It’s Sunday morning before the first week of mid-terms, and I am feeling stuffed full of thoughts and concerns that are busily crowding out my own thoughts. There hasn’t been any time for reflection on anything. I am not even supposed to be writing this. I should be working through my notes, and part of me wants to resist, and go back to pretending that my life could be a life where I don’t particularly worry about God and people suffering. I simply go back to working some shit job, and invest all of my free time in gorging myself on all of the entertainment and excitement I can afford.
I’m never completely certain of what my ideal life would look like. I think that there are many ideal lives I would like to live, and some of the elements of each of them get incorporated into this one. Many of my dreams have been pushed down so deep inside of me, so that they don’t bug me anymore. Dreams of getting to travel for work, and getting to meet lots of new people. Dreams of spending a month somewhere on vacation doing little or nothing.
I realize that most of these dreams were killed by a lot of unrealistic expectations of what life could be, while the dreams themselves were pushed into being mere fantasies and fueled by a lot of drinking, to the point where they seemed like they could become real if I just dreamed and wished hard enough.
I realize that God has had a hard time providing for me, because I haven’t been especially clear about what I want or don’t want. I think that God may be more inclined than we imagine to simply give us what we want, but we are such mixed up, contradictory human beings, that God really doesn’t know what to do with us.
There is no reason why I can’t be happy with very little.
I start to lust after things like places to travel, lives to live, books to read–too many dreams that will never come true. Even if I woke up next week having won the lottery, there is a limit to the amount of time left in my life in which I can accomplish things.
I have listened to too many voices other than my own or God’s, trying to persuade me to move in this or that direction.
Contentment doesn’t come from having much stuff, or having a bunch of experiences to brag about. Satisfaction has its polarities where it falls apart. Too much solitude or too much time spent among others.
There is still a tiny part of me that values the idea of living off the grid. Not in a prepper sort of way, necessarily, but more like a wandering bum. I get my education at the public library, my food and clothing from local non-profits, and my shelter from wherever I can. I am talking about being a stinky, earthy fellow who doesn’t know the comfort of privacy or the domesticated life. But, this fellow is free from a government trying to ID him, tag him, keep tabs on him. This fellow is truly among those whom no one but God cares about, and there are many days when that’s up for debate.
The fantasy is but a fantasy. By the time L and a possible younger sibling get married, I will be retired from ministry and in my mid-seventies. A will likely just be retiring from her work. We will spend 15-20 years traveling and spending time with grandkids, before one of us dies. If it is me that goes first, then I will die a man still very much a part of civilization. If A goes first, then my kids will probably try to keep tabs on me, as I will be in my 90s.
Like the rest of my life, the lone wolf wandering will take place mostly in my head and in books. Unless there is some kind of magic youth pill invented between now and then, I will be mostly immobile and too senile to accomplish much as a wandering bum. And anyway, if there was a magic youth pill invented, then A and I both would continue to go about our retired lives (or perhaps defer retirement for another decade or so until we have a substantial and healthy savings prepared for us.)
But, who knows? With the world always teetering on the verge of a pure meltdown, the future in twenty to fifty years might look so very different that I end up being a wanderer not by any choice purely of my own.