The Frustration of Not Knowing

Work StressIn the course of my work I come across many people applying for jobs for which they are clearly not suited or which are not what they themselves state they want to do. For example:

“I’m planning on becoming a Chartered Accountant”
“Oh! Well, why this position, which will take you away from being a C.A., instead of staying where you are, doing your articles, and moving towards a C.A.?”

 I know it’s partly desperation because work is so hard to come by. But I wrote this out of the awareness that so much of it is a desperate uncertainty about what we really want to do, can do, or should be doing.

Where are you Lord, in all of this?
Where do you want me? What shall I do?
Brother Lawrence spoke of peace among potatoes,
Encountering the divine among the dishes;
Lord, I can cope with that.
I know you are here and all is for your glory,
But this drains me and leaves me frustrated.

Of course, why should I be fulfilled?
Why should I get to do what I want?
Why shouldn’t I be out of my depth,
Drained and empty, along with the rest of the world?
So many people just go through the motions;
They go to work but they aren’t really there.
They’re looking beyond this to something far better.
They start a new job looking for another.
This job will do until the right one appears.

Are they working toward something or just waiting for ‘it’?
And twenty years later how many have found it?
How many are still waiting for something unknown,
While the present is lost in the search for the future?
Why should I be any different?
Why should I survive and not be crushed in the process?
Do I, more than they, know what I’m looking for?
Do I know what the future is supposed to look like?

But it isn’t the future that we’re looking for;
It’s a more meaningful present.
Peace among potatoes is all very well,
But what if you’re allergic to potatoes?
What if it’s salads or waiting on tables?
What if these are the things that compel you?
Is fulfilling your calling, using you gifts,
Something to strive for, to look for, become?
Or do you stick to potatoes and call it a blessing?
And just wait for God to open a door?

Using God’s gifts is surely God’s will,
But how many can in the course of their day?
For most it’s reserved for the moments we steal
From our family, from work, from our duties, our sleep.
The rest of the time we just do our duty.
One day we’ll get there, wherever ‘there’ is.

Lord, where do you want me and what shall I do?

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