The Taser's Edge

October 23, 2006, 10:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Tonight, I was journaling in an actual journal (actually, in MS Word on my laptop) about some recent thoughts.  As often happens, I thought that a lot of it would be good to post to the world.  Or at least the people that would be willing to pray for me.  So here it is, in excerptio.  (That's not real Latin, unless it were by accident.)
Here is the situation: Holly and I (actually, just Holly) are making roughly 50 per cent more money this year than last year.  But, through the cruel fact that neither of us has had a real job before, we mis-read the insurance information for me at the beginning of the year, and chose to have me covered under Holly’s work insurance.  I am an intelligent person, and for as carefully worded as insurance stuff seems to be, it was still not careful enough.  Good ole hindsight.
So, I fiddled with the monthly budget. Right now, I have managed to get it down significantly (on paper).  But not enough to establish ideal savings for incidental things on top of a car that attracts burglars and wants to be regularly maintained.
(A digression: And still, I love that car.  I actually consciously think about how much of a blessing it has been on an at least weekly basis.  It is one of the few things about which I can say I am truly thankful.  Thank you, Herolds, if you read this.)
And yet, there is an obvious answer. Nick, get a job! Why do I hate that idea so much? Yes, it’s partially because I had this romantic idea that Holly could work for these three years and I wouldn’t have to. That it would be a time where I could be fully devoted to my studies, as opposed to a undergrad. There is another deeper, subconscious thing that I can’t seem to shake, and that is that I just resist the idea of using my time in a pursuit whose only yield is to make money. (Again, a romantic ideal.)  But what about those times, like now, that money really is all I need? What then? Maybe you need a job that makes money.
The other thing that I have been thinking about is the future, and specifically my offspring type children babies. Those cost money, too. So here is a thought—get a job to save money for that even when you don’t need to save money for right now.  (Although you do.)
To articulate skeletal plans as they stand right now. (And over these I say, “Not my will will, but Thine be done,” and I mean it.):
1. Go to seminary for three years (maybe four if a student pastorate becomes more inviting/possible).
2. Become a pastor of a United Methodist church in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.
3. Have four (at least) kids there. (Fear seems to have claimed this third goal already, dang it all. Last week I was daydreaming about 5-7 chilluns.)
And in this mindset I am coming to wonder if there is, in fact, any other way to do the multi-kids/mono-income thing without going into debt and without expecting your car to break down all the time, when the two foreseeable incomes to become that single income are schoolteacher and pastor. (These are not moneymaking professions.) This is something I certainly did not want Holly and I to have to deal with when we got married.
So is the Lord trying to teach me something? Almost definitely. I say that because He’s always trying to teach me something.
At the same time, I am taking this too far. I am over-thinking it, over-analyzing it.  (You who know me have seen this before.)  At the heart of all this is the sin of worry. Here is what I think: God got me through my anxiety and depression stage, and the devil is trying to keep me down by getting me to live in fear again, but this time the deceit is that I am just being responsible.
Nick, know this. You are not being responsible when you worry.  You are being irresponsible and faithless. You are a Christian, and Jesus, your God, has said not to worry. You want to be perfected in love, and the Bible says that perfect love casts out fear. So get a job, or don’t get a job (and the answer is really probably do), but do not worry about what tomorrow will bring. You will be fed, you will be clothed, you will even wake up in a comfortable bed beside a beautiful wife (contrary to what the Talking Heads may tell you), and go to one of the best schools in the world, a privilege which 99.999% of the population of the earth does not share with you. And the day after that you will truly live your life some more. Again and again, these are your days. Be blessed, Nick. There is no way to worship and serve the Lord and not be blessed.

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