|Two Tax Collectors by Reymerswaele (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons).|
The following recounts an event in my life about two years ago. It had a profound effect on my faith and my outlook on life. I hope it helps all who read it.
I was already awake before the alarm clock chimed. 5:00 a.m. Time to get moving. For the past several months I had made it a habit to roll from my bed onto my knees and start my day with prayer. Normally I would begin, “Good morning, God,” but today the forced tone was more like, “Good God, it’s morning.”
I had spent the past two hours tossing and turning with fears causing me to alternately shake with fear and anger. They were familiar worries, but they were more intense. Bills, the mortgage, the utilities, groceries, how would I split the money this month, who would get paid and who would have to wait. The car needed repair. The transmission had just died. There was a $ 2500.00 unexpected expense. I had just gotten a nice tax refund and planned to use it on some long delayed needs. Now I needed to come up with more money instead of having a bit of surplus for a month or two.
Besides the bills there were other issues at home that added to the stress. When you’re the father of eight kids there’s ample opportunity for things to go wrong. My daughter and seven sons are wonderful, but two of the older ones were puzzling out their future and considering the military. I had told them both I would support whatever decision they made, and I meant that, but thoughts of them being killed or wounded would not go away.
Then there was work which was in a state of transition. A new administration, new bosses and new ways of doing things had everyone in turmoil. There was talk of layoffs. We had recently gone through a pay-less payday. Now the threat of losing our jobs loomed. There was also the old "Do more with Less" slogan making the rounds. You have to wonder how far they can push that before they realize it isn’t working.
No, I did not want to get out of bed. I did not want to go work. But I had to. Our family has a paper route that we do seven days a week and my wife and kids needed my help. I rolled onto my knees, offered the prayers--such as they were--and got dressed.
Upon arriving at work, I found things were chaotic before the day began. We were short of staff again and it was up to me and my co-worker to figure out how to make it work. It was a daily burden. Sometimes it felt crushing. We had lost at least a dozen positions over the years, but instead of our work load decreasing it had increased. Somehow, with everyone pulling together in our department we made it happen. For our efforts we were usually rewarded with more work.
Continue reading at Dennis's blog Warriors' World Dad.