Thursday, January 19, 2006

An E-mail to Frankie

Frankie asked me how I felt about having taken the off beaten path in life since I had so often encouraged her to do so. Here is my response which I e-mailed to her:

I am not sure how I can properly answer your question about how I feel about having taken the off beaten path in life since it’s a double edged sword. On the one side I hate and regret the bad decisions I made during those times wandering aimlessly from job to job wondering what I was going to do with my life. I reacted more out of fear and trying to keep from rocking the boat in certain respects when it came to my work, but I also pursued my faith (at times foolishly following any charismatic leader who came my way) and studying the craft of poetry. On the other a lot of positive things occurred which prepared me for my future vocation in the pastorate. I met a lot of great people, have some great stories to tell, and have a pretty positive out look on the future. St. Paul often used the metaphor of running a race which means looking forward towards the finish line and not back. As Jesus put it we are to focus more on eternal things. Try as I may I do so every often catch myself looking back to see how the other runners are fairing. Comparing myself to others. Am I where I should be? Why am I not married or in a career like most people my own age? Trying to see the other runners I instead focus on the road behind me seeing the turns I probably should have taken and wind up tripping on the stone I do not see. So in answer to your question my dear Frankie I am not entirely sure how I feel about it. Having taken the off beaten path is neither better or worse, but it did work for me. I can only imagine how I’d feel if I had gone to a four year school, gotten a career, etc. because I was studying something I hated and probably would have been excessively miserable. It has definitely given me a different story to tell which can both draw people to you and alienate you because you don’t have a lot of the shared experiences others have. There are times I wish I had done things differently, been more brave, not retreated into myself, gone another direction, taken the short cut. If I had, would I have met the people I met or had the opportunities I had taken? No. I’m not sorry. To a certain extent I am glad. For as I continue forward on the race I’ll keep striving for the prize and focusing my attention on the finish line.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 5:31 AM


Blogger Eddo said...

Good Words.

I went off the beaten path once. I stepped out in faith and quit a very lucrative position.

Later I realized I stepped out, not in faith, but out of emotion.

HARD lessons were learned during that time. 5 years later I still don't make the money I was making at that position, but I am infinitely happier where I am at today.

I also learned so much from taking that leap. I learned not to do it again unless I was sure that it was God encouraging me.

7:20 AM  
Blogger Frankie said...

Oh I love this! Now there's absolutely NOTHING about you to dislike ;). I can really relate to so much of what you said here, especially the part about the doubts being overshadowed by the people you've met as a result of your decisions. I guess it's never easy for anyone to throw off the nagging voices of "what should be," of that parallel life we watch our acquaintinces live, but we still come to a place in our lives that we wouldn't trade for anything. I'm so glad you shared this! Thanks so much!!

7:47 AM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

Aye lad, it is easy to forget why we are doing things and go our own way.

I'm glad I was able to help. I wanted to make sure I didn't over romanticize and show that while it was fun and a blessing there were times of serious doubt, struggle and depression as well.

7:56 AM  
Blogger mack said...

thanks for being transparent for the good of us all...

8:53 AM  
Blogger Logan Bennett said...

Hey man thanks for the post, I have always lived a life on the unbeaten path, and it has worked very well for me so far. I have taken many many different turns in my life, I think the biggest reason is because I never took enough time to scare myself out of it

10:18 AM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

If someone can learn from the good/bad choices I've made, all the better.

You of all people have quite the story to tell and can definately be used for the glory of God.

10:38 AM  
Blogger shes_a_sprite said...

I think our experiences, good, bad and indifferent make us who we are. And if you took the path less traveled... well then you saw some awesome scenery, but had a hell of a time getting through all the brush to see it. Every one makes mistakes, it is how we learn from and grow as a result of them that makes them worth it.

So what exactly are you studying/ majoring in when you get back into school?

11:54 AM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

Well put. I think I was mostly ducking into the brush to keep from being spotted. No luck.

I am going to major in English. Then go to seminary in order to enter the pastorate.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Logan Bennett said...

Thank you for your Kind words man, you are always an encouragement and an inspiration

2:42 PM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

I can say the same for you Logan, I've enjoyed getting to know you.

5:31 AM  

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