Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I didn't get to work today because of my leg, and I won't be able to work tomorrow either.

Tracy, my boss, told me to take the rest of the week off and come back Monday and see how things were then. But I think that this happening to my leg was truly a blessing! Peak season for West Marine is here, and today's volume was 28,000 units. That, my friend, is probably a 13 hour day. And they said it would be worse next week. It will be multiple times a week that we will be working 12 hour days and even over. My leg can't handle it. With peak season here, we could be working 15-16 hour days. And please, if you are thinking of telling me something like, "You can do all things in Him", then keep it to yourself. I don't want to hear it - really.

Applying for this job was a mistake in my judgment. I had a feeling at the beginning that I would be trying to tackle something beyond my ability, but I didn't listen. I gave it my best shot and it didn't work out. So what? I'll look for something else. I was looking for some hero story, to show people how I could tough it out and be a hard worker even during a lot of pain.

But I can't. And I won't.

I secretly thought that God might admire me for it. I thought that if he could see how I would work through pain, I thought it might impress him and show him I have endurance and character. So I gave it my best shot and I couldn't handle it. Why won't people accept that?

Something my mom told me today helped me to better see God's view of me.

Earlier this morning, I spoke with mom about what had happened and how my leg had started to bleed again today. I told her that I wanted to quit and go back to school. Well, let's just say she didn't handle it well.

She was upset.

"Upset" sounds nice, doesn't it? She got really angry with me and proceeded to tell me, in a rather loud voice, how I was messing things up and how I shouldn't have gotten a job, knowing it would be too much for someone with my condition.

But after she calmed down, she told me how she really felt. She explained to me that she got so angry with me because it hurts her so bad to see me in pain. She said seeing her son go through the amputation was harder for her than it had been for me, whether I knew that or not.

I believe her.

She said I stressed her out so much because, as a parent, she wants so much to fix it, but she can't. She said I would understand when I had children of my own.

So maybe God doesn't delight to see me in pain? Maybe he has a deep compassion for me. Maybe he doesn't have the distant attitude of, 'Well, hang in there, buddy". Maybe he genuinely cares for me.

"If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children..."


Joel B. said...

Great words, Matthew. I don't think phrases such as "grin and bear it," "no pain, no gain" and "fake it till you make it" come from our Papa. He doesn't delight in seeing us struggling to try to please Him. Paul used the word "endure" and "endurance" lots of times, and sometimes it was a physical endurance... but not to try to please God, but rather because his faith and the leading of the Spirit had led him to where he was, and he endured persecutions and hardships, etc, for the sake of the gospel... not for the sake of earning any status with God.

I think in "tent making" (earning a living in this world) we simply need to know what we can do and go out and do it. Unless we feel a call from God Himself to 'endure' a specific job or vocation (which I believe He's had me do for several years, but I would never say that my experience has to be anyone else's), then I think "endurance" is silly... especially when it causes the pain and physical problems such as your job has caused you.

I do pray you'll find something that you can do and that you will enjoy.

lydia joy said...

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{sweet Matthew}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

(that's just a really big hug from me!!)

Aida said...

Matthew, I'm so proud of you and I know our Daddy is too. I see how you've grown since I first met you. You were scared to go looking for a job but in spite of your fears you went anyway and you got one. That in my book is commendable. That broke the ice for you and now you know how to look for a job and how to go on a job interview.

There really is no such thing as failure for a child of God. We’re just given opportunities to learn. You’ve learned a lot in the process so don’t beat yourself over the head. You’re now better prepared for the next job and for life.

This morning on my Facebook page, I wrote, "Life is a journey of discovery so don't beat yourself over the head because you're not getting it all right." I think that applies in your situation.