Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Uncertain Times -

Life is uncertain. Sure for the most part we know what is going to happen on a daily basis. We wake up, go to work, go home, eat an evening meal, relax, go to bed, and repeat.  However, at times, circumstances beyond our control change the game.  What you are doing tomorrow may not be the same as what you are doing today. 

In corporate America, the fourth quarter is time to reassess where you are and where you are going.  The last number on the calendar is going to change so it’s time to do something new.  A fresh new year means a fresh new start. It’s a great time to get better; a time to reorganize and possibly restructure.  In the overall scheme of things it is a simple change made on paper in the name of efficiency.  On the human level, people are redistributed.  For the vast majority of the work force nothing changes.  However for some it can be a whole new ball game. 

My department has been targeted for termination.  Don’t panic! We are just being reorganized.  Thank God I don’t have to worry about losing my job.  Say what you want but, Go UNION!   So that is good.  I am also pretty sure I will still be field technician in some capacity.  I am fully capable to do whatever I am called to do.  As the sole provider of my family, I have to be.  (To paraphrase an Oliver Stone quote “that’s why they call them “techs”; because a “tech” can take it, a “tech” can take anything.”) 

So in about a week I will be told where I am going.  I will have a new boss.  I may be doing the same job function, maybe not.  I maybe at the same garage, maybe not.  I’m pretty sure I’ll have the same truck, but possibly not.  So I am “sure” everything will be fine, possibly not. 

One aspect of these changes that is upsetting is that the cast of characters that I work with will change. After a few years together, you develop friendships and camaraderie that develops naturally from working together.  This isn’t the first time this has happened in my career and it is somewhat sad to have your path diverge from people you have spent a significant amount of time with.  You take these relationships for granted and at the whim of someone far removed from your situation, people are separated from your life.  I’m sure I’ll keep in touch, I’ll miss them, or maybe not…..   But regardless I’ll wish them well in their new situation. 

I also got some bad news on a personal front.  A friend in recovery has relapsed today.  Ironically, they were making significant progress and on the verge of a new situation themselves.  They were living with drugs and alcohol all around them in a lonely situation but they were resisting temptation.  They are due to move out there in a day or two and they fell from grace.  Moving is a stressful time?  Who knows? Maybe they thought that the drugs wouldn’t be around in the new situation and they had better get off while they could?  Maybe they thought they would have a going away party?  I am not condemning them. Recovery is not about perfection and relapse is a part of it as they say.  My friend is with their sponsor and I know they will give good advice and counseling. The fact that he confessed his relapse is a good sign I think. Hey we all make mistakes right?

I’m self-obsessed so my friend’s relapse makes me wonder if I’m doomed to failure.  The good news is “not today!” I joke about relapsing saying if I am going to fall it will be epic: multiple drugs, alcohol, & sex!  Scandalous! You know?  Like I have said before I am addicted to things that don’t exist, like a situation where that would happen and I would feel good about it.  You see, I have 25 years of experience of the lies of getting drunk or high and I now have some understanding that these things don’t make me happy and they cause more trouble than they are worth.  

Situations like my uncertain work future and my friend’s relapse make me glad that I have faith in Christ.  In the past, I would have turned to booze at least to say goodbye to another chapter of my career if not to bury my anxiety.  If I had been trying to stay sober in my own power, I would have probably felt utter hopelessness at my friend’s relapse and gotten wasted; failing on purpose just to avoid the inevitable by self-destructing.   

You see, my focus really is on my faith in Christ.  I don’t know what God’s plan is for my life.  Right now I’m trying to learn more about Him through prayer, through service, through meditation on His word, and by going to Bible College.  I look forward to my trip to Africa where I will surrender two weeks of my life in service to Him.  So I don’t know where I’m going to be working by the end of the year, I don’t know if my friend will back at recovery on Thursday, or if I will fail someday but I do know that where ever I go Christ goes with me and that has made all the difference. 

 This world has temporary remedies but the answer lies in the Truth, Jesus Christ.  I encourage all who read this to seek after God.  It can start with a simple prayer to ask Him to come into your life.
I know what suffering is. I know life is hard. I was so full of myself. I found peace by becoming empty for Christ. I made room for Him and He has shown me amazing things.  I wish you the all the best. 

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