I took two weeks off from writing this blog. In fact, I didn’t go near the WordPress world for a while. Sometimes, you have to do that to gain a little perspective. Did I learn anything new, or gain some insight that can only be found outside of writing Mostly Teachable? Not really. I prayed, read and wrote for other projects. Most days I ran, only pausing long enough to stare boggle-eyed at the new issue of Runner’s World, and then…ran some more. When the sun (finally) comes out in Michigan, we don’t take its presence for granted, after all.
Yesterday afternoon, I was having the traditional Sunday dinner with my wife’s family. Well, traditional as far as her deep roots are concerned. Sunday dinner in my house growing had a lot to do with how willing one of us was to open a can of tuna. As we were finishing dinner, my 10-year-old daughter Anna began to expound on her career and life plans. This, apparently is what young girls do to prepare for the future. They lay out, in detail, the hopes and aspirations of their lives for everyone to hear. Not once did she mention growing up to start a family and open cans of tuna. Sitting next to Anna, and with unusual patience, was her 3-year-old cousin. As Anna dreamed out loud of becoming a movie star, the pre-schooler very matter of fact-ly announced that he was going to be Captain America. There was no excitement, no carrying-on about the idea. I affirmed the plan with “You go, man! Captain America sounds like a good job.” My nephew just nodded with his serious expression. “Yeah.” He later went on to tell us something about Captain America being one of the “Vengers” as he ran off. I like the black and white, no-nonsense world of pre-school thinking. The captain is good, the monsters in the closet are bad. Therefore, a good career would be that of a comic book super hero. By the time kids reach my daughter’s age, doubt has crept in. Even if someone older sets his or her sites on being one of the Avengers, there are myriad worries that keep them from making it happen. How does one break into the super-hero business? What’s the competition like? Is the post-college job market flooded with Marvel super heroes? In a post-recession economy, how soft is the job market for comic book characters. Do bad guys have better retirement plans? As a good-at-heart hero, how hard is it to roll over your DC Comics 401K into a Marvel Universe IRA? Did Captain America fare better in the job market as an armed forces combat veteran? What kind of disability rating did the defense department give him since they nuclear radiated his khakis off in order to bulk him up? Oh, the considerations. My nephew just knows the basics. Captain America is good. That, and when the dog eats his action figures we can go to the dollar store and get more.
I had an interview of sorts this past week for an additional on-call job to be added to my current work. The interview was the best one I’d ever experienced for something that I didn’t have any shot at getting. The interviewer and I had a long talk about crossing the line into vocational ministry and the seriousness of taking steps to do so. The advice was sound. So, rather than worry and fuss over what might have been, or what might never be, I simply leave the process in God’s hands. He may not make me Captain America, but if I check worry at the door and carry the shield of faith, the result will be unique and surprising. Sometimes you just have to put the shield to your chest and step into life.