Thursday, June 14, 2007
Stickshifts and Safteybelts
I have been working recently, a lot. By the end of the week I will have worked the last ten days in a row, that’s 80 hours of caffeine fueled work, not that I’m counting. And the thing of it is, I am not naturally good at this, at working all the time and earning money. I have always been focused on other things, and have never cared much about the pursuit of copious amounts of money. The truth is, and this is going to sound so gay, I would much rather write something, or paint something, or hike something, or travel to some distant place for an adventure. And sometimes I wonder if God messed up when he made me, if somehow I wasn’t wired right, or if maybe I am missing some key component that is meant to keep me sane while working long hours. It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s the opposite actually. It’s that I hate doing stuff that I feel doesn’t matter in the least; i.e., every job I have ever had. On the flip side, I have a deep love of knowledge and learning, which is why I like college and higher education so much, because I feel like it matters, and I enjoy it. So when I spend 80 hours in ten days parking cars for rich people, I feel a little spent. So I have to rationalize this mundane crap with the higher adventure that I feel called to, and let me tell you its not easy. For many people I know it just doesn’t seem to be a struggle, they work the 9 to 5, they sell a computer or an electric toothbrush, they go home, and they are satisfied. And to be to tell you the truth, I really wish I was more like that sometimes.
I heard someone once say that there are two types of people in the world, “how,” people, and “why,” people. “How” people only ask the “how” of life, how will I get more money? how will I marry a beautiful girl? how can I pay rent this month? etc. “Why” people, likewise, only ask the “why” questions about life; why do I need a job to make money that I spend on myself? Why do I need a girlfriend? Why am I even here? Let me tell you, I am a why person, and I hate it. Why am I working this job all the time when I could be out having adventures and living large in different parts of the world and riding camels and such? That is a question that I have been chewing on recently. And to make matters worse, I have been reading the blogs of a few people who do live this way, one who is a missionary in Eastern Europe, and another who travels around the world taking pictures, and my goodness does it sound good. It sounds like freedom to me.
But I know this. I know God has placed these insatiable desires deep within me so I never stop asking for more from life, so I am never content to just be.
Well whatever I end up doing, I need to trust God with it, because I don’t trust myself. His word says he knows the desires of my heart, and he cares about them, and that is huge. That is possibly the most comforting thing I have ever heard, aside from the fact that God loves me. But ultimately life is an adventure, and I love that, and I will continue to take advantage of every opportunity I get to live large.
So the last few days have taught me a bit about hard work and simply putting your head down and doing something even if you feel like it won’t ever amount to anything. It’s the process, not the end, in which I can find meaning and hope. In this case the means justify the end, in fact, they create it. So I will patiently wait for my summer adventures to arrive, and in the meantime I will suck whatever meaning and depth I can from a Beamer and a manual transmission.