Friday, January 23, 2009

Unemployment Woes

In the past it was my role to be encouraging to those seeking employment. I attempted to do so with caring and genuine concern for their plight. I didn't have a real understanding of the feeling that comes from day by day by day looking for work and hearing nothing. Or, worse, finding out that many of the jobs you apply for aren't real jobs, but are simply to entice you onto yet another job board, or are "opportunities" for work at home.

I am naturally an optimistic person, but I get a bit down at times. The process is depressing, and if you aren't careful, could really destroy a person.

Some people do not understand. The assumption is that we can live off our savings. What savings? We have been pulling out of the pit left by a failed business. The loss of both our jobs came as we were getting ready to try to build up our savings again, well...the timing isn't ideal.

While I don't think it is a time for rash decisions, it is a good time to be thinking through goals and direction for the future. Is is enough to simply take a menial job that does not have anything to do with what I want to be doing in my life? How do these decisions get made? What is valued in life? What does God want for me to do?

When tempted to be afraid, that must be set aside, or overcome for fear does not lead to wise and sober decisions, nor is it good for the body or the mind.

Ah, some days I ramble. What did Moses do? He followed the direction of God each day. It doesn't appear to me that he knew other than great generalities what God was doing. He had great promises, but did he understand how each day added up to the fulfillment of those promises? He had been used mightily by God but it seems to me he would not have understood the daily direction. He would have been discouraged many times as they wandered. He had 2 million people whining, complaining, and wanting what they used to have. Forgetting the worst of it, they only remembered the good things. (For them the good things were leeks and onions. To each his own.)

I need to learn the lesson here. Do not hunger and thirst for the things that are past. The longing for them only hides the reality of what was. The memories are selective, it seems. I need to appreciate the gifts of today, the manna as it were. God goes before me, even though I don't have a visible representation of that. He provides for me, though in a different way than in the past.

Oh, I'm no Moses, but I certainly wish I were more like him. I would like to be the kind of person that stands for God and his truth even when all around fall away. I would love to be the kind of person who spends time in such complete devotion. Moses spent 40 days without food or drink, fasting, praying and spending time with God. Would that I were as devoted and as close. I fall so short.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Witch Doctor, Fount of All Wisdom, Uncle, Friend

For 30-plus years I have been friends with a remarkable, enjoyable, lovable curmudgeon. As a child he was the one who told us about all manner of mischief we longed to be part of (and I bet my brothers secretly were) like potato cannons and other somewhat dangerous fun. He told wild stories, all the while laughing like he could scarcely catch his breath. Initially friends with my parents, he was truly friends with us kids. He remembers episodes of my childhood that I can only recall in bits and pieces, explaning behaviors and memories I could not make heads or tails of.

I think he knew all our family secrets.

There wasn't much he didn't know. He had knowledge of aerospace, aeronautics, electrical engineering, rocket science, biology, chemistry, construction, medicine, etc., etc. We couldn't find anything he didn't know about. That is, until personal computers. Personal computers were a puzzle to him.

He was really into health and all the wacky stuff that goes along with it. Colloidal silver (sp?), some weird kind of foot bath that was supposed to remove toxins, this vitamin, that supplement, this juice drink, that special vitamin concoction special ordered, wheat grass, laetril, etc., etc. I took to ignoring the latest recommendation for healing every medical issue I had.

He spent so much time with us when I was growing up that the only way I could explain how close we were is to call him Uncle. How else to explain the guy who was at our family holiday meals, at church, went camping with us, and was so very special to us? It was an honorary title, but one he was willing to own. I know one time he had a surgical procedure at the VA hospital and brought me along as his "niece" so that they would let me visit him and make decisions for him if anything went wrong.

We were great friends, and I loved him.

The call came in this morning that Rob died. I had been planning to visit him this afternoon. I knew he was dying, but I am still devastated by the loss. How could I be prepared to lose such a wonderful friend?

Rob Harris, died January 18, 2009. Missed by many, many close friends and family. And me.