This will probably be long. You don't have to read it.
Monday used to be my only day off. Now it's often the only day I work. That's not technically true of course, I have those freelance assignments plus my friend the coffee shop owner needed some help this week and so I filled in there too.
This week promises to be different since I'll be learning another delivery route. It'll be nice for the wallet and the new route seems easy. So, why am I not looking forward to it at all?
One issue is my car. Ever since the intermittent buzzing started, I've been paranoid about the thing breaking down on me while I'm on the route. I think it's burning oil too. It's going in for an engine check up in a week or so. My mechanic is awesome: trustworthy, fast, and a great guy. His wife works with him and she may know more about cars than even he does. I know they won't do anything to inflate the final bill and their work will be first rate... even so, I'm pretty sure we're in for a thorough wallet cleaning.
So there's that. But it's more than just the car. It's not the decision to leave ministry either. In fact, since I'm still involved in that church I get to see what's happening there every week. Believe me, I'm very happy about my decision. I would go so far as to say that I believe God might have been trying to get me to make that decision for some time. But that's another post... maybe another blog!
Tomorrow I'll be working on the toughest rural route in this post office on the heaviest day of the week, like I do every Monday. It's a killer. Every Monday for the past four weeks it's been heavier than the previous week. The route set a volume record a few weeks ago during the mail count, but I've had progessively more mail each week since then. It's to the point where, to my mind, it's not worth it. If I was on the route every day, or even three days a week it might average out, but since I get paid for the same number of hours no matter how long it takes me to do the route... well, you get the idea.
I know, I know, welcome to the work-a-day world. I'm not asking for sympathy. I'm not asking for anything really; I'm surprised you're still reading this post. And if you are, thanks.
Two weeks ago, one of the regular carriers and I were finishing up at our mail cases in the evening. It had been a very heavy day for both of us (in fact people were still talking about that heavy Monday two days ago) and the guy, his name is Chris and he seems like a wonderful human being, asked where I had been a pastor. I told him and I threw in the bit about ten years as a youth minister in Cleveland. He asked what I did before that and I told him about working in an ad agency in Manhattan. "How'd you get a job like that?"
"I have an MBA in marketing," I said.
He stammered. I could tell he was trying to find a way to ask, "So what the hell are you doing working here?" but he's too polite for that. So I said it for him.
"That's what people asked when I went into ministry from advertising." I said. "The answer now is the same as then... I'm not sure but it has something to do with what God is doing in my life." I've learned over the years not to come off sounding certain when God is involved.
He nodded but didn't say anything. So I asked how he wound up as a Rural Carrier and he explained his path, he was a sub for three years and got a regular route because someone else retired. He likes the job. His route is pretty easy, he's got tons of security and no attachments, he's only 23.
That question, the one I had to ask because Chris was too polite, has been on my mind ever since. What am I doing?
And the answer is: I don't know.
Alright. Enough introspection. If you think of it, even if prayer isn't really your thing, maybe you could say a short one for me tomorrow, and for my car too.