My brain is weird.
My brain likes to deconstruct and ponder things in the background. Without my permission or knowledge, it will contemplate and dissect large topics and eventually report its findings to me in some sort of revelation that it will reveal to me at a random time.
I received a report from my brain a week or so ago regarding three interactions. Since that report involves the weaving together of three cycles or patterns, I wanted to lessen the time length of that post by writing this prologue. Once that is posted you can see the [full post here] in a hyperlink.
Since the coup d’état in 2022 at the church I was serving faithfully at that removed me and other staff members I’ve been primarily doing gig work to make ends meet. This involves a lot of driving. Sometimes it’s through cool neighborhoods and interesting scenes, but mostly it’s driving through boring roads with music or a podcast on.
I really enjoy the antics of scam baiters.
Kitboga and Scammer Payback are my favorite.
They call scammers pretending to be victims.
But everything is adlib’d and they gather information to report.
I’ve tried listening to audio books, but having to stop every 5-15 minutes throws off my immersion into the story and I don’t like it.
The First Conversation
For those of you who don’t know since 2020 my parents have had multiple near death situations. Outside of non-life threatening health issues the tally is as follows:
My dad has almost died three times.
My mom has almost died five times.
These aren’t exaggerations, these are doctors telling us that they’re, “lucky to be alive” after the event. These are, we have to approach the topic of what do we do if…
Our PCP has expressed that he’s pretty sure the only way my parents will die is a semi truck on the interstate, because no matter what happens to their body (100% blockages in all but one blood flows to the heart which was at 98% blocked, strokes, heart attacks, sepsis, being on a ventilator with Covid just to name a few), they survive.
Everything hasn’t been perfect.
They’ve survived but are not unscathed
There is a lot to learn.
“What is the new normal?”
My mom most recent issue was a stroke that she had a week or so before Christmas. Shortly afterwards, I was diagnosed with Covid, and shortly after that, my mom got the FLU. One of my dear friends checked in on me.
After some back and forths, and my letting him know I’d be praying for him in light of a similar issue we had happen to us (unrelated to parent’s health). He expressed sadness at what was happening, and asked me how I was doing with all of it. I told him I was becoming somewhat numb to it. It wasn’t a freaking out, I was easily beginning to compartmentalize things not because I wanted to but because I had to in order to continue operating.
he asked me:
“How is your faith holding up after all of this?”M.D.
It’s something I hadn’t thought of, and I had to take a moment to really think through it.
How was my faith holding up?
I had the slightest hint of a voice in my mind whisper a verse.
(This verbiage is really more about dramatic effect and not really about my hearing a voice)
The Second Conversation
New Years Eve. I’m lying in bed finishing my meds and quarantine after having (for the second year in a row) covid on Christmas.
I get a text from a different friend asking me how I was doing and lamenting that no one at his party was looking forward to the new year.
They’re all millennials.
They’re in their late 20’s through 30’s.
Most are renting because houses are too expensive.
All are struggling with money.
Their love lives are depressing.
Things aren’t getting better.
There’s no hope for the future.
The reality is, whether systematically or just the way things are going in the world the deck is stacked against the younger generations and there is no hope of things getting better…
I wrote an blog called, “But God…”
but I don’t think it survived the migration from my previous blog.
The reality is that there is no reason to have hope… except for God… As I told my friend:
“The deck is stacked against us… and outside of Jesus there is no reason to have any hope.”Me.
Once again, I was reminded of a verse.
The Third Conversation
The same friend from before and I were discussing the most recent denial letter I received from a job I applied for, was overqualified for, and was everything they asked for and more. He apologized and I remember telling him, “Honestly, it’s ok. I want to be where God wants me… and this obviously wasn’t it. So, it is what it is.
I told my friend that I have to think this way, lest I become bitter.
The conversation moved to bitterness and avoiding it.
I used as an example, a series of mutual acquaintances who have something that we’re striving to have that often complain about it. In their surplus of privilege, they lament that which we would be more than happy to have.
I think at one point, I used the example of a man who was starving watching someone throw away their food because it had too much lettuce and they didn’t want to take it off…
General Advice: Bitterness is a plant, that if allowed to take root, will consume you, warp your view of people and eventually God. That’s why you have to be constantly vigilant, be aware of your bitterness triggers, and be hyper critical of your responses when they occur. It unlike most other sins will manifest itself differently in each person.
One may become social, another may be more reclusive, one will become angry, another depressed, and while another may become a completely different person.
My friend asked me how I fight against the bitterness that should easily take up root in me… and I was once again reminded of a verse.
“Constant vigilance, young potter.”A.M.
The next part can be found here: Where Else Can I Go? I wanted to post this prologue because I wanted to lay out the circumstances that led up to my piecing all these things together.
Oh! The verse comes from the book of John (surprise) but you’ll have to guess what it could be.