Growing up?

The last couple of months have been kind of exhausting. I am finally poking my head up for air as the assignments have turned from “this week you will cover these five chapters” to “here is the study guide for the final exam.” My last two exams are in two days. I have to work tomorrow. I have one last writing assignment that I just don’t want to bother with, because I think I can pass the class without it. That’s how tired I am; I would be content to pass.

I have become an adult. I can tell by the things I am concerned with. Once upon a time it was “aw, man, I have to get up at 6am for PT.” These days, I am concerned about getting approved for the loan that will let us get through another year of nursing school on part-time employment. I am worried about the new baby on the way, and keeping the one-year-old clothed and fed.

Yesterday I was looking at a list of cool internet memes and I saw this thing where an Australian hurdler was doing a sort of warm-up dance right before a race. She was bouncing and waggling her hips while her pony tail flipped behind her. It was breathtaking. What shocked me most was that I didn’t look at that beautiful, athletic young woman with lust. I just appreciated how innocent and lovely she looked, playing with her finely-tuned instrument. Have I really outgrown the biggest problem area of the last twenty years of my life? Have I gotten that old?

I washed dishes, laundry, and even vacuumed today, but it wasn’t enough. I am glad I did those things, because they helped my wife, but there were still dishes left to do when the day was done. There is always more work to be done. There is always more homework to be completed, more chapters to study, more trash to take out, or messes to clean. It never ends. This is life as an adult.

My wife vacillates between nausea and exhaustion. That’s pregnancy. I can’t blame her for the unending mess around the house. Some of it I create.

I bought a lottery ticket. I saw the lottery was up to $400 million. Imagine that. A million dollars is enough for a lifetime. Four hundred million… I could buy a big house with lots of rooms, hire a maid and a chef, buy an airplane, learn to fly it, and travel the world. I would never fear having enough food for my wife and children. No, my big concern would be what charities to invest for.

The funny part of my lottery story is that I bought my ticket for the wrong lottery. Powerball and Mega Millions are not the same thing.

I am 36 years old, and I dream of financial security.

“But, your dream,” You say, “It’s not Biblical…”

Yeah. Rich man, eye of needle, I remember. Lilies of the field, I know. It’s not on my shoulders. God provides. However, understand the context that this is the guy who at 18 packed a backpack of clothes and a skateboard and flew to San Francisco with $25 in his pocket to start his own life. I was homeless for about three weeks then, and again several months later when I lost my job and didn’t find a new one right away. I can’t do that anymore. Not with a wife and children.

I am grateful for the wife He gave me. I am grateful for the child He blessed us with. I am grateful for the one to come. I am grateful that we always have had enough, and that I believe He will continue to provide amply for our needs.

We made turkey pot pies for dinner. I saw my wife making gravy to go in the pie, and she was doing it “wrong.” I left the room rather than criticize. I am grateful that I learn and do a little better now and then. We ate huge portions of dinner together while watching TV. Somewhere in the world, children are dying of starvation or working in sweat shops. I can’t fix it. Sometimes just being kind to my wife is too much for me to manage.

Father, forgive me for thinking $400 million dollars would bring peace and security to my life. Forgive me for wanting peace and security instead of the life you have given me. Help me to always have grace and loving-kindness to share with the people in my life, just as you always have for me. Please help me to lessen the suffering of people in need, if it be your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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