Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Back At My Desk

Well, I'm back a my desk for the first time in forever.  Just for a test turn.  Sweetie spoiled me with a classy new Smart Phone and I'm learning how to post on the fly.  Hopefully, I'll be posting more often this way.  Of course I won't be nearly as verbose as I'm the world's slowest texter.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

So Grateful!

I haven't posted in a long long time.  I've been busier that a one legged man in a butt-kicking contest.  And in the end, it was I who needed, and got, the butt-kicking.

My friend Clair often says that, "Life is a series of lessons, which get repeated until they are learned."

I have had lots of experience with repeated lessons.  In fact on repeated occasions I have taken a day off, fasted and prayed, retired to the wilderness, and prayed mightily for what I needed to learn.  Always I would return with an epiphany!  The last time, when I revealed my "newly discovered" answer to Sweetie, she observed that it was the same revelation I received last time and the two or three times before that.  To put it gently, I'm a slow learner.

Always the answer has been.  "Forget about yourself and your problems and serve the Lord by serving others."  Pretty simple.  Pretty amazing how Satan uses life's circumstances to turn our concerns inward, again.

Back in August, I had another of my epiphanies and, of course, it was essentially the same discovery I always get.  At that time I realized that while I was financially poor and in difficult circumstances (lacking an adequate job to pay the bills and dig myself out of the financial pit I've digged for myself) I was, filthy rich with free time!  That was quite a realization.  Especially, when, in evaluation, I saw how much I was wasting. That morning I marched out the door with a hope of finding someone who could make better use of my time than I had been.  I didn't make it far. I found a couple around the corner unloading a number of 12 foot 2X6's from their pickup.  The boards seemed bigger than they were.  He's 88 years old by the way.  I stopped to help and asked what they were up to.

"Building a shed." was their reply.


"Yup, got bored and needed a project." he said, matter of factly.

Now his ambition did out strip his capability a little and that was where I came in.  Over the next few weeks these friends and I built a mighty fine shed.  12' X 10' X 8' with a gabled roof built with trusses my friend made himself.  I couldn't have been more happy than I was during those three weeks.  Good companionship! Strengthened friendship!  Rich rewards!  A fine education!  I learned a lot.  A lot about myself and how utterly selfish I had become.  During that time there were other opportunities to serve beyond this one and I found myself relishing the privilege.

Now my personal concerns seemed to have shifted.  No longer was I praying for a solution to my financial woes; but rather I was concerned that when I did find a job that I'd be prevented from having such blessed time to focus on others.  I had found such joy that I didn't want to lose it, ever.

It was about this time that an old friend called to suggest I apply for a job which had just opened up.  One I had never considered.  I did apply.  And was hired on the spot!  And was put right to work!  And miracle of miracles, my income has doubled.  Over night!

I've become a bus driver.  I work for Wilkins Bus Lines and make two trips to Bonanza, carrying miners, each week day.  The first run is from 3:15 to 6:15 in the morning and the second, from 1:15 to 4:15 in the afternoon.  The pay is great and the job is fun.  I drive the road I drove most of my UPS career.  The schedule doesn't interrupt any of my current projects and leaves me plenty of time to be involved in the lives of others around me.  I could not conceive of a more "tailor made" opportunity.  It fulfills my needs, hopes and dreams perfectly.  As though Someone actually cared about an obscure bit of organic matter like me.

Now, this is not all.  I've mentioned that I've spent the past 14 months caring for an Alzheimer's patient who lives across the street.  His wife needed my help so she could bring him home from the Care Center.  She has paid me handsomely for the service, especially considering the small amount of time it takes to change and turn him in his bed.  Her generosity has been such a blessing and I am overwhelmed that she considered me a blessing in her life, for I can only see it the other way around.  We never considered that he would live this many months and both of us quietly harbored some anxiety about it.

I wondered how long we could make in financially on the income from this very part-time job.  Still, I was determined to stick it out because I had committed to it for the duration.

She worried about running out of money to pay me, but needed my help and also knew that I was in great need of the income.

Out of concern for each other, we never really expressed our concerns to one another.  Then along came this job opportunity.  The bus schedule didn't interfere with the care schedule, so with her permission, I accepted the job.  It was then that I was impressed to tell her that I no longer needed to be paid for my service.  I had told her initially that I would only accept such money as I absolutely needed and that now I don't need any.  We both wept as she explained that she had been forced to consider letting me go as she'd run out of funds to continue paying me.  I still get to serve.  She still has the help she needs.  God has found us both another solution.

Now, this also meant, one month of difficult money problems at my house.  Then, along came an additional bus driving opportunity.  It pays well.  Is temporary.  Allows me to do both routes.  Problem solved.  I started working on October 20 and by the end of the month had made nearly a full month's wages.  With God, no problem falls through the cracks.

Now, I don't, in any way deserve such wonderful gifts from God.  They have not come to me and my family because we are good, but because He is good.  The only hang up has been my failure to recognize that.  An important lesson, from Jesus himself, "... there is none good, but God."
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