I may have done the most foolish thing of my life. I recently left my job of almost 28 years.
No greener grass to go to. No lottery jackpot. Not even a comfy cushion of severance pay. I simply left, stepping into the unknown of a sputtering economy with no job and just a year of savings to find one.
I'm reminded of a pre-teen stunt when I tried to break a length of twine I had strung across the street by racing into it on my bike. The twine didn't break, and I still have a scar on my arm to prove it.
To be sure, the job decision hardly was rash. A bit rushed perhaps, but not rash. I'm too cowardly for that. Instead, I struggled over the idea for several years. (The twine decision took several seconds.) I spent the years praying, pondering and worrying. Sadly, more the latter than the former.
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Was change the right thing? Or was I discarding a blessing by God and, in effect, snubbing him? If so, count me among the Jews who forged the golden calf -- another ungrateful creature rejecting the fortunes showered down by the loving Creator.
This thought weighed heavy, as did my sons' college tuitions, a mortgage and the various typical expenses that require the pursuit of a worldly income. Ultimately, the overpowering need for something new forced a decision. But though I did not leave without a plan for another career, that old question nags: how much did I act on faith and how much on foolishness?
Again, I search for an answer. Perhaps a hint of loneliness offers a clue. Unfortunately, both faith and foolishness share an element of loneliness. The fool often stands alone -- usually without the wisdom to notice.
The faithful, too, occasionally find themselves isolated from their fellow men. Jesus himself seemed to know a painful loneliness during his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. (Luke 22:39-44 NAB) And likely many martyrs experienced a frightful loneliness before a cheering crowd. Alas, no answer here.
I reflect on my decision process and consider how I used my God-given gray matter. Did I assess all the options? Did I get the best advice? Did I accurately weigh the pros and cons? I recall at least being distracted from holy mass by these very ruminations. But I also recall the challenge and clarity of the scripture readings. No doubt Jesus was calling. Hopefully, I was listening.
We may never be certain why we act or take one course over another. Thankfully, God saves us from ourselves by gracing us with a rational mind and -- hopefully -- the gift of faith in varying degrees. We can freely choose to at least desire and possibly attempt to discern the right path. But, ultimately, we must decide to follow it.
I don't know where this path will lead. But I believe God has a plan, and if I stay focused on Jesus, the rest will come.
-- Daniel Sisk is a member of Christ the King Catholic Church in Richland. Questions and comments should be directed to editor Lucy Luginbill in care of the Tri-City Herald newsroom, 333 W. Canal Drive, Kennewick, W 99336. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.