Saturday, November 13, 2010

Chasing the Wind

I was in that Solomon mood again this week. It is not to be confused with depression or even a sour type of mood. It was reflective and it was the accumulation of several factors.

For one, it was the second week in row which I had invested at least 60 hours towards my profession. It wasn't intended. It was exhausting. But I had to ask myself, for what? Maybe, in about 90 days from now, I will be about $300 richer for putting in 40 extra hours (over two weeks) . . . as that is how the math works out. Maybe, I hope, some of my patients suffered a little less because of the work I put in for their behalf. But sometimes I wonder. Chronic pain patients have a way, in their desperation, of sucking the blood out of you and leaving nothing behind.

With such a busy week, I ddn't have the time or the energy to write here. I wanted to participate over at imonk a time or two. But that blog reminds me of trying to jump on a merry-go-round in grade school. I can still remember standing and begging the kids on to slow down so I could jump on. Any attempt at the high speed would usually end with my face planted in the red clay.

I was especially interested in the take on women in the pastorate on imonk. I try not to comment until I've read all the previous comments. I had a minute here or there. I would read a few comments and come back later to find out that there had been ten more. I never caught up to the point I could post. Then, suddenly they changed horses again in mid-stream.

I am going to a church with a woman pastor. I never thought that I would because I too, thought it was un-Biblical. I've enjoyed Steph since I've been coming to her church and having gotten to know her even better, over the past two weeks, through a workshop for potential new members.

But back to chasing the wind.

My favorite TV show, during this season, is the Discovery Channel's Storm Chaser. I'm not sure why. I'm confident that my interest will dwindle over time. But I was deeply shaken this week when one of the main cast members (it is a reality show with real people) Matt Hughes, died. He didn't die from the chasing. As a matter of fact, during that last episode, Matt has his best chase ever. For the first time he was allowed to lead the IMax film team's truck (more like a tank). And, for the first time in 10 years of chasing, they actually got the truck in the middle of a tornado (their holy grail). Matt was as happy as any person could be on that night. He died a couple of days later.

How he died has never been made public. However, close friends say that the 31 year old father of two small boys, hung himself at home two days after his most glorious event. It just didn't make sense. The friend said he had suffered from depression for a long time.

I was shaken for a couple of days. He seemed to have everything, or at least those things that we assume would lead to happiness. He had a career. He was becoming a TV star (sort of). He was handsome. He had a beautiful wife and two wonderful sons. Depression is such a trickster, making someone who has everything think they have nothing. So much wind chasing, and I mean that more why than one. Matt had chased after the wind . . . and caught it. But, it was still all in vain.

Lastly, we got a call last night that my father-in-law was near death. It made me reflect all day on his life. I can remember the first time I met him, (and he wasn't much older than I am now) and he seems like a week ago. He is about 89 now. Man, how time does fly. Life is a vapor. We did hear tonight that he was doing a little better. Denise and I are trying to make plans to go to Minnesota . . . or not.

I'm about to go public with this blog. It started out three years ago being totally anonymous. Then, I went more public with who I am. Now, I'm about to share the site with my local friends. I still hope I can write with the extreme candor, which is characteristic of this site. But time will tell.


Johan said...

There are of course dangers with extreme candor, I know I have made mistakes in my personal blog a couple of years ago. Some subjects remain better for personal conversation with only the best of friends.
But on the other hand, like you, I value openness and honesty. I want to be myself, also when I write, warts and all.
And I don't want to be hindered too much by fear of giving away too much.
I think this openness and honesty ultimately will win people (who are searching for honesty and someone processing real life). I have had that reaction on my book that was published last year, some people said 'I don't know if I would have admitted to that in public', but I conciously chose to - because I don't want the reader to think me, the author, is in any way 'better' or further along the journey than he is.
And I've heard from others that the personal stories and experiences made them read along and appreciate the book.
Same with my blog. Even though for some personal issues, work and relationship wise, it's not too wise to vent too much, what I do is write about the psychologica/faith processes involved in these issues, even without telling the exact instance. Because these processes are what matter, and in that I can be fully open. I am a doubter, a searcher, a broken person, a sinner, a failure, and a beloved child of God in whom He is well pleased, and in that a work in progress. That's the journey I'm on.

Don Hendricks said...

Great thoughts again. I had an unexpected death among my friends that sent me on the same subject this past few posts. Like you, it seems so unbelievable that someone would do what the stormchaser did.

jmj said...

Johan, did you mention your book before? If you did, I've forgotten. Is it available in English? How do I find out more about it?

jmj said...

I know Don, you just never get use to someone passing on. Sometimes we can live pretending that this life goes on forever then reality sinks in.

PRS & ALS said...

I've appreciated your honesty and vulnerability here, but I know it can be threatening to share some thoughts with those close to you, especially if you've been burned before, like you have. I've been quite open about the incest that happened to me, but have been careful not to let my family know how open I am. Maybe one day I'll let them know that others do know. It's a step at a time.

It's so sad to hear of someone taking their life. But, having felt some of those feelings, I can understand it. Sometimes when you seem to have everything in life and yet you're depressed, it can cause a lot of guilt, because you have no "reason" to be depressed. We can never know what's going on inside a person. That's why it's important to share ourselves with each other and be there to listen and sit with a person.

jmj said...

PRS, I'm sorry about what you've been through. There must be a lot of dark things in the closets that people would rather that no one brings up. I'm glad that there are some people with whom you can talk.

Johan said...

Ah, I don't know if I mentioned my book before. It's only available in Dutch sadly (and for Dutch books to be translated into English is much less common than the other way around).
The title can be translated as 'Impressive freedom. The closer we are to God, the more freedom we experience'. It appeared in march of this year. There was a chapter in it with the title: "The relief of honesty" - saying that there is freedom in admitting that we are broken en unable to fix ourselves, and that this honesty will help us trust God more and treat others better.

I also read your manuscript and really hope it will be published one day: we as christians do need a candid look at our own motivations.


jmj said...

I guess I need to purchase Rosetta Stone and start learning Dutch. Let us know if it ever appears in English as it sounds like a great book.