It is Day 14,773 of my existence under the sun and, like most of them, today has been bittersweet, full of persistent emotions rising within me to make war on my faith, rest and quiet assurance.
I spent the morning in prayer because this is my 12th week away from work on short-term disability; after this week my job will be posted by the company and filled by another body. There’s been slight improvement since the Xolair injections started, but my lungs devolve to choking gags and rattles whenever I exercise or when I’m in the cold. Since half of my time at work is spent moving fast, carrying heavy objects around icy walk-in coolers, that’s a problem.
Sikki rode with me to the pulmonologist this morning. We traveled in silence to Shallotte, and I settled my head back on the rest, imagining a fork in a road, with signs posted. The path to the left said SAFE & SECURE. The one on the right, UNKNOWN.
As we walked into the doctor’s office, I asked Sikki, “Which way we going, here? Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.” I don’t think she got the reference. So I said, “I’m walking out of here with a paper in my hand: it’ll either be a release to go back to work starting Monday or a short-term disability extension. Which should we press for?”
“You know how I feel about it,” she said. “You’re still sick.” Which is true. But if I needed to power through it, I probably could. I did it for years.
The doctor disagreed. She talked about permanent damage to my alveoli, put me out for another twelve weeks and advised me to file long-term disability papers in case the hampered airbags don’t respond to further treatment.
Twelve weeks. Three whole months. I can finish the first draft of a book in that time. I bank between 1500-2000 words a day when I’m in the groove. The sweet thing about being sick is that I’ve had time to read and write, which is what I love doing.
When I gave my life to God, I thought I gave everything — at least that’s how I prayed. But it seems like life is a constant giving, regiving, and giving again. Life is willful relinquishment and diminishing of the self to His will and purpose. I want to offer up my last two mites and the humble loaves-and-fishes, but also the costly nard and the gold, frankincense and myrrh. There is no real security in a job or money or any physical thing, but only in being under the shadow of His wings.
I was totally willing to go back to corporate hell slavery if that’s what He wanted. Still am. But now it cannot be the job I left, the safe and secure and thoroughly known world to which I’ve given my best energies for the past decade. Maybe this is a separation point. Maybe the time has come to walk the scary unknown path, and finally do what I was born to do.
Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. – 1 Timothy 4:16