Saturday, May 14, 2011

Life vs. Blog Showdown

I can't believe it has been over a month since I started painting repo'd houses.

I ended up missing all of Holy Week, including Pascha services.  I put in a 14 hour day on Holy Saturday, got home at about 8:30pm and had to be back on the job by 7:00AM on Sunday morning to finish it in time for carpet layers and to start another job on Monday morning.  I took a day off on Mother's Day to visit my Mom in northern Arizona, and today is my second day off in almost 7 weeks. Not that I'm complaining....

During the last two and a half years there have been weeks that I had no work at all and most weeks I had less than 15  billable hours.  But during that time I got to build a Church for our Mission and for St. John's Monastery and a dormitory and chapel for St. Anthony's Monastery.    As much time off as I had, I didn't lose any weight, however.

As cool as it was to have a real Church building for our Mission, a few months ago QT Gas Stations bought the land that our Church was on.   We couldn't afford another piece of land or to move the building, so this is what became of our Church. 
Now we're renting a chapel from a Coptic Church and looking for another office/warehouse space to move into again.  "God works in mysterious ways" is probably the only thing anyone can really say about that without trying to rationalize it, spiritualize it, or become cynical or despondent. 

But that's not the point. The point is, I've had a LOT of time on my hands for the last couple years and no time on my hands for the last couple months.  When I have a lot of spare time it is easier to find time to be "holy", well... do things that make me at least look holy, and to tell everyone about it on the blog.  The Church benefits from my unemployment, my skills and, yes, even my ego.

The last couple months I've been working for about a third of what I used to make but getting three or four times the billable hours. I've found I'm getting up and down 24 foot extention ladders a lot slower than I used to. I've found that gravity gets stronger after 8 hours of painting baseboards. I've found that it is easier to get up and down ladders if I don't have to carry a Whopper with cheese, large fries and a Coke with me in the afternoon. I've found that cleaning gutters buys groceries just like painting a wall does. I've found pride comes before a fall and lack of pride comes before a meal. I've found I'm still the same person whether I am unemployed, under-employed, broke, rich or busy climbing the 30 steps of the Ladder of Divine Ascent for Lent or climbing a 24 foot fiberglass ladder for ten bucks an hour.  I've found that neither exhaustion is more sacred than the other.

I've also found as hard as I think my work has been there are other people working harder for less. I haven't had to do this yet for minimum wages. Yes, that is a running chainsaw in his hands.

So all in all, all is good.  Or is it, "All is well"?  Or perhaps it is both.  Even when it doesn't feel good and seems like it isn't going well.  God works in mysterious ways.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

12 comments:

The Poor Blogger said...

Odd that you should say "All is well" today. The medieval saints e-mail I get says it's her feastday. She's known for saying "All is well and all is well and all manner of things shall be well."

s-p said...

I didn't know it was St. Julian of Norwich's feast day. That is a happy coincidence in my book. :)

Grandma Bonnie said...

Sounds pitiful. I had a great Pascha. I get migraines by the end of most services so Holy Week was one big physical yucky trial. Light, candles, noise, crowds, temperature changes make me sick. I used to work and have a husband and be around people. He divorced me when I became sick and now I have to avoid going out. Life changes. I am so greatful for what I have. My faith is wonderful. I have Social Security Disability to live on, and I have a sweet dog. My family is loves God and the Church. So, that is what I have to say about Me Me Me....keeping it real. Whatever tradgedy happens...and you have no idea what my life has been...really...a crazy life...God is faithful and loving and heals the broken hearted. Christ is Risen!

Anonymous said...

Your beautiful church got pushed over? That is so sad! After all that work you did. I am sorry.

It seems so unfair that so much money is spent on the nearby monastery, and your parish doesn't have enough support for a proper ediface.

Athanasia said...

I am shocked that your mission church building go knocked over! And, actually makes me a bit angry. I really can't believe that!

Hira Animfefte said...

I'm so sorry about your church. It was so beautiful. :(

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

I am so sorry about your church being knocked down. I do hope the actions of the company who owned the land were reported on in the local press to name and shame them........

VSO said...

Man that sucks! Hope it goes better

MommyMagpie said...

I love your blog, and gave you an award! Stop by my blog and accept it! :)

David B said...

Oh, Steve. I just...all that work. And I just won't comment on a corporation coming in. I just won't.

I'm so sorry.

James the Thickheaded said...

So is that a picture of you "last seen" chainsawing the tree behind you while clipped in to the one in front?
Something about this reminds me of that very excellent "The Palm Tree Chainsaw Massacreeee" movie that hasn't been made yet.

Ostensive Lyme said...

Christ is risen!

Amen brother!
Haha I'm rounding out the tail end of what I hope will be my busiest week of 2011.
I'm a bit of a sleep glutton so I know this push is a gift; really, God is even in the biochemistry of adrenal glands. :D

Your church was bulldozed.
It made me think of St Innocent of Alaska's response when all his work and buildings burned down in a fire: "Ah well, they'd all have burned up in armageddon anyway."
:)

-Mark Basil