Anger, for better or worse, fuels me…

The other day I came to the realization that anger, for better or worse, fuels me and gets me going. Whether it is anger that is channeled correctly and it seeks to correct that which needs to be corrected in my life or incorrectly and I become a loud individual who isn’t level-headed at all… Gone are the days of being physically violent, but I recognize in myself that it is still there, just put to the side and kept at bay.

I used to be physically violent, not all the time, but there were moments where I beat the crap out of someone because the guy deserved it. In retrospect, “deserved it” is probably not a good stance to come from, deserving punishment for punishing someone else seems slightly oxymoronic…because what we deserve at times is wavered by higher powers that be, we receive what we don’t deserve and that’s a good thing, but in the heat of wanting retribution, the proverbial “eye for an eye” it’s hard to see from that perspective.
In a way, I think about the last person I beat the crap out of, a guy who was screwing around with a girl who couldn’t defend herself and she kept saying “stop it stop it STOP it!” and despite her pleas within earshot of adults (who didn’t do anything) nothing was done…until I stepped in and beat the crap out of him. He should have backed off when she said, I should have handled it differently, but I didn’t…I let anger seep in and I beat the crap out of him.

***

But there are ways that I have used anger in good and constructive ways; finding out about ways people are being exploited and doing what I can to draw awareness to those people and issues, and while I haven’t done it on a national scale, papers and presentations at the college level may have sparked change or thought to peers who weren’t aware of some issues that are out there.
It is out of anger and frustration towards the LGBT community that has channeled me into a direction of “okay then, if it starts with me, what can I do?” Anger isn’t making me stuck in this rut, but it is getting me out of it, love ultimately is guiding me in a positive direction, but anger drove me out of a mindset of complacency with how things are done in the church.

Yet I recognize that when I utilize anger for good, I can only take it in in small doses, because I recognize I can lose all sense of levelheadedness if I take in more than I should. What keeps me in check comes externally, because I can say I’m being reasonably productively angry…but then again, who wants to own up that they’re angry and no longer levelheaded? I’m blessed to have friends and family who let me know, sure it might sting a little but it’s what I ask for despite the ramifications because I don’t want my anger to cause me to say or do something I might regret.

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Things are looking up workwise

When I get honest I am a bundle of paradoxes,
I believe and I doubt,
I hope and I get discouraged,
I love and I hate,
I feel bad about feeling good,
I feel guilty about not feeling guilty.
I am trusting and suspicious.
I am honest and I still play games.
Aristotle said I am a rational animal;
I say I am an angel with an incredible capacity for beer –
Brennan Manning

One of the places I’ve applied to is a place that works with people who have various types of disabilities, to which there have been a few openings working full time doing that; implementing ways to teach them life skills, helping them with cooking/cleaning/driving them around and related. Well I applied a while back for one of their overnight shifts, I have to be flexible and willing to take on a shift I’m not accustomed to and so I waited…and I waited…waited some more…

Just to be told that the position was filled…

BUT…

The HR called me this morning to say that the same position is open and would I like to apply for it? I probably said “yes!” too quickly, but I think she was enthused by my enthusiasm, and so she sent me some papers via email, mostly “if this happened, how would you handle it/tell me about how you’ve utilized leadership in the workplace” kinda questions. Easy peasy, I’ve got plenty of good answers to give.

So wish me luck, pray for me…things are looking up work-wise, and if I do get this job it’ll help me get back on track with a plethora of things. I will be applying elsewhere, but I’m really REALLY optimistic about this.

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There are times where believing in God…

and following His call in your life will absolutely “wreck” your life…

I read that the daughter of @maryhurlbut has started on a missions trip to Romania, which if you know or don’t know your recent history, it’s not a good one; former state within the Soviet Union, Nicolae Ceauşescu, orphans and state run orphanages… and a few other things, but utterly heartbreaking to the core.
Some of my friends this past weekend announced they are going to moving to Thailand soon to work with those who are exploited and trafficked by way of the sex industry. They learned about it a while ago and they decided that is what they feel called to do, learning about it coupled with God laying it on their heart has “wrecked” them.

Being wrecked doesn’t have to imply that it’s a bad thing, it gives the individual to be built back up with new and better parts, but it requires giving God all the present parts which indeed can be the painful aspect of being rebuilt. Dietrich Bonhoeffer put it terms of dying; that by dying to self allows God to come in and live and through him living for better, living not for self but for others.

