Picture board

I have a cork board hanging beside my desk at work that is covered with photos of friends, family, places I’ve been on vacation, and my partner. It has pictures of my parents, my sister and I when we were very young children, photos of the children that she went on to have, and even little sayings that have spoken to me over the years.

“An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” – Ghandi
“The person willing to give up freedom for security deserves neither.” – A modern take on Benjamin Franklin’s quote.
“Where governments fear the people, you have liberty. When the people fear the government, you have tyranny.” – Thomas Jefferson

I also included a lyric from a song by American-Indian artist, Jana, which always reminds me of exactly why I’m at work.

So be aware of all the things you want
Prepare to pay for what you need
Nothing in the world is free to take
That’s the price of life we have to pay.

There’s even a slip of paper that I got out of a fortune cookie that says, “Stop searching forever. Happiness is right next to you.” And, yes, I was sitting right next to Honey when I opened it.

I recently printed the verses from 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13 and posted them on the wall beside the board, as a constant reminder of the importance of love.

I think that’s the main reason I enjoy this picture board so much; when I’m stressed out or just tired and ready to go home, I can glance over to see all the faces and places that represent love to me. And then, in some strange way, I realize that I am already home.

Not so far away after all

I’ve gone through numerous highs and lows in my spiritual life – times when I’ve felt close enough to God that I could almost touch Him, and times when He seems so far away that praying seems futile and I’m not sure He’s even there at all. The latter would describe my current feelings pretty well.

I mentioned these feelings as we visited with friends Saturday evening. Their responses were filled with compassion and understanding, and some shared their own experiences in such beautiful, descriptive ways that doubting was impossible.

Last night as I drifted off to sleep, I offered a prayer of thanks for my marvelous life. My partner, my friends, and even my home seem to be working in tandem to make my life as comfortable and happy as possible. That’s when it hit me… even when God seems to have completely disappeared, He’s still there. I see Him in the faces of my friends, my partner, even my pets. He permeates everything.

I got up this morning still thinking about this “revelation,” and remembered the words of an old song with much greater understanding.

Yes, I see God where the mountains reach the sky
I see God when the eagle starts to fly
I see God in a little baby’s smile
I see God and He makes my life worthwhile

Yes, I see God when the bridegroom meets his bride
I see God in a father’s loving eyes
I see God when a mother starts to cry
I see God in a love that never dies

I see God where the people meet to pray
I see God in the things they do and say
I see God when the little children play
I see God and I know He’s near always

I see God, yes, I see God

– From “Yes, I See God” by Dolly Parton

Make that change

All the presidential candidates are spouting off about change, so I may as well shake things up a bit in my own life. Now that I’ve had several years to think about what I want to be when I grow up, I think I finally have an idea. I’m not completely certain, but it’s a starting point and that’s enough for me.

I’ve been considering going back to school for quite some time. I could kick myself for not continuing my education immediately after high school, but I had no idea what I wanted to do and I could be stuck in a much worse job right now if I had done that.

I recently decided to look into getting an associates degree in a specific field. Of course nothing in life is easy, as this morning I discovered that the two-year program for said degree is limited to only 16 students per semester and requires previous classes that I have not taken. The sixteen students for the fall semester have already been chosen, and I have no idea when or if I would be selected for enrollment in future semesters.

Another issue is trying to figure out how I’m going to generate an income while attending college. The program that I’m interested in lasts around 5 hours a day, 5 days a week, right in the middle of the day. That is going to make it incredibly difficult for me to keep my current job. In fact, I’m not sure that I’d be able to work anything besides retail in the remaining hours of the day. I believe the nature of the program would prevent the possibility of on-line or evening classes.

Change is never easy, but just knowing that there is a possibility of improving my work situation is enough to keep me going.