Another year has passed. Am I any nearer to my goal? No it doesn’t seem I am. I haven’t found that golden egg I keep trying to reach. It sits on a pedestal just out of reach, rises an inch for every one I stretch. I want success, I want glory, I want fame… I want to leave a sign so that someone would know I was here. I want to matter to the world that could pass just as easily without ever realizing I was there. The days came and went, turning into weeks that slipped by just as quietly, becoming months disappearing with a whisper.
Was the year a waste? Did it wither and die having never truly lived?
Depends on how the question is asked...
In one way yes it did. Was the year truly beneficial towards some higher goal? Not really. At least that is the way it feels. It felt like I was stuck; still treading water in a vast ocean with land beyond the horizon. This year saw the continuation and leaving behind of a job that gave me a new library of knowledge that has potential to bring success. However in the grand scheme it would appear to have been just another dead end retail position, one where I felt unappreciated and unfulfilled in the day to day. It was a job that I dreaded returning to only moments after closing the door behind me. Sure it paid the bills and came with some decent perks but it didn’t seem truly worth it. I fought myself tooth and nail over quitting that job. I hated to leave it because I was terrified of not providing for my family. I hated to leave because I worried that it was me simply running away again; running away from another obstacle instead of facing it head on. It made me feel weak to walk away from the challenge of facing something undesirable. I know God wants me to be happy, but that is always hard to rectify with the knowledge that He gave me the ability to work for my needs.
Does God want me to persevere through a terrible job because He knows I can take it?
Does He challenge me because there is some lesson to be learned?
Is God providing for me in a way that I am blind to see as His provision?
Is this Gods plan for me?
Leaving that place was hard, because it meant facing these questions and forcing myself to hear an answer I wasn't ready to believe. So here I sit without a job, without a paycheck, and without a feeling of being productive. It has left me time to think about myself and my life. A hard road to go down, especially when I have way too much time in which to do it, but that is a topic for another day.
If the question is asked in another light, and answered from a different frame of mind then the answer is completely the opposite. This year has been filled with memories and moments that will never happen again. Days and nights of laughter, joy, and wonder filled those months and weeks giving life to year otherwise devoid of it. Time with friends was cherished; those hours had real value that can never be calculated. Those minutes and seconds where lost to in a mind focused on the present rather than what lay ahead. Being, feeling, experiencing; these words would be the best descriptors of those moments. It allowed my mind to wander away from the worries that seemed to fill my consciousness. Change came as it often does bringing with it new challenges. These changes would be world shattering to some but seemed to fit just so in the chaos that has been my past few years. They were revelations of great privacy and trust, and I am eternally grateful for those that shared them with me. Family included the familiar highs and lows, pain and happiness. New life has graced my family, and I cannot wait to meet my nephews when they get here. Family can always bring great amounts of stress for those closest to us often can bring the worst pain. I love my family, no matter what. They love me extremely well and I am beyond thankful for who they are in my life. I will never forget everything they have done for me and hope I can one day repay even a fraction of what I owe. My wife has continued to love me in ways that I scarcely deserve. She has been wonderfully kind, loving, forgiving, healing, and caring in ways that always astound me. I know I am not the easiest person to love, I come with an assortment of baggage that could smother the most resilient bell-hop, but she has found a way through it to my heart. She sees through my armor and never lets me hide from my own emotions. She is stubborn for me in just the ways I need someone to be. I don’t thank God nearly enough for her and don’t think I will ever be able to express my gratitude for her.
So there it is. This year has been a wonderful one and a terrible one, but isn't that what life is; a summation of the highs and lows with the real value being not only in the moments of bliss but also the times of greatest despair. When I really take a step back and examine it all I realize that even when I wasn't paying attention value was being given in even the most insignificant of moments. In ways I can say this year was good but I can also say it could have been better, and that is what makes me want to carry on and see what the next year has to offer.