Tag Archives: bad days

Dear God, I’m Tired of Growing!

I’m not one to throw a pity party for myself but this needs to get off my chest. I’m up at four o’clock in the morning today, tossing and turning with this rolling around in my mind:

“Dear God, I’m tired of growing. I just want to be left alone for a while. Thank you very much, amen.”

I’ve tried over the last several weeks to put on a brave face within these blog posts. I’ve written what I perceived as positive, uplifting messages to those who deal with doubt or those who question the very existence of God and/or His purpose for them in their lives, or if there is a purpose at all. I guess all along I’ve been trying to convince myself as much as anyone else.

I’ve read several books over the past months that have dealt with the question of God’s purpose for life, or of the indwelling and prompting of God’s Holy Spirit, and of leveraging “gifts” for the greater good of the  community, be it for your family, your neighborhood or the church community in general. They’ve all been well written, well documented, and well meaning.

But I sit here now more confused than ever.

I have a beautiful little girl who happens to have a learning disability that, for the first time in her young school life, is beginning to adversely affect her performance and her very enjoyment of school. It’s getting increasingly frustrating for her to master some of the most basic learning skills. Not that she isn’t capable of learning them, but as we’re only beginning to understand, her little brain doesn’t quite work the way ours does, and she’s feeling the frustration of not getting it. Why is it that she can be so proud to write on her little white board that 1 +1 =2, and even that 2 + 2 = 4, but the concept of writing 1 + 2 frustrates her to the point of refusal?

Every day I go in to work, it gets harder and harder to find fulfillment, enjoyment or even motivation in being there. All I feel lately is trapped. I’m a middle-aged man in a middle-management retail position that someone younger, smarter, and faster could probably do cheaper, and maybe the company knows that. There is no longer any opportunity to step down from this level of responsibility (and growing workload as our store’s hours shrink and shrink), because our company policy is now to no longer hire anyone at full time. All I know is there is still a certain level of workload and a certain expectation of customer service, and fewer and fewer employees to fulfill those requirements. Meaning those of us with a “guaranteed” schedule must pick up the slack. Morale is terrible, both for those whose hours have been cut, and for those whose hours haven’t… But in this economy, what can you do? I’m in a season of doubt, a season of questioning. And, yeah, I’m mad as hell. I’m tired of this crap.

I’m tired of “growing.” If there’s a purpose to all this, I’ve been waiting several YEARS to learn of it.

I know that the life of a Christ follower is not going to be all rainbows and roses. I know test and trials and persecutions are a part of this thing called faith, but if I’m supposed to be living a life fulfilling to the body of Christ, pleasing in the eyes of the Lord, and satisfying to the Holy Spirit that lives within me, I have no idea, after several, SEVERAL years of following God and listening for His prompting, what that life is supposed to be.

All I know is that this isn’t it. It can’t be. I’m miserable, which I can live with, but I’m making those around me—friends, coworkers and, more importantly and maddeningly, my family—miserable as well. I’m becoming ineffective in my position at work, as it pains me that I’m no longer able, physically or mentally, to be the caliber of employee I know I should be. And this mental drain at work spills over into my home life… That’s not right. That’s not the way it should be, this I know!

So, I’m sorry, God, but I’m tired of “growing.” I’m tired of thinking, “Well, I must be here for a reason, for a purpose. Hopefully, soon it will be revealed.”

It’s NOT being revealed, and I’m tired of waiting. I don’t know what I’m supposed to be learning. I don’t know how I’m supposed to be growing. But I’m tired of looking for it.

If you want me, God, I’m here for you. But I’ve got a family that deserves more from their dad, and a wife that deserves more from her husband, than I’ve been able to give them—for too many years now—because I’ve been too busy pursuing the currently intangible.

If you have a purpose for my life, I’m ready for it.  But I need a break from the looking. I need a rest from the pursuit.

I’ll always be here for you, but I’m tired: tired of being tired. My family deserves more. You deserve more. I deserve more. More of me, more quality out of my time, and more out of this life.

Amen.

 

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What am I missing?

I woke up in a horrible mood today.

Last night we went to our local county fair.  It should have been a fun time for all; especially as I’ve got two children who love rides, animals, vegetable displays and all the free stuff the vendors hand out to entice a conversation with weary (and wary) adults.  And don’t get me wrong, the kids had a great time overall.  In between bouts of dad constantly yelling, “Get down”, “Get back”, “Come here” (or as Bill Cosby puts it, “Come here!…  comeherecomeherecomeherecomeherecomehere . . . come HERE!!”)

I felt like I was herding cats all night and I came home exhausted and strung out.

Oh, then I didn’t sleep well ‘cuz I felt like crap all night over the way I acted.  Which, when I finally crawled out of bed this morning, got me thinking about how I too often act at work towards surly customers and needy employees.  (Well, not all of them, but those are the ones that usually elicit a reaction out of me . . . usually negative.)  Which spiralled me further into my funk.  Which got me thinking about how hard it is to be attempting to live out the fruits of the spirit within the parameters of “retail customer service.”

Like a dog chasing its tail, my thoughts spiralled around the, “it shouldn’t be this hard.  Well, if God were truly in your life it wouldn’t be this hard.  Well, I’ve asked him to lead in my life and I just have to have faith he is.  Well, maybe you didn’t do it right.  It shouldn’t be this hard!  Well, maybe I shouldn’t even be in this line of work if it’s this hard.  Well, maybe you’re in this line of work for a reason.  Well, this line of work is driving me, and my family, crazy!  Well, maybe you’re doing it wrong.  IT SHOULDN’T BE THIS HARD!!”

Yet it is.

And all this leads me to wonder, in my morning funk and depressing stupor, what am I missing?

I’m currently reading Francis Chan’s book “Forgotten God” for the second time.  Yet, this time it’s incredibly hard to get through.  I feel as though I’m just going through the motions; slogging listlessly, page by page, reading out of some sense of “duty” rather than for the joy and experience I should be feeling.  And again, I can’t help feeling I’m missing something.  I’ve been at this a long time now.  Time and time again, I’ve come before God with my faults and foibles, sins and shortcomings, laying them at the foot of the cross; earnestly praying for the forgiveness I so desperately need and the guidance and wisdom I so desperately crave.  And I rise from my prayers feeling . . . .

. . . . no different.

As Chan puts it in his introduction to Forgotten God, “It doesn’t make sense that Almighty God would have children characterized by fear and insecurity. He put His Spirit in us so we could be known for our power (Acts 1:8; 2 Tim. 1:7).”

What am I missing?

Or, maybe I’m just having a bad day.  The weather is gorgeous this morning.  The kids are quiet.  The coffee’s good.  Maybe in my quest for the answers to the “big things” in life, I’m missing all the little things that are supposed to give me pause, give me a slight centering or at least cause me to just stop and take a breath.  Could that be a “still, small voice” I hear?

Naw, just my six-year-old wanting “purpa grape joos”.

But still . . .