Been thinking a lot lately about my life and what I’ve done with it. Pride has never been an issue, as in being proud of or content with what I’ve accomplished. If anything, it’s been more than a lion’s share of second guessing, restlessness, dissatisfaction, wheel spinning, melancholy, mediocrity, and regret. It’s always felt like I’ve been waiting—for my life’s work to come and bite me in the ass, for my life to officially start. I know I’ve treated this in an earlier blog post, but it keeps nagging at me.
I spent my entire working life doing things that I needed to do to pay the bills. I never derived satisfaction from any of it, whether it was working on the farm, at the restaurant, at the box factory, even the laser maker, though that was a pretty good job. At least I was working on something interesting and cutting edge and my co-workers and management were great. I guess making lasers was the high point.
What unfolded after that was 26 years of feeling like an impostor, a pretender. Overmatched, underqualified, talking out of my ass most of the time, and making enough money to barely keep our heads above water.
How can anyone get into the ministry of word and sacrament and feel like they know what they’re doing? I guess that’s not the point of such a vocation. Nevertheless, what might have begun as a walk of faith became, most days, a walk of doubt, a slog, an aimless search for meaning. An exercise in lostness.
When I was in seminary, I began to buy the line about my life up to that point being fertile ground for answering “the call.” I.e., everything I’d done and experienced had been training of some sort, tools in the tool belt, things that were pushing me onto this path and which would serve me well in this new endeavor. Yah, maybe not. Too many doubts, too many unknowns for my liking. I’d rather mow a lawn or paint woodwork. At least I know I’ve done something.
I’ve half-assed my entire life— vocationally, as a husband and father, and as a blind, unthinking consumer of Earth’s vanishing bounty.