Monday, January 17, 2011

How much can life change?

How much can life change in a week? In a month? How quickly can we be catapulted from one season to the next? How quickly can we awake from our holidays into the harsh reality of life? How quickly can the world as you know it change?

I wasn't going to post about the floods. I specifically recall thinking earlier today how I was going to make some time to get here tonight but that I wasn't going to talk about the floods.. yet now I am here and I don't know how not to talk about them so I will break the deal I have with myself and talk about them, maybe less them and more how I feel about right now but nevertheless the floods will get a mention.

Today was our first day back at work. After almost a week of being shut down Brisbane city resumed operation as the commercial hub of our State. It was extraordinary and surreal. I don't quite know how to explain it but something is different, our city has grown up a little, a shift has happened and you can feel it in the air. Maybe it's like the water washed the crap off.. the pretty, perfect, polished facade that was fast growing up over this beautiful, big country town we call home has been washed away and what is left is magnificent. There is this earthly beauty to our city, a unity, we have resurfaced stronger, together. Wait! I can't quite capture this and I kind of don't want to.

I'm not sure why I find this difficult to write about.. maybe it's too soon, maybe it's because if I write about it then it becomes very real, maybe because writing about it makes it sound like it is over and it's not. It's almost like writing about it makes it yesterdays story but in reality it is very much our today and will be for many days to come. I guess I feel uncomfortable about going back to work. It seems kinda wrong to be going along with my life while so much of our city is in ruin. I feel like it's insulting to be resuming our normal lives while thousands of peoples homes remain unlivable and their lives are so insane.

I guess the biggest issue for me today was that there was no meaning in my work, I looked around my office and at the day ahead of me and it was empty and unfortunately this feeling was a little too familiar. After spending 2 days at church actually making a difference sitting in my office was more difficult than I imagined. Deep inside me burns a desire to use the skills God has given me to help the people who are suffering. It just seems like a waste to use my brain and hands in the office when they could be used to help, I could have been helping to mobilise and support our volunteers or even better I could have been out in the field but I wasn't. I was at work and for me that was hard. It was coming home from Cambodia all over again and suddenly the emotions of that time in my life came flooding back...

I can still feel them now as they simmer under the surface, they come from a pure place, from a desire for more, a desire that my life have meaning, a desire to live a life of purpose, from a heart that is breaking for the things that God's heart breaks for but I know the destructive power of these thoughts and emotions. I know how if left in the wrong hands they turn from healthy desires to a seed a bitterness.. I know how quickly I can go from enjoying my life to seeing it as empty, how quickly I can despise the choices I have made to date. How quickly thoughts like I chose an empty career, I chose to pour myself into the lie, I am a waste of air can grow, the list of them goes on and on and I can get so lost in them that I begin to hate my life and myself until I self-destruct.. Somewhere deep inside the pure thoughts were still alive but last time I got so lost in them, the truly consumed me, it was like they were twisted and manipulated until I drowned in the swirling pain of a life with no meaning. It sounds dramatic but at the time it was.

How much and how quickly my life has changed. A little over 12 months has passed and in the wake of the greatest tragedy to face my country during my lifetime the same thoughts and emotions have surfaced. The desire for more, the desire for a life with meaning, the desire to live for a purpose.. all of these desires burn brightly inside but this time the swirling pain has been calmed and the deep throbbing to do more simply fans the flame. This time I see the choices I have made that have made a difference, I see how God used my poor choices to shape me, how the things that made me feel empty now inspire me to keep walking on this path.  It's amazing how the same thoughts and emotions will result in a completely different life when they are placed in the hands of God. My heart is still broken but this time I have hope.

So today I am thankful. I am thankful that the fact that life appears to be returning to normal disturbs me. I am thankful that my heart is broken but my spirit is alive. I am thankful that I have enough faith to know that my returning to work will ultimately help our economy which in turn will help those who are suffering the most. I am also thankful that the desire to live a life of purpose and meaning gets stronger everyday but most importantly I am thankful that this time my thoughts and desires are in the hands of my God and I am thankful for this journey xo

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