the the winter or seed coverage for the winter crops. Meanwhile, the fall produce of the garden - beans, pumpkins, dried corn - are preparing themselves for harvest.

It's a good time as a gardener as well because it is a re-energizing time. During the late summer, I become a little complacent: either the garden is producing or not, and either way I can't do anything like plant (kill current plants). Now I can begin to see the start of the next season, get out my seed catalogues and dream, rearrange the garden to hopefully be better put together and more productive next time.

The autumn sunlight hasn't come yet - that slightly hazy, faded feeling that indicates that fall is really here - but it's coming...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


It was pointed out to me yesterday by Am Poleanneach that part of my feelings of inertia may stem from my own dissatisfaction with myself.

The thing is a fait accompli. Dissatisfied with myself - of course I'm dissatisfied with myself; it's almost as instinctive as breathing. But why am I dissatisfied with myself?

Because I feel like I am not living up to the potential and gifts that God has given me and expects of me. If I think about it, going back a long time, there is a sense within myself that I should be doing "great things" and that I am not. I'm not really sure what those "great things" are, just that I am not doing them.

If I work, it's never enough nor do I accomplish everything I should. At home, I should be doing and completing 15 different things, and to let one go is to not use my skills and gifts to the utmost.

My fear, as I have said for many years, is to be that servant in Matthew 25: 14-30 which, when his master returned and it was revealed that he had hid his talent rather than use it productively, heard from his master "And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness" instead of "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful in a little; enter thou into the joy of thy Master."

But is that the equivalent of being constantly dissatisfied? That is certainly not pleasing to God.

Or even deeper: is my depth of the knowledge of my own sins and failings such that I feel crushed, and it magnifies in my own my mind everything I could have done, but didn't because of that sin and failure? Are lost opportunities more real to me than the possibilities granted by God which remain? Am I so focused on the 1st half of the game and my failures to realize there's still a second half?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A Little Change...

...will not, as the song says, do you good - or at least feel like it.

The last two week have been an amazing observation in self discomfort. Frankly put, I am out of sorts. I am physically feeling out of it, even though I have been getting far more sleep than I have in years.

I am spiritually feeling out of it - kind of like a fog that seems to come over me. The Word seems dead, and the heavens seem as brass. Motivating myself to prayer seems like a monumental effort, and once it is accomplished, I've nothing to say.

Intellectually, I'm scattered brained and bored. I can hardly keep my mind to a task, often overwhelmed by a feeling of futility.

I had no idea that change would create this much discomfort in my life.

And then I think "I"m a wimp. If only a job change causes this, what about the people who have real change in their lives?" Have I become so ingrained into my life that such a minor thing as a job change turns my world upside down?