A bank card sales slip rests on top of an open bible and next to a beginners string bass book that was slipped into my pile of mail upon return from the latest trip.
I’m lying on a haphazard snowman blanket that has acted as a bed since the real(ly old) one was finally tossed out a few months ago. Now I sit up, refusing to lean against my couch in fear that the putrid smell of cat pee would return, or remain. 500 Ways to Change the World, a nice compact ‘global ideas bank’ is under the lamp next to All for Strings books 2 and 3, for violin and viola, both implanted into my mail pile, neither helpful in my recent pursuit to become proficient in the art of the cello.
I lie down, on my back this time and find that my glasses don’t work at this angle and the short bun of a pony tail pushes uncomfortably against my head. Leaning to the right I see the dollar general bpa free water bottles I picked up in dandridge , confidently standing amongst the wash cloth and shampoo and pair of converse half buried by an empty water bottle.
A fuze bottle challenges the need to stand at all, resting confidently, on the floor, next to another somewhat empty canvas bag, which is on top of a pair of jeans, which is on top of something black, probably a shirt, all of which touches the big brown paper bag type piece that covers all the artwork that was once hidden by my now non existent bed.
I sit and a white cord drapes across my leg. “Connected”. Eject before disconnecting. I’ve tried ejecting, not tonight- it is not yet fully charged, as far as I know, but in the past and have received a defiant no can do.
A temptation to fall into the reoccurring, vicious cycle of hopeless indifference raises quickly. Hopelessness altogether I can now shake off- for the most part but this indifference to the mess, indifference to the suggestions and the advice and the resolutions I’m not quite so sure. #363 participate in people planting to strengthen community. huh? greenlighttrust.org. I’m sure its brilliant, but I don’t have the — the desire- its not even about the time or ability at this point. I don’t have the desire to try to meet every need, hear out every brilliant idea.
and then the catch all verse comes back to mind- if ya know the good you ought to do and don’t do it, thats sin too. Good ‘ole Santiago (4:17.)
and that brings me comfort. if you know the good that you should do then do it. that brings me freedom. A realization that I don’t have to meet every need or pray for every person I see.
I bought a book using that good ole fashioned card swiper thing that the sales lady correctly assumed that I had never seen before. River Jordan’s story about her resolution to pray for a stranger every day. A stranger- God pointed out which one, but not all of them were her responsibility.
I’m also reading Regi Campbell’s Mentor Like Jesus, which I received at the church conference where I bought the strangers book- this morning.
He notes how the realization that he was stretched too thin and that he needed to be intentional with a few vs haphazard with many brought about an annual mentoring group.
I can do that.
He says do it after 40 once you know something, but I’m about half that so I know at least half of something that I can impart to people younger than I.
I know what it feels like to feel cluttered and disorderly and restless and eager and ambitious and hopeless.
I know what it feels like to find peace knowing that what is within my responsibility can be fixed, the mess can be cleared, the clutter erased although the stuff remains. I know what it feels like to find hope, knowing that I’m not the only ambitious, restless, eager one out there and I can partner with others to actually get somewhere vs spinning my wheels in vain.
I know what it feels like to have been invested into when I did not want or warrant the attention.
I know what it feels like to have invested into someone else who could not understand why they were worth my time.
I am by no means ‘there’, having reached that storehouse of accumulated wisdom lurking at the horizon, but I have a mobile home and I’m collecting what I find. The stuff is gathering. Good stuff, bad stuff, experiences, resources, thoughts, fears, God can and will use it all.
Regi started after 40 so he focused on 20 somethings. I’m one of those 20 somethings, but those 7 year olds that I met my last week in TN didn’t notice or seem to care that I hadn’t arrived yet. I was able to reach them where they were at and I’m praying that this lasts.
I’m getting back to the book now- there’s always more to learn if I want to always have something else to give.