The job searching and conversations didn’t bear fruit. I reached dead ends with all of the prospective employers, and I had to come to the conclusion that this part of my life is behind me…I was trying to resurrect a sleeping ghost, breathe life into it, and force it to live again, and it wasn’t happening. The path is now rather unclear for me, as I have mostly abandoned the idea of becoming ordained in my denomination. Whether I will pursue a career in chaplaincy or get a PhD is an open question based on how things go over the next few months. I’ve come to some peace, though, by not demanding a supernarrative of myself that must accomplish everything and have a perfect telos.
There is no good reason for suddenly trying to live life radically differently than I have been living it. Which is to say, that in many respects, I have always placed my trust in the Lord, albeit in a manner where my hopes lay in achieving worldly success. With the notions of worldly success abandoned, the goals can be simpler, yet more full in kind. I feel richer by focusing my attention inwardly completely to see where God wants me to go next. It is indeed folly for those who are caught up in setting and obtaining goals by worldly standards, and I still have to speak in some of those terms to people who are monitoring my progress at school. But it really means that I am free to become completely acquainted with God’s call for me, rather than the call of a human or group of humans at a church.
Now, in my middle age, the only real vices I have left are coffee, books and writing. I don’t chase after anything else, nothing has me hooked. I seek a grownup relationship with Jesus, not one where I am slavishly devoted or controlled like a puppet, but also not a relationship where I am always in charge and Jesus has to do my every bidding–one where I somehow manage to make Jesus agree with everything I think, say and do. In other words, I seek to be challenged in a healthy sort of way, and grow similarly. My limitations are too many to list–I will never be so developed as to feel comfortable in a role like that of a CEO or President, but I am highly suspicious of any humans who seek to hold some kind of power or control over my soul and spirit.
My prognosis for the future isn’t great–I am going to be incredibly and wonderfully surprised if I reach my nineties and the immediate world around me hasn’t grown unbearable in some significant way for my grandkids. My whole life has been lived under a sense of a looming shadow, but God only knows if God is the one who put it there.