Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On Who I am, and what I want to Do....

"Color" warning: there are a couple of words in here that some might find taboo, or offensive. I have included them on purpose, and chosen them carefully. If you don't like it, tough. You have been warned. :)
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I recently posted on FaceBook that I "want to be Tom Bombadil". I think that deserves an explanation.

Yesterday, I had a conversation with a very wise friend, who confirmed what several others have told me recently: I need(ed) to figure out who I am and what I want to do with my life.

Now, I know who I am -- I'm a wretch, inexplicably given mercy by God and being led to salvation. This is very bewildering to me.

There are a couple of things I truly regret in my life -- sins against others for which I've since repented in many tears, but which still sting my soul when I ponder them (one very recent, the other half my life ago: you each know who you are). There are a whole lot more things that I've screwed up honestly, and taken a lesson from; so while I may wish they'd turned out differently, I don't REGRET them.

But here's the problem. I'm also a bloody romantic, and dammit if I don't honestly believe that each of us can be, by the grace of Almighty God, a truly good person, and make a difference in someone's life, if given half a chance. And I've got this crazy notion that I'm included in "each of us."

I have also known for quite some time what I want to do with my life. But I never wanted to face it, because, on the surface, it's cheesy. It just comes across as unmanly.

However, my friend was right: I needed to bring it to my conscious mind, accept it, embrace it, and move forward. So, in a fit of soul-searching and crying out to God for help, by His mercy and grace, I have finally done that. I now fully accept what I want to do with my life, cheesy though it may be. I know what is my heart's one desire. And to be honest, I'm quite excited about it. :)

So what's that, Steve?

First, what it's NOT. I do NOT have any aspirations of worldly success, of being rich, of being President (I'm fairly certain I'd be assassinated in the first month), a Bishop, Priest, or any such thing.

I'm not saying these things are wrong, or that I won't do them to the best of my ability if God asks me to do any of them. I'm just saying, these are not my driving goals.

I think the best way to explain it is how I explained it to another friend this morning. When I die (if the Lord doesn't return first), and they plant my body in the ground, there will (hopefully) be something on my headstone. It'll have to be short, and I want it to be true. What do I want it to say?

Here it is: "He was a good Husband." If it has "and father" on there, too, that'll be just fine by me. :)

That's it. That's what I want to do with my life. I want to be the best damn husband I can be, for God's glory, and for the ultimate salvation of those entrusted to me. I want to care for another person, body and soul, with the whole of my being.

So what of my "vocation" or "calling"? That's what I'm saying: my "calling" is to be a husband, true and good.

True, part of that is to be damn good at my job, and to enjoy it -- to advance within the organization (if I work for one, like I do now), or grow my business if I start one, or whatever.

But my driving force is not and will not be my job. It will be my care and love for and rejoicing in my family, or my looking forward to and preparation for that, anyway. And that's all I want.

Hopefully, you see how Tom Bombadil fits that description. He is a character (in Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy) much like Adam was created to be -- and would have become, if he had never fallen. He is the master of his domain -- that area of life he has been given care over, yet no more -- and he has no ambitions for more. He has a strong wife, and he loves her dearly. She reciprocates that love. (He also lets her have fairly free reign over the house.) Also, Tom helps others back on their paths, while not trying to walk their path for them.

Bombadil loves life, and life loves him. In fact, he lives a very Orthodox, sacramental existence. As a consequence, the Ring has no power over him -- it neither makes him invisible nor affects his sight of others, and he does not think of it as of any significance.

So, to bring us full circle: by the power of Christ, Who came to restore us to Paradise ("for us men and for our salvation..."), I want to be (like) Tom Bombadil. I want to enjoy whatever job I have at the moment, and be good at it, all to support being a true and good husband (and, if the Lord wills, father) -- the best I can be. Cheesy? Yep. But I don't care; it's who I am.

I'll do the first part (about the job, and living a sacramental life to the glory of God) while waiting/looking for "the one" who will be entrusted to my care (and to whose care I will be entrusted). And we'll see how it goes.

Pray for me!!!

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Hi! Feel free to comment. However, I was getting posts from different Anonymous people, and it's difficult to know who is who so I can keep the conversation straight in my head. So I'm requesting that you please bear with my weakness, and identify yourself. Even if you want to use a different name than your real name -- that's fine. But give yourself a handle for me, please. :) Thanks...