Friday, June 23 -- Of Mountains And Mustard Seeds

Fernando Ortega, "Home"
Don Henley, "Inside Job"
Original Broadway Cast, "The Mystery Of Edwin Drood"
his is going to be a deep one.

I've been thinking again about my situation. It's pretty much all I do in my spare time anymore. I just sit around and ponder my existence. It's not as fun as it sounds, either.

Anyway, I've decided that it all comes down to this "faith" thing again.  I have no choice to believe that it'll all work out, even though everything keeps looking like one disaster after another.

Case in point: I don't think either of us has slept for more than one hour consecutively all week. All of a sudden, all of our neighbors seem to have lost their minds -- or at least their inhibitions. The people upstairs usually walk so loudly that it sounds like they are bouncing around their apartment on pogo sticks. A couple of nights ago, they had a nasty fight, which of course they broadcast all over the complex. At one in the morning. And somehow, after making noise all night, they still manage to wake up at 4 AM and take showers and go pogo-sticking again. The neighbors next to us have been sitting out on their patio talking every night this week, which would be fine, except their patio is six feet from our bedroom window, and, possibly from the effect of beer or other such concoction, they can't seem to talk without shouting. I was livid enough a few nights ago to actually call the rental office, who assured me that they'd get Security right on it. Several nights later, Security still isn't on it.

So now that we're going to have a baby in the house, and we need things to be as calm and quiet as possible, they are turning calamitous.

People think that being a Christian is for sissies, people who are too weak to do anything for themselves. But let me tell you -- sometimes it's tough.

It feels like I've written about this before, so it'll suffice for me to mention in passing all the problems with people mocking you or looking down on you, not to mention that you're always, even in the midst of those kind of pressures, supposed to do the right thing. But maybe the hardest thing of all to do is to believe when you don't think you possibly can. I mean, I've been looking for a better job and trying to move out of California for about five years, but it seems like I'm no better off than when I started. But what do you do when even worse things happen?

There are a couple of people in our church who are dealing with cancer. They have no idea whether their disease will go into remission, or whether they are nearing the end of their earthly existence. But they aren't angry -- or at least they don't show it. Sure, they are confused, and a little scared, but they still come to church and ask for everyone's prayers -- they haven't given up on God.

I'm not mature enough to look at things that way yet. (Hopefully I will be someday before I die.) I still expect everything to be handed to me on a silver platter.

Actually, that brings up my other dilemma. We're supposed to ask for our desires, "pray without ceasing", "ask and it shall be given you" -- right? Then -- is it wrong if I keep saying "I want a job, I want a house in the Northeast where we will be safe and calm and happy"? (Of course, my prayers -- what few of them there usually are -- aren't that presumptuous, but the basic desires are still there.) And if it isn't wrong, why does it feel so wrong?

A couple of years ago, the Padres had a slogan, appealing to their fans to "Keep The Faith".  I think, even with the Padres track record, that's a lot easier to do in baseball than in real life.


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