a season of bewilderment

by Sandra

A snazzy new haircut, a nice pair of pants, a exceptionally well-written cover letter. What do these things have in common? They might help you in an interview situation, but none of them will guarantee you a job. Right. Which is too bad, because I was up for one that I wanted quite badly—as an editorial assistant at a photography magazine—and I found out today that I was not accepted.

Bummer! I know! But even in the midst of my wallowing self-pity this morning, several thoughts came into my brain that illuminated things for me, and they have to do with reliance.

Reliance on God is not a mode in which I’ve been living lately. Sure, I might spend some time alone with the Word every day, or even do some prayer-journaling, but rely on God? Be prone and vulnerable and strictly at his mercy? Umm … well no that hasn’t been happening lately. In fact, it hasn’t been for the past few years, but there was a time when literally every day something happened where I was utterly naked and forced to wait on God. And I’ve been thinking lately about why I’ve been avoiding that kind of life, and the answers are easy:  it’s a lot less stressful when I don’t have to wait on the Lord; I like to feel like I’m in control—it comforts me.

And that’s what school is for me, a little bit, ’cause I’m in the driver’s seat. I’m in a program where I’m learning to do something I already know I’m quite good at even better—cakewalk; I’ve gotten the financials down to a tee, to a point where Erik mentioned the other day that, “Dad would have been proud.” So great, and that’s how I viewed this potential job as well, and I took all the things I knew I could control myself—my looks, my wardrobe, my personality, my writing, whatever—and used them to their full effect, to no effect. Despite my qualifications, I wasn’t chosen for the job and in the end my self-reliance failed, and with it came a large serving of humble pie.

In the wake of my rejection, this idea of reliance came up again. Is God prodding me in that direction? Is it time to go back to that wonderful, exciting and altogether terrible and nauseating way of life? Is it time for bewilderment? Maybe that’s the way we’re supposed to live. RLP seems to think so … And I’m starting to think so, too.

Granted, everything comes and goes, but I doubt my train of thought would be headed in the direction it is, were it not for certain parallel opportunity that would not have been possible at all, had I gotten this full-time job (sorry Mom, I have to bring this up again). I have an opportunity to travel to a country in Central Asia to do work similar to the work I did in Turkey last year. The trip was supposed to have happened this month, in July; and while that obviously did not pan out, I have been in recent contact with those who I would be working with “in-country” to see if plans could be made for December. The country in question is not exactly what you’d call a garden spot of global tourism, and I have absolutely no idea how I’d get over there or maintain myself while I’m there. Right now, I have nothing: no money, no team, no real idea of what we’d be doing once we get there. But, I do have a desire to go, and unlike this job I didn’t get, I would be totally dependent on God to get me though.

So, despite everything I just wrote, I have come to no conclusions. I can speculate all I want, yet I do not know the reason why I was denied this job and I can only hope it was because God has something better in mind—whether it is this trip or something else entirely—something that requires much, much more daily dependence on him.