White, Educated, Male, and Unemployed

This blog went silent for a while due largely to the vast amount of changes that have been taking place in the last two weeks. Formerly possessing an Arkansan address, I now reside in Nashville, Tennessee. I decided to do something a bit unorthodox—I moved here before getting a job when it seems more the norm to move to where the job is. Actually, though, I’m still waiting to find out what that job is.

If you count when I started back at school, I’ve been job searching for the past two months. In that time I believe I’ve filled out more than sixty online applications and probably about ten physical ones to hand in to people. This has amounted to a total of four interviews, two of which only occurred within the last week and two more to happen this week.

Yay recession.

Now, part of all of this is me wanting to conduct a little experiment on myself. I would like to see my relationship with God reach a new level, a point where I actually believe that he is my sole sufficiency. I recognize that my actions in the past confirm that I do not fully believe this. And so, I kind of like the idea of putting myself in an uncomfortable situation. And uncomfortable this time most certainly is. There’s this conclusion that I’ve reached, and quite honestly, I’m pretty sure that it will be the first two sentences of a book I’ll write someday (not about this, but about something else):

I am a white educated male living in America. This automatically means that I do not know how to trust God.

I’ve had everything on a silver platter my entire life. I have never been without. It’s easy to say you rely on God when everything’s taken care of for you. You see it in church when we sing such things like, “You’re all I want; you’re all I’ve ever needed,” while the SUV waits in the parking lot to take us out to eat at a restaurant.

There comes a point where you realize that all of your life has been pretty flaky in terms of what you proffer to others as the underlying ethos to the rhythms and structures of your thoughts and decisions. I would wholeheartedly tell you four years ago that I trusted God, but that was a sham. And in this time of unemployment, I can definitely tell you that I don’t trust God. I’m learning, but I’m not there. I’ve been here two weeks, and only now am I at the point where I go about my day without shortness of breath. I’ve lived a structured, calendared, and planned life. I’m learning to let go of that while attempting to enter the fluid existence of being on someone else’s map.

I know I’m striving for something unattainable. And I’m well aware that brow-beating myself for failing won’t do anything, either, so if you feel like telling me that, I’ll go ahead and save you the trouble by acknowledging my consciousness of such a fact. But there is ground to gain. A lot of it comes down to perspective.

No, I don’t have a job. But I have enough money in savings to where I can make it for two months—maybe three in ultra frugality—if I don’t find a job. By that point I will be legitimately broke, but here’s what I have to keep coming back to: Christ supplicates God for his daily bread. I have my monthly and next-monthly bread already taken care of, and yet, I bristle and quiver as if I’m at the end of my rope. I’m positive that if someone who was truly on their last leg saw me endlessly stressing, they would just shake their head in disbelief (and well they should). And this is when I realize what an ungrateful schmuck I am.

And so, rather than worry about not having a job, praise is the proper response. Is it still stressful being unemployed in a city I don’t know? Oh, most definitely. But God has taken care of my every need up until this point. Why would he suddenly stop tomorrow? I can think of no reason. He who has acted as such in the past is the same today as he was then. He does not change.

Am I a white educated male living in America? Yes, and so I will always have to fight the allure of believing in the myth of personal financial progress or donning the sense of entitlement. I just received a bachelor’s degree after four years of hard work. So what? That means nothing in terms of what happens next. We usually believe it should mean something, but it doesn’t. I deserve nothing other than that which God sees fit to give me. Whatever that may be, I have no idea, but it will come at the time it needs to come. And until then I can wait and be still and rest in the peace that true security brings.

Many more blog posts are coming, don’t you worry. It’s just a little hard to do right now in light of another little sociological self-experiment I’m conducting on myself: I’m refusing to have internet for a month. I’ll let you know how life unconnected has been in the near future.

Much love.

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