Life has its ups and downs doesn't it? No one knows this better than PV2 Pete. He's had his share of downers in the last week. That's really disappointing for him and.... me. I've gotten to know this young man very well and I wish the best for him. But he's struggling and that's the tough part to see.
A week ago today, Pete was to have had a meeting with the Care Core Director at his church. Was. For reasons unknown to him thus far, the get together was cancelled. No explanation and no follow up from his support person. Pete put a call into the church office on Friday, but he still has not heard a word. And that hurts because he needs that interaction.
But that's not the half of it. Pete is still out of work. The possible job offer of several weeks ago never materialized. Something about the company he was talking to having to look at the budget after the first of the year. So that was a bummer. Which means he's still on unemployment.
"I hate sponging off the government", Pete said to me. "I want to work in the worst way. But so many jobs out there pay so little. I'd have to be making $15 dollars an hour to match the take home I get from state money. That sucks. And then the Holidays are coming..........."
This was a much different Pete than I had spoken to a little over a week ago. Then, he seem encouraged. He'd started to read the "Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren and he seemed happy. At least was starting to seem happy. Then these disappointments. As we talked I saw frustration oozing from him.
"You know, sir, I didn't think I could ever think of doing anything irrational, but lately, those thoughts have been coming into my head", Pete related. "I can see how one gets there.....it doesn't take all that many disappointments heaped on top of themselves to get there.....especially if you feel no one is there to help"
Those were some difficult words to hear...ones that frankly, I could relate too. "Pete, I'll always be there for you", I said half choking back what I was saying. "I'll help wherever I can and whenever I can. I will not be a catch and release friend. You can count on that, okay? Tell you what. I know you haven't been in a reading mode for the last several days, but let's the two of us read Chapter 2 of the "Purpose Driven Life" and then get together. Let's say Friday at 6:30 p.m. at your favorite spot, Panera Bread. Deal? "Deal", said Pete. "And I will buy".
As I hung up the phone a myriad of thoughts were dancing in my head. The words change and changing kept pushing themselves into my conscious....which led to this:
Despite our efforts to be awake and alert, we are often more "not" than "ready." It's like every birth.
Parents can never really be prepared for change as radical as the change every baby brings. It's also like death. We may have had months, even years, to prepare, but when the one we love takes that last breath, it still hits us as if from our blind side. It's like hearing the doctor say, "It's cancer." Maybe you've walked that road with others. But when we need others to walk it with us, it's different in a way we cannot get ready for.
Life comes to us whether we're ready or not. There will always be surprises we can't anticipate and demands we can't prepare for. I suspect that's why one of the names of the Holy One is Immanuel, which means "God with us." Or, as the Voice of heaven said to the apostle Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you" (2 Cor. 12:9). Faith is trusting that God's grace is and will be enough. That is as ready as we'll ever be.
|"Ready or Not?|
Up Next: The next chapter for PV2 Pete on his journey to help.