I’m breaking the pattern. I’m going for two posts this week. I’m back in my house of caffeine, relaxing to the sounds and smells of another morning in Tully’s, and chasing this cursor across the screen. It relaxes me. I’ve earned it. At least I tell myself that. I worked a long hard day yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked longer. I’ve had harder. For some reason last night, as I drug myself up the stairs and into the house, I declared to anyone who cared….that would be my wife….that I was “going in late tomorrow”. I had earned it. I still don’t know why really. It just felt right.
So I began to wonder, as I drove here this morning, what constitutes earning? I mean really, in the whole scope of labor efforts, what did I do yesterday that was monumentally above the other wanderers that I can sit here watching while they run for their busses? Some of them look longingly into the window as they pass by. I have my donut and my grande drip with a shot in the dark, my laptop and my headphones. Some of them look at me as if to say “get a job”. “I have one”, I scream in my thoughts. I’ve earned this! But there it is again, the nagging question. What constitutes earning? Is it cash accumulated? I don’t think so. I just heard on the “Today Show” that the presidential candidates have already amassed a record amount of campaign funding. I know that I work harder than they do. I just don’t have the sound bites to prove it. Some people don’t even have jobs at all and they accumulate more in a day than I will in a lifetime. They are the ones who have coffee brought in to them and dictate their writings to others who probably could use a morning away. It can’t be physical labor that earns the morning “off”. I’ve worked way more physical things than this without a trip to the café. What about dads who live and work in the third world areas of the world? Their work never ceases if survival is what they’re working for. All of that pressure without the promise of a double tall the next morning. I admire them. I’m not that strong.
It’s very presumptuous of me, I guess, to attempt to justify my need over that of the other wanderers that surround me. What about those who served me this morning? Did they just have an average day yesterday and so are sentenced to satisfying my morning experience? It’s very American of me too, to feel entitled I mean. Aren’t we all promised, life, liberty, and the pursuit of 3 bedrooms and a garage? It really bugs me when I have fallen into the entitlement mentality. I should know better. My faith and my calling demand that I live counter to the entitlement philosophy. The promise that I have cannot be earned. The promise that I teach cannot be earned, no matter how hard or how long one has tried. It’s been given, it merely needs acceptance. That’s Easter. But, almost without warning, I’m a hamster on a wheel once again. Worse yet, I’m a caffeinated one.
I’m glad that I caught myself after only a few delusional hours of entitlement…this time. It’s an everyday thing. Every morning waking up and deciding to “relax”, and just “be” within His arms of grace is all that I’m seeking. Do you want to know the irony? Do you want to know what I working so “hard” and “long” on yesterday? I was putting together this “experience” for my community o” faith called The Labyrinth. It’s sole purpose is to lead people into a very personal, quiet, and reflective time in God’s presence. In other words, to rest in Him. It worked too, at least based on my own time in the Labyrinth and the comments of others who journeyed through last night. It was centering. It was calming. It was peaceful. It lasted until I walked across the street. My efforts can be so pathetic. A voice in my head…and no, not from the headphones…is even more insistent this morning as I sit here, reminding me of my need for His grace which cannot be earned. This exercise, that I do here under the influence of Tully’s, whenever I can, is not earned. It’s another reminder of that grace. I can use all the reminders that I can get.