I'm starting to realize that I’m not as clever as I think I am.
At least when it comes to life.
See, my job introduces me to many different doorsteps, many different people, and many different experiences.
Introduces? I mean it forces me.
It forces me to smile when I don’t want to.
It forces me to talk to people when it’s the last thing I want to do.
It forces me to help people when I don’t want to.
It forces me to be brutally honest with people (my favorite).
Simply put, I get paid to deal with and put up with people. It’s an enormously important part of my job. So much so, that it accounts for half of my performance evaluation each month. Half!!
That means every time a promotion or raise opportunity comes up, 50% of the outcome is dependent upon how I’ve dealt with people.
And I'm finding that it's tiring.
Too much energy. Too much forced enthusiasm.
A far cry from that lonely, prison-like abode most professionals refer to as a "cubicle", my job forces interaction and courteous manner. Friendliness and professionalism. Smiles and handshakes.
It reminds me of meeting a girlfriend’s parents for the first time when I was younger. Sure, you want to impress them but let's be honest: you’re only doing it because you want to continue to make-out with their daughter.
In this case, I only do it only because I want a paycheck. I could really care less about the authenticity I possess as opposed to the impression I leave.
And you know, I’m not too bad at it.
Ok, that’s a lie.
I’m actually really, really good at it. It’s surprises me.
I’m good at reading people. I’m good at reacting to different situations. I’m good at talking to others. No matter how new or forced the situation or meeting may be, I know how to handle it.
I guess you can say that I’m a real good bulls*****r.
Yet, through all the mud and the muck, I find out that I’m not as clever as I think I am.
I’m realizing that no matter how hard I try, I just can’t BS a spiritual life, no matter how good I think I am or how good it may appear from the outside.
Recently, my wife and I had a talk about how she doesn’t want anything to do with God at this particular time in her life. How she’s angry with Him.
Actually, she’s pissed. “Angry” is too light a word.
You see, people get angry when they’ve just been cut-off in traffic or catch the last verse to their favorite song on the radio when they’ve been waiting all day to hear it.
Losing someone you love addresses a whole new emotion.
The recent loss of my wife’s mother has rocked her spiritual life and she’s finding it hard to talk to Him. To hear Him. To love Him.
To feel His love.
And although I have no real excuse, I really don’t feel that close to Him nowadays either. I find myself not wanting to draw near to Him and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I see my wife’s animosity towards Him.
Maybe I’m just tired.
Maybe I'm fed up.
Nevertheless, I applaud my wife’s honesty.
I applaud her sincerity.
Most importantly, I applaud that she doesn’t want to be in that place very long either.
Me? I’m “uncomfortably comfortable” where I’m at, if that makes sense.
You see, taking control of this situation provides another opportunity for me to prove what I can do.
I get the chance to bulls*** another situation I don't necessarily want to be in.
But I’ve convinced myself that I’m too good at it not to try.
I force a smile when I don’t want to.
I force myself to talk to people when it’s the last thing I want to do.
I force myself to help people when I don’t want to.
You see, I have somehow convinced my brain that forcing myself into doing something is synonymous with desiring to do it. That somehow it’s the same thing.
What sucks is that it’s the farthest thing from the Truth. It may get by in my line of work, but it doesn’t when it comes to Him.
It’s ironic that I get tired of work because I feel I’m not genuine. But I get tired of God when I realize the genuiness it takes to follow Him.
And I hate it. I hate that I can’t do it alone. I hate that I can’t control it. I hate that I’m slipping.
Yet, I carry on.
Unlike my profession, loving Him should be all that I want to do. But it isn’t.
Loving Him should be all that I need, but I don't feel like it is.
Why can’t I bull**** my way through it?
And the thing that scares me?
My performance evaluation at the end of this life.
When did loving God become so strenuous? When did it become such a chore?