So yesterday I had my weekly bitch session with John. Sometimes I am sickened by the sound of my own voice. I whine about every aspect of my life. I am somewhat of an expert on the subject of me…at least the non-functional parts.
The theme of this week’s discussion was perspective. By my own retelling, my life is not bad. It is not good; but neither is it bad.
Best comment: What if this is good as it gets? (Love that movie BTW)
I was reminded of the words of Yoda: “This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away… to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh….You are reckless.“
It challenged one of my basic assumptions. That what my life lacks is direction. When I am depressed, as I currently am, I always think it is because I am lost. Some people live passionate lives. They are driven by a talent or a dream. They are good at something and that thing, in large part, defines who they are. I am not one of those people.
In High School, I took a basic aptitude test. My teacher was somewhat shocked that I did not score high in any one area. I had a general interest in a wide variety of things. But I did not score high on any one thing. This made making a career choice rather difficult. Really, I never did. I just more or less followed the current.
But I have always considered this a weakness. My whole life, I have been in pursuit of finding that one thing. When I felt called into the ministry, I thought I had found the one thing. When my faith disintegrated, I thought I had missed my only chance for real fulfillment.
But as John and I continued our conversation, one thing became quite clear. I had romanticized the idea of ministry. The idea that ministry might one day be draining and that I might grow to hate it had never occurred to me. But why not? Is it such a stretch of the imagination to image a 44 year old version of me burned out by a needy congregation?
It was another eureka moment. When I am depressed, I always assume that it is because something is missing. If I just had this…If I had just done that…if…if…if.
Well perhaps I could have made better choices. But that fact is I did not. I am exactly where my choices have taken me.
What if this is as good as it gets?
John pointed out that there are happy garbage men. There are happy McDonalds employees. There are happy toll booth operators. And there are probably Nobel Prize winners who are suicidal.
What if I was just satisfied and happy with the way things are?