Thursday, February 22, 2007

Trying to Center

The insights I received from those Color Quizzes I took the other day plus a beginning spiritual renewal from the Lenten disciplines seem to have me feeling more centered. At one point last night, the flu (or as Susie might call it, "WTF"), or whatever has a grip on me, had my muscles aching and my chest congested. I couldn't sleep. So I got out of bed and suddenly remembered the soothing power of music. I have frequently forgotten that over the past year or so.

I found a CD entitled Compassion: A Special Message from His Holiness The Dalai Lama. The chants (Buddhist and Christian) and the words of the Dalai Lama and Thomas Merton were so calming and soothing that I no longer felt the pain and soon fell asleep. I find it strange that, when in the most need, I forget about resources that can aid me.

This morning I played the CD again and again. One track, Pie Jesu, I found to be especially centering. So I began the process of job searching with a hope I have not had in many months. Perhaps my hope was misplaced. For example, one job promised the income I need and the Internet job listing said I could begin immediately-even today. When I clicked the "apply button" I was transported to a new site that had a lot of hype expanding on the original job listing. I clicked the "next" button and completed a rather short application, basically about how to contact me. I wondered at the application not requesting information about my education or work experience, but WTF, I am desperate. So, after filling in the required information, I clicked "next" and what I found turned my stomach: I was instructed to insert credit card information and authorize a $300.00 initial "investment" fee plus an on-going charge of $29.95 per month to obtain the "job."

I learned my lesson working for Liberty National Life Insurance Company! My charges and fees for that job plus my expenses for travel and telephone and "supplies" were almost $2,000.00. And the commissions they paid me were less than $800.00. Plus, according the the Liberty National representative it took me three months to locate, I will never receive the commissions I earned on the life and health polices I sold to Commonwealth of Kentucky employees. As desperate as I am, I will never again "pay" for a job, no matter what the promises are.

By noon I almost lost my centered feeling and hope. However, God does send angels. An old friend, Ann, who had been president of the Kentuckiana Association of the United Church of Christ immediately prior to me becoming president (and later moderator) telephoned. Hearing her voice helped me re-center, as did her promise to visit me over the coming weekend and help me decipher all of these bills and threatening letters I have received. (If I could just find a way to turn off my telephone and avoid the thirty or so calls I receive each day from three collection agencies, I would be more centered).

I learned in seminary that all sermons need to end with "good news." This isn't a sermon, but as I re-read what I have written, I realize that it is seems to me to be as bleak as a "hell, fire, and damnation" sermon delivered by a fundamentalist Baptist preacher. So I'll end with some good news.

My mother is doing much better at the rehab center and no longer complains about the rehab activities. She is even talking about returning to her home, which I so much more positive than her words about wanting to die.

The weather here is finally warm! At the moment the outside temperature is 50 F and Alex is out catting around.

In my last post, Anonymous wrote that he wished I had posted a better photo of the pyx in which I hold my Ash Wednesday ashes. I admit that the photographs I took were poor, even though I tried several times. I really needed to mount my camera on its tripod, but I couldn't find it. I did do a quick search of Internet sites that sell clergy supplies and found the picture below which is the same as my pyx:


  1. Time to be all fixed now,don't you think?

    I play music a lot to figure things out. Depending on my mood, depends on what plays...


  2. I'm really glad that things are improving with your mother!

  3. I'm holding you in my prayers for a new job. Don't pay for a job. You need never pay to give your service. Your service is so very valuable, Nick.


  4. Big hugs Nick. I think great things are in store for you.

  5. I'm glad you mother is doing better. Hope the flu doesn't hold you down for too long.
    Good luck with the job hunting ... it's never an easy task.
    Have a great weekend.
    Take care, Meow

  6. Nick I may well be a heathen witch but I find that pyx is just about the prettiest thing I have seen in a long while. All Gods are one brother... Love & light to you :)

  7. JD'S ROSE: Healing comes. I forget about music when depression is deepest. At the moment I am listening to John McDermont singing "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda."

    SILVERNEUROTIC: Thank you. I talked with Mom early this evening and she was feeling even better than she was this morning.

    REVEREND PINK: Thank you. I hope she is out of the rehab center soon. She misses her home--and I miss her being in Louisville.

    LAURIE: Thank you, I hope so. And I need the hugs!

    MEOW: Thank you. I've had this flu for what seems like forever. I suppose the older one gets the longer it takes to shake something like this.

    JEANNIEGRRL: Ah, it is, isn't it? And the Celtic cross really sets it off. Of course, we Celts have been accused of bringing the "old religion" (Druidism) into Christianity for centuries. I ain't one to deny it.

  8. When stressed or depressed ir seems that the spiritual disciplines are the first to go! Remember when your father died and you stopped writing in your journal and didn't even realize it for months? That was when we were at Eden and I remember so well you telling that story. I realized how true it was for me, too.

    Yeah, we Celts are still Druids at heart, aren't we!

  9. I agree with u about not paying for the job...hang in there! when one door closes, another will open...we all need to trust in HIM...