The Journey series
This week I recount a time that reminds me greatly of the time of the prophets.
The years I spent in the less physical endeavours of studying and programming computers allowed my body to recover sufficiently enough that I believed I could resume general contracting. Encouraged by a looming strike where I worked and the unsolicited offer of a renovation contract, both scheduled to begin the same day, I tendered my resignation. I reclaimed my tools from all those I had loaned them to and traded my two-door coupe for a pickup truck.
My construction reputation barely survived my three-year absence. All my suppliers were happy to see my return, but referrals were slow and many estimates did not win contracts. I made many sales calls to previous customers as time allowed, but servicing my clients and training my new crew took precedence. Just at the time my business was built up to a comfortable level, my injured joints became worn down to where the pain was no longer tolerable. I conceded defeat, wrapped up my final contract, and found an office job.
This cycle repeated several times. My sedentary job allowed my body to recover, I revived my construction company, my joints wore down, and I mothballed my company and found office work. After the final cycle, my pain was so severe that I could not return to any work.
Looking back, I see my pain as a prophet. I was not doing anything exceptional with my life; I was going with the flow. Society, however, was drifting away from God. Just as most Israelites did not actively seek sin; they were, nevertheless, drawn to it. Then a prophet would point out their errors and they would correct their course.
I always tried to be a good contractor, but I was caught in the flow of a society that is drifting away from God. My pain caused me to get out of the stream. Once my pain subsided, just as the Israelites did once their prophet was gone, I jumped right back in.
It’s not enough to be good within the context of our society. God wants more. He wants us to swim upstream. The natural tendency for all of nature is to move from order to chaos. That is what will happen to us if we do not swim against the cultural current.
Next week: Chronic pain.
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Peter T Elliott