Monday, January 14, 2008

Brother, Can You Spare A Quarter, Or Maybe a Paradigm?

Today was the first day of 2008 that I worked a "normal" day. There really aren't any normal days in my line of work. The specific task, location of the work, the weather, the terrain, and pace all change from day to day. Today was one of those days that lent itself to daydreams. I think that by the time I made it back home, I had driven about 250 miles - give or take a few dozen.

From the foggy farmlands of Selma, California to the clear blue skies, and icy, snow laden granite peaks of Shaver Lake - I drove on. Eventually, I inspected some underground system transformers. I've never inspected a pad mounted transformer from above it. Only in the snow, my friends. I gave up when it came to looking for an underground junction box. The thought of digging through 4 feet of snow to inspect a J-box was too much for such a daydreaming day as this one. Luckily, it was time to head down from the mountain for the day.

If there is something that is common to every workday, it is that I can never tell what will lie in store. There is always something new around the next street corner, over the next mountain peak, or across the next river. I love that about my job. I, and the others that work in my field have seen more of the country than almost anyone. We see as much of the countryside as a Forest Ranger, Farmer, Postman, and Fuller Brush Salesman combined. From the farthest reaches of the state to your front door - linemen see it all.

There are large facets of my job that I can control: when and where I take my lunch break, how fast or slow I move through a circuit inspection, and whether I decide to fix a problem on my own, or write it up to have a crew come out and fix it. What I don't get to decide is which parts of a circuit I will inspect. That is decided for me by both my supervisor, and chance (or Providence, if you will).

Providence has placed me in times and places that have slowly chipped away at my former paradigm. I don't know that I could really define my self myself. I could only say that I was a more rigid person. Black was black, and white was white - never mind the gradients. I played it safe. If I treated all the grey areas of the world that were more "whitish" as white, and the more "blackish" areas as black, then I knew I couldn't accidentally cross the line. How safe. How sad. I denied His invitation to the full life.

Don't bother asking for spare change. God doesn't love gang members, illegal immigrants, or the drug addicted. Gay people are all godless, loveless, hedonists. I can't be bothered to think that any of these people might actually love God, struggle with daily sins, desire to be holy, or want a better life. Slap a label on them, and put them on their appropriate shelves. Miscreant. Felon. Junkie. Hedonist. And thus, I have managed to absolve myself of my calling to help my fellow man. We all lose.

It hit me one day while I was driving down Belmont, or Ventura. One of those downtown streets. I saw a mother carrying her baby, wrapped in a blanket, possibly covered in Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore. She was beaming. Cooing and sighing to her baby. As she stood on the corner, waiting for the traffic, a couple of men were taking hits off a crack pipe, under the eaves of a dilapidated corner storefront. There I was - a witness to the scene. Conveniently cloaked in the anonymity of a power company truck.

What is the point of it all? Fellowship. With God.

And what am I doing to make the Invisible God, visible to my fellow man? I can label, and build distance. Or, I can be willing to make myself available to show God's love.

Every day is an opportunity.

Here's a post from Relevant that I can relate to.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what a piece of work you are.Come out of the closet and say what you do about gays