Saturday, January 16, 2010


Well. We got the loan. Now we just need to successfully buy the school.
It's a short sentence to describe a process that began a year ago and has included months of waiting, sometimes excrutiatingly so, and several discouraging rejections. We praise God for this final affirmation, and hope that the other players can't somehow throw up another series of bureaucratic barriers -- it's easy to feel anxious, I've been anxious about it for so long. I need to focus on the joyful part of this, and I'm intermittently in touch with that. Sounds so negative, I don't mean to be negative. As I mentioned to more than one person this week, I'm a little numb. But it's good, it's a good thing, and will now define the character of this year for the church.

There are things happening in the lives of some friends and loved ones which are very challenging right now, besides, so it's not as though a whole-hearted party will ensue per the loan. But I was frustrated, the day we got the news, by our leadership's seeming inability to grasp the fabulousness of it all. Our Council meeting that night was very business-as-usual. I should have just stood up and said, This is nuts you guys, we're heading for the bar. Or something to that effect. Would have fallen flat, but still.

Frustrated I guess by my own apathy as well.

And yet. I'm more focused as a result on what I want to accomplish this year; and with my life. Some very "midlife" thoughts, and while I am, yes, only in my early forties -- well, life is short. If there are puzzles I can resolve that stand between me and a reasoned happiness, I want to get on those.

I don't want to still have this unfinished, unresolved feeling in my gut when I'm 80. I want to know who I am and what I'm about. In reading "the Hours," and thinking about Clarissa, I recognize some of my own characteristics in her description. A woman sailing past her prime, with a sufficient list of assets, decent looks and a decent career; who faces death and unresolved relationships near at hand, and wonders whether she has made anything of herself at all -- wonders if there is in fact a point to it all.

And I wonder too if what God really wants for us is to imagine most of what's possible in living -- to show us this incredible array of choices, experiences, good fortune and mischance, the best and the worst -- and expect us to merely abstain, for the most part, and to be grateful with our asses nailed to the couch. As a white American, I have the luxury of wondering these things.

I have the luxury of wondering whether, in spite of the Old and New Testaments, God sees not only our propensity for sin but the inevitability of sin, given the infinite and glorious plethora of opportunities to have a good time while making the wrong choices. Given our inevitable stupidity at the crux of life's plot, our overwhelming tendency to be looking the other way when presented with the teachable moment, the brass ring, the intimate look, the unspoken plea, the opportunity knocking.

OK, I'll admit it, I'm a little depressed. Depressed and introspective, always dangerous, because this condition exponentially increases the chances of acting selfish and needy and shameful. Or, it could lead to some valuable realizations. Who knows? We'll see. Is Clarissa depressed? She doesn't seem to be. But she is in doubt. She is not proud of herself, it would seem. But she's trying to act a part, while she waits for the answers to materialize.

Well. Back to work.

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