Thursday, April 13, 2006

Stupidity and Mercy

Here is another picture of our dog Lady. She is very intelligent - most of the time. We have about 10 different toys/balls/bones for her and she knows each one by name. All 10 can be in the backyard and if we say, "Go get your [insert name]," she will find it and bring it in. Then there are those other times, like when we are on a walk in the park and people are looking at us, that she forgets about the concept of a leash and walks around a signpost...I follow to try to unwrap her and she follows me. Round and round and round. It's funny and embarrassing at the same time. I just smile because I know she is a smart dog who occasionally does a stupid thing. Hmmm, like us sometimes?

It was the summer of 1995 and I was trying to take an old radio amplifier out of my car. It was one of those 100-plus degree days with humidity that made one sweat profusely just being outside. I was in the trunk (because that's where the amplifier was located) and was trying to use a long flathead screwdriver to lift one of the tabs that held the amp in place. I was intent on getting it off and did not realize how hard I was trying to force it...and that I was doing it toward my face. The head of the screwdriver slipped off and hit me hard beneath the right eyebrow. It HURT - but the first words out of my mouth were "Thank you, Jesus." I knew how close it was. I was using so much force that I actually felt resistance when I immediately pulled it out because it had gone into the orbital bone. A millimeter or two lower and I would have been seriously messed up, or worse. The next words out of my mouth, as I was making my way inside to stop the bleeding, were words of anger towards myself for being so stupid. How could I have done something that dumb? Yet, God's mercy was there to cover it. The small scar still reminds me of His abundant mercy.

In high school I never seemed to recognize "hints" from girls who liked me. I made a point to be nice to everyone, girls and guys both. I guess I wasn't afraid to talk to girls who other guys got google-eyed over because to me I was just being friendly. Well, maybe I came across as being confident or something, because a couple of times the friends of girls who I considered to be "way out of my league" came up and had to tell me directly that they liked me. Go There's a whole other post here, but I'll hit that another time. The point is that most of the time I just didn't recognize the feedback or the "hints" they were sending me.

Both of these issues are on my mind because of the job situation. My job has been incredibly busy lately and the sale that involves our product and the developers still has not gone through. I have had a chance to step back and evaluate things and am concerned about whether it is stupid to keep heading down the path I am on. Simply put, my heart is not in technology. It does not fulfill me in the slightest. I'm not really all that good at it either, I get by because I work hard. However, of the things I could do that bring home consistent pay, it probably pays the best. Some would say that it would be stupid to go into anything other that what pays the best. Others would say it is worth sacrificing several thousand a year in order to do something you find fulfilling. Maybe the "shaking" going on in the job arena is God's way of giving me a hint and, just like in high school, I'm just not recognizing it. However, as soon as I start thinking along those lines I remember that we are not to be led by circumstances, we are to be led by our hearts. I have never quit something just because it got difficult. In fact, I often stuck with something until I turned it around so that I would know the "leading" to move on was genuine and not simply an escape tactic. The bottom line for me is that as a husband and soon-to-be father, one of my main responsibilities is to provide as best as I know how. To me, for now, that means staying in technology. Will I be selfish or selfless? I am called, as a husband, to give myself as Christ gave Himself for the Church. I need to choose the selfless route. However, I do feel a release to explore the things that God has placed in my heart, but I know it will be a gradual thing. My wife and I are very different in this area. She hates any kind of change, regardless of how small, and I really don't mind even major changes (although I wouldn't say I am the kind of person who seeks them). It will have to be a baby steps, not giant leaps. I don't want to be stupid and haphazard but I don't want to fail to recognize God's leading either. Balance is the key.


At 4/13/2006, Anonymous Melanie said...

God is going to provide you the answers. And if He doesn't get your attention in one way - He will try another way. Just pray and ask God to give you good eyes and instincts and opportunities; then be open to opportunities. And if something comes up that raises your eyebrow - don't immediately say "no or yes." Step back, it doesn't hurt to look further into something.

At 4/13/2006, Blogger jel said...

Hey Mark D,

thanks for writting this,
I'm not much for change my self,
but I sometimes wonder how many blessings I have missed from God, for not taking a leap of faith,

will be praying for ya and family,

blessings of Easter day!

At 4/13/2006, Blogger Patti said...

Hi Mark,
I know you were a music teacher before (am I right). Right now the budget cuts in schools are major. It is the specialists that are getting cut-music, art and gym. I am not sure you were thinking of going back into education. Just thought I would let you know what is happening.

At 4/14/2006, Blogger wilsonian said...

Ummm... yea, you might want to hang tight for a while. If your wife doesn't like change, just wait until the baby comes. Unbelievable change. And that might be as much as she can handle for a while.

At 4/14/2006, Blogger Karen said...

Hey Mark, I've seen you at Patchouli's blog. First, I hope your back is better. I know how that feels.
Second, your Lady is a lot like my Gracie! What joys!
Next, yes, you are so right...we sometimes do the dumbest things! For instance, I shall NEVER tube down the Guadalupe river again...long story!
Finally, let God lead you in your career path. He'll get you there. Be open to whatever. My hubby and I could have made oodles of fact, we did, but we've made choices (Him and family) along the way, and changes...and God has provided at every turn for us. He will for you and your family.
Last...don't worry about the male/female ratio of your blogpals' links. We're all one, right? Blessings!

At 4/15/2006, Blogger Patchouli said...

Mark, you are one of the most balanced people I know--(are you a Libra?-- no words of wisdom here, as you seem to have a lot of that already, just nodding my head and being encouraged by you. You walk your journey with a great amount of peace.

At 4/15/2006, Blogger CJ said...

i was feeling unfulfilled in my job on the Plaza back in KC. i was making VERY good money but wasn't impacting anyone for Christ or building relationships. i got tired of it and knew God had called me to something better. i am not making anything right now but man! do i feel fulfilled. i would do it again in an instant. and i am being trained for ministry and that to me is what it's all about... not saying this is the right path for you. just saying that it's okay to want to feel fulfilled in what you're doing. i think God puts those desires there for a reason. he will guide you.


and sorry i have been a little "out of the loop" lately. this is the first time i've had the opportunity to check my friends' blogs in a long time. hope to be able to do it more often soon.

At 4/18/2006, Blogger Deb said...

Change and balance...two things I really struggle with. I'm praying for you as you work things through on your journey.


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