Friday, February 1, 2013

Think, think, think

Have you ever come to a point in your life where you realize you're heading toward a cliff and see no conceivable way to avoid it? Like maybe you spent your adult life as a full time vocational Protestant minister, and then suddenly entered the Catholic Church on the eve of the greatest economic downturn since the great depression while living in a post-9/11 society of increasingly secular and anti-religious sensitivities?   Well, I have.  We limped along with me either getting temp jobs here or contract positions there, or spending time off helping with our newborn gift of Catholic living and my Dad in the last months of his life.  Then a year ago last December,  the hammer blow fell as my wife, who was our only steady financial and benefits lifeline, was terminated by a computer program in New York City that wiped out about 500 positions in a microsecond.  Most of last year was living off savings or whatever our good Uncle Sam threw our way.  Some individuals in Catholic parishes and organizations have swept in to bail is out when we drove too near the cliff, but as wonderfully generous as those individuals were, they were only moments for momentary needs. They bought us time, but only that.

Now, as it comes to my attention that there could be something in my rather bizarre looking past that is hamstringing my efforts, and in light of the fact that we went full blown and pulled our boys out to home school,  we're trying to think outside the box.  It was already tough enough, since most of my references and past work experience came from sources that more or less see my conversion to Catholicism with all the adoration that they would a pastor who ran off with a church secretary after embezzling from the congregational treasure chest.  Finding out that the already limited background I can turn to is now smaller yet, the walls are beginning to close on me, and options drying out.

It's not for lollygagging or a lack of trying.  One thing I can do is navigate through the application process with my eyes closed.  I've filled out so many different apps I could give classes.  It's just that, in our present economy and employment situations, I don't have the 100%.  My resume takes a certain golly gee wiz to translate it into secular terms.  And, as I've said before, I've spent seven years pounding on the gates of Canossa with the diocese and local parishes, and here I am.  So it's time to think outside the box, and do so quickly.

I would hate to lose our home, as it's all we have left.  But we're coming to a point where we're ready to consider any options.  I mean, we're talking move to Africa if we have to.  Uproot.  Open a business.  I don't know.  I just know the cliff is inching ever closer.  Some generosity from our brethren and sistren in Christ bought us a few more months, and again, our good Uncle Sam continues to do his part.  But unless there is really some big position out there I've not discovered, something outside my creativity will have to happen.  As bad as our incomes seemed in our ministry days, and as low as my wife's salary was given her responsibilities and position, we've come to realize there is no way in hell we'll get a job even close to that.  And with homeschooling, we really both can't work anyway.  So it's past manna from heaven time.  That's what we've had for seven years.  Against all odds, we're still here.  But if that is something we will be able to say next year, we're talking burning bush directions, road to Damascus stuff. So we will continue to think and pray, and any ideas or prayers will certainly be appreciated.


Let me know your thoughts