***

There are times where I feel like I’m in a waiting-to-takeoff position on the runway of life. I know what it takes to “fly” and I will in time, but right now there are things preventing me at this time. Which is why I spend a good deal of my time looking for a job, because that is a priority to getting me away from here to there…IL to SoCal to be specific! Yet while I find myself in a holding pattern, it doesn’t keep me from living out my calling with high school students, with the poor in my community with the LGBT/PFLAG groups I’m involved with, it keeps me in tune with what I’m called to do and be a part of in the larger, out-of-IL, picture.
In many a way my life is “wrecked” by God because I recognize how little time I have. No I don’t know the days and years, but I do recognize that if I live to be 81 years old, I have already used (for better or worse) up 1/3rd of my life… I can either perceive that information as scary or motivating to do more with my life, to do what I can to make a difference.
I doubt I will be remembered by way of making a name for myself, but I do recognize I have a chance at making a difference in the lives of others that have ripple effects spreading out to generation and generation, including my own! This is what I strive for, this is how I allow God to “wreck” my life be ruined on a regular basis.

~Nathanael~

The give and take in comm(unity) with others

Thursday morning I helped out at the local soup kitchen. One of the people I’ve gotten to know better, heck she invited me to her wedding, asked me how I’m doing.
Now, defensive skeptic and wary me could very easily have told her “enough” told her what would have been a polite sociable churchable truth…or I could let her in to what’s really going on…to which I did. My emotions and my situation, the truth of it all was more raw than sushi, I mean the waterworks don’t kick in but in someone else’s case they might.

Working at the soup kitchen has taught me a lot in regards to thinking big picture, caring for the least of these and definitely finding God in situations that are out of my or someone else’s control – The supernatural in the natural, God in the midst of pain and suffering, God in everything…because He isn’t a God who created us and walked away, it certainly seems like it at times but He isn’t devoid of his creation.

Being transparent, living in comm(unity) and simply being real/authentic with others is what I strive for, it’s a big part of the give and take.

In this act of giving and taking, it works both ways, if it is acted out right. Transparency begets transparency, and if you’re in comm(unity) and find you have your guards up and you wonder why people around you are only giving fine-and-good answers? In the words of Gandhi – “Be the change you want to see”

So often I talk a good game in church of what I want to see done, what I want to see get accomplished but it all begins with well, what am I going to do about it? I think my dependency on the church is equally as much as the church’s dependency on me, as if there’s some symbiotic relationship going on. I know I want more from the church, but I also know the church wants more from me as well and in many ways I say “yes, sign me up!” because I have hope.

“The church should be a place of healing, not harming” and there are many times when I question that at this time…but there will come a time where this is truly true, and not just thrown out as a defense, a pat answer to satisfy those who are comfortable in their seats. It might not seem like that at this time, but there will come a day where it will…I’m optimistic about that, but how does one get there? Well, you have to start here before you get there, again it comes back to me and the change I want see.
I like what Charles Studd said; “Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell” – To get messy, to get gritty, to step out and be a follower of Christ and go places where good little Christian boys and girls do NOT want to go. I’m rough around all my edges, I am a cynic, I love and I hate, I am see contradictory and perhaps controversial by my friends and family…but it is worth it, to be a part of comm(unity) and work out this thing called life together…as we should, regardless of our religious or non religious beliefs.
I want to be a part of the give and take, the folding of hands in prayer and the uplifting up of hands in frustration for life gone awry, the marriage line of “in good times and bad/in sickness and health” and also the line of “til death do us part”.

It starts with me, but God knows and I know it doesn’t end with me.

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Overqualified?!?

Earlier today a company which I applied to recently got back to me by email. I will spare you the details but it went a little something like this:

“We regret to inform you… …you’re over qualified.”

overqualified?

I am stupefied by such a response, I mean… yeah, I don’t know what to make of it, it was a job as a supply deliverer/pick-upper, 30something hours a week…overqualified?

Part of me wants to press the buttons of the company to deduce what they mean by overqualified, but part of me wants to get back to them and pretty much ask them if I’m overqualified, what jobs do you have available that I’m qualified for.

It’s all too much and it’s leaving me in a pissed off mood.

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