Bad theology

“You’re not where you need to be.”

I have heard this phrase far too many times in the past two months. The words are being spoken in a work setting, so clearly theology has absolutely nothing to do with the issue at hand. So why the weird title to this post?

(Besides the obvious, which is that I’m weird in general…but I digress…)

I should also say that I feel like I probably should not even be talking about the situation publicly, not even in veiled terms. But I also suspect that by now, there is almost nothing I can do to affect the ultimate outcome here. Although I’ve far from given up (in fact, I have been working really hard on trying to give myself credit for how well I have been persevering in the situation), everything I see and read and hear tells me that it’s highly unlikely that I will be able to come back from this. Which is a shame, because in spite of the situation, I really, REALLY love the actual work. And it’s certainly no secret that I gladly drank that blue Kool-Aid long ago.

So about that phrase.

It’s being used in a diagnostic sense, a warning, so to speak, that I am not okay and that I need to fix what is broken, and quickly. On a surface level, I fundamentally disagree with this as well, but my opinion about where I “should” be in terms of mastery of my role does not match theirs…and mine is not the opinion that matters in this situation.

But here’s the thing. Setting aside the actual situation, I also reject the message in a much broader sense. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe that I am exactly where I need to be.

I prayed for years that I would be able to come home. This move happened…but it didn’t just “happen” – I pursued it repeatedly. I am certain with every fiber in my being that God brought me here.

I. am. where. I. need. to. be.

To say otherwise…well, that’s just bad theology.

Whether some people believe that I am “where I need to be” in a tangible or a professional sense, and no matter how uncertain and potentially frightening the immediate future may be, I am here. I’m not going anywhere.

I’m where I need to be. I’m in God’s hands. And after all is said and done, that’s the one thing that really matters.

 

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From the Xanga archives

I have 23 drafts in my queue. I hate that. So here come some random posts…
Friday, September 01, 2006

I’m lovin’ me some Steve Camp right now

even though I think this was written by someone else . . . larry norman?!

it was written in the 70’s, I think . . . it was relevant then . . . it was relevant in the 90’s, when Steve Camp recorded it . . . and sadly,  it’s still relevant today . . . the title of the song is “Great American Novel” . . .

We are far across the ocean in a war that’s not our own
And while we win theirs, we’re gonna lose the one at home
Do you really think the only way to bring about the peace
Is to sacrifice your children, and kill all your enemies?!

What if everything you’ve ever been told is wrong?

The churning I am experiencing means that everything I have to say will not fit neatly into a single blog entry. But let me start by saying this:

It’s not about what you think it’s about. Or rather, it’s not that simple. If nothing else, remember that. There is so much going on beneath the surface.

I have so much to say and it pains me so much to say it and it is going to take me a while. But let’s start with this phrase: “Implicit Bias”.

Got a minute? Take one of these tests. Or a few of them. Then ask yourself how you came to believe the things that you believe. The things that you don’t even *know* you believe.

This mess we’re in came from somewhere. We want to believe that we woke up one day with our enlightened, post-racial selves and that we are not carrying the baggage of our nation’s history. And why can’t people just get over it?
A poem by June Jordan, called “Jim Crow: The Sequel” is haunting me these days. It was written roughly in the Clinton era, and I think I came across it in an issue of Essence magazine. Here’s an excerpt:

But for two hundred years this crazy
land the law and the bullets behind the law
continued to affirm the gospel of
God-given White supremacy.
For two hundred years the law and the
bullets behind the law, and the money and
the politics behind the bullets behind the
law affirmed the gospel of
God-given White supremacy/
God-given male-White supremacy.

And neither the Emancipation Proclamation
nor the Civil War nor one constitutional
amendment after another nor one Civil Rights
legislation after another could bring about a
yielding of the followers of that gospel
to the beauty of our human face.

I know that the phrase “white supremacy” will upset some people, but please know that I am not talking about someone with a Klan hood in their closet. In fact, I am not talking about individuals at all. And I think that before I can go further, I will need to define a few things, will need to explain why I label myself a “recovering racist”. As disorganized as my rants may be, I would be so grateful if some of you would be willing to see through that and to join me as I continue to wrestle with these issues.

The joy of not having a headache

If you have ever had a migraine (or any really bad headache, I guess), I think you will agree with me that the best feeling in the world is the moment of reprieve after it fades, the moment when you realize that, right now, you do NOT have a headache.

As the Facebook reflections have been coming in, I’ve tried to look back as well. And what I realized is that this year was a “not having a headache” year. In other words, it was a year that didn’t totally suck, that wasn’t filled with non-stop pain and the inability to focus on anything outside of that pain. This was a year in which I could breathe, and could appreciate the small joys and blessings because I wasn’t going through hell.

As a Christian, I don’t believe that we are meant to have it easy in life. And I like the *idea* of karma, but I don’t “believe” in it. My theology tells me that life on this earth is not meant to go well all the time, that sometimes the bad guy DOES win, and that some people who don’t seem to “deserve” it will have good things come to them and a life of ease. In other words, I know that there is no guarantee that the year ahead will be an “easy” or “happy” one for me. I also know that focusing more on my blessings and less on my troubles does seem to help; maybe part of it is that I’m in my forties now and trying to be okay with who I am, even the things I can’t stand about myself. Maybe, just maybe, all that therapy is starting to pay off 😉 or maybe I just realize that I have people who love me, and that is enough.DSC09360

I am thankful to God for the year behind me, and for the years behind it, even though they held so much difficulty and loss and sadness. Just as it’s impossible to understand how amazing it is to be free of a migraine unless you’ve actually HAD a migraine, the good moments are not as rich for someone who has never been through a deep and seemingly endless valley as they are for those of us who have.

I am blessed. Blessed when things are going well, and blessed when they are not. The older I get, the more I understand the lyrics to “It is well with my soul“, and the more I am able to accept the fact that storms will come.

Of course, I don’t want any more storms…not for myself, not for the people I love…but I’ve been through them before…I know they end, sometimes sooner, sometimes far later than we care for. For now, I will give thanks every day for this time of reprieve, and will trust that whatever comes next, I will  be okay, okay because I still have people who love me and a God who has never given up on me. At the end of the day, that is all that any of us really need.

Procrastination

This will be a short one…which is appropriate, given the subject matter.

I. Never. Do. Anything.

In or with my life, I mean. And I don’t know what to do about it. I’m perpetually behind, and infinitely capable of avoiding what needs to be done.

And I have no idea what to do about this. I can’t seem to shame myself into doing more, nor can I give myself a pep talk and magically start completing my to-do list.

My therapist says that when you feel resistance to something, that you should explore what’s behind the resistance. But that’s just it…I can’t figure it out.

I say that I want specific things to happen in my life, but then I don’t do the things that I need to do to make those things happen.

And I just don’t know how to motivate myself…