Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Nothing important happened today

Not surprisingly, 06-06-06 passed without incident. At least, nothing major occurred that I am aware of. The whole thing reminded me a little bit of the advent of January 1, 2000, though the hype associated with that date was far more overblown. At any rate, the day has come and gone, and just as it was with 1/1/00, nothing important happened today on the global front.

In my world, though, things get curiouser and curiouser.
I received a phone call this morning from one of the chief competitors of the company I used to work for, asking me if I would like to come work for them. Initially, I declined, as I would still be paid on a commission basis. However, after talking a bit more with the woman who called me, and finding out what I would have made with their company based on the same amount of business I wrote for the company I was with, I had to reconsider.

She told me she would pass my information along to sales director for this area, and we would go from there. A few hours later, I spoke with the sales director, and she told me that the first woman spoke very highly of me when she called. I thought this was funny, because I'm thinking...It's just me, and all I really did was talk to the woman and answer questions she had about my resume. I had no idea that I was making such a good impression, as it wasn't what I set out to do at all. I was just talking.
Then, later in the evening, I attended a meeting regarding another (very good) opportunity that had come my way. One of the people attending the meeting introduced herself to me and said, "It is so good to finally meet you! I've heard phenomenal things about you!"

This is all very, VERY amusing to me, because I truly have no idea what on earth these people are saying about me that is so wonderful, or why they are even saying them. This is not false modesty...I truly do not know what it is about me that people are so impressed with. I'm just out there, trying to earn a living by doing something I love, which is talking to people. If I can sell a product and make a bit of money while doing that, all the better. I've just been amazed, though, at the people who have been telling me lately how impressed they are with me. I think it's funny, because I feel like a complete idiot most of the time. lol

I guess, though, that if you are doing what you love, good things will come to you. I enjoy talking with people. I'm lousy at administrative work, although I can do it if I have to. I do not enjoy work that keeps me stuck in a stock room or behind a desk. I enjoy being out there, talking to people, getting to know people, etc...And I really think that if I can cultivate that and build on that, I do have a promising future ahead of me in any number of careers.

Still, it is funny to me that anyone would be impressed with me. If they only knew...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

We knew this day would come

(Written at 11:18 p.m., 06-05-06)

Only 42 more minutes, and we reach that fateful day, 06-06-06. The amount of attention that this date has been given is very amusing to me. There have been movies made to be released specifically on this day, there are couples getting married on this day, at 6 p.m. (of course), there are newspaper articles, feature new stories...even my Earthlink newsticker has not been immune to the sway this date seems to hold over the populace.

I wonder if it is that, as a culture, our lives really are so small that we must cling to something like this to give it color and, in a sense, meaning. Or, if there has become such a fascination with all things evil that the significance of this day...666...has an appeal this is dangerously sexy.

I'm not sure. I do think we are far beyond going out of our way to avoid evil, and instead seem to want to see how close we can get to it before it finally consumes us. Newsflash...this culture has already been consumed, and we're now being digested.

But, what can you do? In your own sphere of influence, you may be able to keep darkness at bay, but there is little to be done for the world as a whole. It is difficult enough for me to keep myself from evil, to keep my own lifestyle pure, etc...without taking on the burden of tackling the transient morality of the world around me. I don't think we should just lay down and take it. But I do think the reality is that the things that are good and pure in this world, and the system of beliefs that have protected those things thus far, are quickly becoming the things of yesterday, and we're entering into an era when all bets are off. Just as the Word told us...what is evil is called good, and what is good is called evil.

This horrific truth is playing out in the most bizarre and shocking ways. A few months ago, I learned on "The O'Reilly Factor" that there are organizations dedicated to protecting the loopholes in the laws that allow them to have commit incest without penalty. They want to protect their right to engage in sex with their children, and any other minor living in their household. As shocking as information like this is, it is becoming the norm. You can hear about things like this on the news, and it may make you pause for a moment and shake your head at the condition the world is in, but you quickly move on to other things. We've become numb.

