March 19, 2010

Going It Alone

I woke up this morning, after having a pretty bad night. I coughed all night long, tossed and turned, and battled the cats (Who would sleep on the pillow? Me or them? We called it a draw and shared it! LOL!) Early this morning, I did get up to feed them, thinking that 'perhaps' they would settled down IF they had some food in their tummies. Ya, right!

The funny thing about my cats is this...they think I am a cat too. If I get upset and my voice goes up an octave (like in a discussion), they all go wonky on me. They start catterwalling and meowing and pacing back and forth. It is like my voice sends out a signal to them: "Heads up, trouble. Be wary. Be careful." I don't mean to do it, but yesterday while in the midst of a heated discussion with my DH, I glanced around to see the frenzy. It was almost like in a movie, where the camera moves around the actors. I saw my cats, all of them, very upset, meowing and pacing. I thought, "Whoa, this is weird."

It wasn't until this morning when I sat down to really think things through that it made sense to me. One of the first things out of my mouth this morning was, "Lord, what's the deal with Gus? Why is he behaving this way?" Understand this...Gus is my difficult cat and the past couple weeks have been absolutely blissful. He has even taken to let me scratch his head and chin. And, last night, while I was listening to some calming music, and thinking some not so calming thoughts, the Lord asked me to come in to speak with Him. As I got up to go to my quiet room, there was Gus, completely spread eagle on his back, paws curled up in front, and head tilted to one side, eyes half-open. I smiled and then I cried. God is so Good to me. I mean, right in the midst of another set of heartache, just when I think I cannot really hold it all together, He gives me a picture to make me smile. This is NOT Gussy-like behavior; Poohster yes (my other cat who is what we call a "lounger"). Gus is not a lounger like this...he trouble with a capital T. I cried because I thought to myself, "Oh, Lord, you are indeed Sovereign. You are truly Lord of All."

So here I am today, sipping my coffee, feeling cruddy again (I am sure it is allergies this time), and thinking on these weird dreams I had last night (one last night, one this morning). They were so bizarre really. Just fragments, but enough to upset me. In fact, I woke up in the middle of the last one, feeling hot under the collar and wanting to say "Oh, just get lost!" I was not happy in the dream, and think even after I got up, I was still a bit dreamy. I wanted "outta there" and felt that it was frustrating, immature, and a complete waste of my time.

What you say? What was frustrating, immature, and a complete waste of my time? Well, in my dream, I found myself at a job interview. Everything was just plain wrong. The timing of the interview was off (I was to be there at 1; the actual interview was taking place at 1:40). The interviewer was wrong (the person I was supposed to meet with was late; this was his stand-in). The person doing the interview was unqualified to do so, and I might add, was really whacky. He reminded me of Penn Gillette (no offense, Penn). He had his same voice and looked like him. The questions he asked made no sense. And, he tried to test me. Like in high school. The longer I spoke with this man, the more frustrated I got. I quickly figured out that the interview was wrong as well -- for the wrong job. I was not interviewing for the job I was supposed to get, but for a job teaching English. I finally got fed up, and threw the book at this man (tossed it back to him) and gave him a soliloquy that would rival one from Shakespeare's Hamlet. LOL!

In my after dream state, I finished the dream. Do you ever do that? You are awake, but not fully, and your mind won't let the dream go. It has to finish it, or at the least, do something to bring some ending, some closure. My mind did just that. I told this "Junior" person that I thought he was a crappy teacher. Moreover, I wouldn't take his class because all he did was make students "prove" what they knew, rather than expose and illuminate literature. I left saying "If you want me to teach Ancient Literature, tell me: I will bring my Iliad and Odyssey and Greek Tragedies with me on Monday. If Medieval, I'll bring Beowulf. I can find my way around a Norton Anthology well enough, so don't ask me where to find Milton. If I have to teach 20th century literature, there are some good fantasy novels we can read. Just don't ask me to teach drivel to the students. There is enough bad writing in this modern century and plenty of whine to go around. I'll skip it, thank you very much." And with that, I tossed the book (some textbook) back into his lap and walked away. Harumph!

As I slumped into my chair, coffee and three mini-donuts in hand (thanks to my son the chocolate donut lover), I thought: "This is really crazy. I need a job so desparately, yet I am unwilling to do crappy work. I will not pimp myself out simply for a pay check. I want to do something noble, something good (Phil. 4:8). I know I have to work, and I am willing to do any type. I just am not willing to compromise my standards, my morals, or my ethics. I will teach, if called to teach. I just am not going to do it some way because that is what I am told. I will do it the "right way," the way the Lord has Graced me as a teacher." AGH! What a miserable pit I am in right now!

I am not really self-loathing, but I sure do feel battered. I do need a job, but wonder now if the job I thought was of the Lord, is not the correct one for me. It is a good job, that is for sure. In fact, it looks PERFECT in every way, shape and form. Yet, that dream...what does it mean? Wrong job interview, wrong interviewer...wrong everything.

As I sit here typing, so many thoughts ramble through my head. Am I sure I am right in all of this? Do I have this "God Plan" right? Not that I am perfect by any means, and my discernment skill is good, but not great...I could very well be wrong. I do have peace. I know the Lord's will, but perhaps I have the plan wrong. Perhaps there is more than one plan?

"Yes, Dear Sister"...I hear the Holy Spirit whisper to me. Yes, I know about these various plans. The Lord has helped me see that His will is perfect. It will be. It is His will. However, the plans to accomplish His will are variable and changing -- there are many roads to His will. Some go one way, some go another. His will is to be done. I have a lifetime to accomplish His will for me. When I stand before Him, I will have done His will. It will be finished then...this journey, and I will have stayed the course, finished the race, not strayed off mission. I will receive my crown of glory. However, between now and then, there are many options to choose from, many roads to take. They are all leading me toward Him and Home, but they go different routes.

In my case, the Lord has made some things clear to me. Some things are non-negotiable as far as what I am to do. If He calls you to the mission field, typically He will say "this is a non-negotiable thing. It will not change. Other things might, but this will not change." So it has been with my life. I know some things that He has said are conditional for me; I must do them. They are directly part of His overall will for my life (for my mission, for His work). I have to do them. The other things, the smaller things, well...they are are variable and can change.

Perhaps this is one of those changeable things. Perhaps the job I take is not so important as is the preparatory work I do for Him. I am agreeable to this, I am acceptable to this as well. I will work at Target or Walmart or JC Penney -- anywhere I can get hired right now. I will do a good job, be a good employee, and be responsible and honorable to those in authority over me. I just am not sure if that is what I am to do right now. I just don't know.

Therefore...I must pray and as one poster commented to me earlier today: wait on the Lord. I love the words of Isaiah 40:31:

But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

I will wait on the Lord. I will wait for Him to lift me up and out of this pit I am in. He is my strength and my strong tower. I will not be weary or faint, for the Lord is my portion and my cup. Selah!

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