I remember when I was a child, I had a fear of war. This was during the Regan era, and there was always a threat of war hanging silently over our heads back then. At least, that was how it seemed to me, watching all the things on the news about something to do with a guy named Iran Contra, trying to process all of it with my five year old brain, asking my dad if we would be safe in a war even though there was a plant just down the road that was building tanks. Even at that time, though, there was a sense that the world we lived in was still pretty safe, that there was still a sense of goodness and purity that people valued. Perhaps it was just my childlike innocence that allowed me to believe that, but I don't think so. Times have changed.

We are living in an era now where there is not only a threat of war, but a very real war raging just across the ocean and through the desert, and there is no forseeable end to it. There are people in the world that hate us (Americans) so passionately that they are willing to die, if only to take out a few of us along the way. We are regularly hearing stories of horrific atrocities being perpetrated against the most defenseless among us. We hear these stories so often that we hardly bat an eyelash at it anymore, let alone gasp in horror as we probably ought to now and then. We cherish the things that are innocent and beautiful in the world, perhaps even more so when we have that moment of understanding that, given the chance, those things would gladly be ripped away from us, replaced with something vile and vulgar.

On nights such as this, I feel the weight of the toxic soup we are living in. We've grown accustomed to it, as one can grow accustomed to nearly anything. We've rationalized it, we've made excuses for it, and we accept...reluctantly...that things will only grow worse as time marches relentlessly forward. Jesus said this would be so.

There is still beauty and purity left in the world, and I treasure it when I find it. I see it every day, in my niece's eyes, when she looks at me without a care or a worry in the world, knowing she is in an environment of love. I see it in sunshine that peeks through the curtains in the morning, and I relish the northern Michigan sunrise that can't be matched. I see it in the kindness of strangers, in the constant love of true friends. I feel it in the simple joys life offers...a good cup of coffee, a long walk, unabashed laughter. There is still goodness and beauty left in the world, and it is these things that remind me..."God is in His heaven, and all is right with the world."

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Time marches forward

I went to a open house tonight for a young man that I first met when he was only two years old.

As with all such gatherings at this time of year, there was a nice display of pictures documenting his development from a wide-eyed innocent, to a young man experienced a bit in life, yet blissfully unaware of all that could happen along the way. I felt a bit sad as I looked at these photos, and realized that the innocent two year old I first met sixteen years ago is forever gone, and in his place is a young man who is ready and eager to experience the world outside of this sleepy little town.

I think this is why I would have such a difficult time with having a child of my own...How does one make peace with a child's inevitable loss of innocence?

More than that, though, I realized that he was on the threshhold of an entirely new season in his life. As I looked at those pictures, I wondered what may lay ahead for the blonde haired, blue eyed, happy-go-lucky kid we were there to celebrate tonight. And, as with everyone there, I came to the realization that, whatever may lay ahead for him, it is his to experience, his to survive and make peace with, his to learn from. We all come through the things life throws at us, perhaps scarred from the battle, but stronger and wiser for it.

My prayer for him is that, if he does not already know Christ, that he will have a life changing encounter with Him amidst all that life will bring him. My relationship with Christ has been the single constant through all the things I've experienced, particularly in the last year or so. Friends hurt you, circumstances change, finances evaporate. All this world has to offer is temporal, and cannot keep its promise of certainty. But Jesus is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. It is my prayer that this young man will find that constant...that Rock...and build his life there.

I have a page on MySpace, as does this young man, his younger brother, and many of their friends. As I read through their profiles, my heart was deeply grieved to see the spirit of rebellion that is feeding off of their young lives right now. Still, I am comforted in the realization that we were all there at one time...certainly some more than others, but we all played in the same neighborhood...and, by God's endless and unrelenting grace, I am now His. It is my fervent hope that these young men and women, so enthralled by the temporal things of this world, will fall deeply in love with our unchanging God.

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