No matter the place of employment, there’s always a chance there will be food in the break or conference rooms. In the United States, this free food often involves, pizza, donuts, bagels, birthday cake, other baked goods, catered food such as fried chicken or sandwiches- all of which are off limits for someone with […]
Another week is here whether or not I’m ready for it. I’ve been very uninspired and angry while trying to get through this maze we call life. “Now what?” is the operative question floating around in my head. You ever reached a point of mental exhaustion where all the faith, philosophy, and self-help motivation isn’t going to help? I’m there.
I try to take care of myself concerning my celiac disease and my overall health, but I keep hitting walls and having setbacks. I’m emotionally spent, as my discouragement has sank me back into depression. It’s hard to find the bright side when it’s a dark and cloudy night. Everything I try is another dead end. I’m trapped like a rat on a sinking ship.
As I stated at the beginning, I’ve been angry about the way things have turned out. I know my reaction is under my control, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating when you have to watch yourself and the ones you love struggle through undeserved trials. Deserve- I’ve been dwelling a lot on that word. Maybe life isn’t about what you deserve, it’s just dealing with what you get and you get through it the best you can. My faith teaches me that there is a plan for my life and everything will work out, but who knows what this plan is? None of us seems to know and we just go through life attributing events to “God’s will.” I just wonder why doesn’t the Almighty make it easier for us mere mortals to figure out this plan?
Maybe I’m jaded because I have suffered loss in the spirituality department or maybe I’m more discerning and deliberate in my forties, but I’ve reached a point where I’m not falling for the vague promises of someone on the campaign trail:
“It’s a great plan. I can’t get into specifics, but it’s going to be good.”
Wouldn’t God be better served, both literally and figuratively, if He was more forthright as to what we are supposed to do? Why do I have to die to find out how it all fits together? I have to live this life now. I cannot sacrifice enjoying the present for some vague promise of what’s to come. I know some Christians would question and abhor my skepticism, but I need facts, I need data. I am a man of reason, this must be reasonable if I am to make an informed choice. I have neither the time nor the inclination to play the spiritual equivalent of the game “Guess Who?”
I must be intellectually honest with myself or I’m going nowhere. My faith is a struggle and I have a hard time believing. To use a human analogy: If you were in a relationship with someone- a significant other, friend, or family member, and they repeatedly allowed you to be hurt or disappointed, how would you feel about trying to start over? If you’ve read this far, thank you for allowing me to get this off of my chest.
By Michael W. Raley
A cup of hot tea
Is just what I need
To unwind from this day.
The sun has set, no longer shining its rays.
The sky is dominated by the moon’s glow.
Soon I ‘ll reach for my copy of Thoreau
And off to Walden Pond we will go;
The secret to the simple life I yearn to know.
I grow weary of the daily shuffle and bustle,
As I try to stay a step ahead of the hustle.
I seek to hear nature’s rapturous song sang by the birds,
Accompanied by the melodious thunder of a distant herd.
I would gladly trade this busyness and strife
For the deliberate, thoughtful life.
By Michael W Raley
Hard times, whether in the future or past,
Help shape the mold from which we are cast.
Will we become a vessel refined
Or be relegated to the scrap pile of time?
The hard times teach us what we don’t know
And show us how we are to grow
Into the person we can and should be,
Thus, helping to forge our destiny.
Just as gold goes through the fire,
So will we, as we learn to quell our bad habits and desires.
When our time in the fire is done,
We shall be as sharpened iron on display for everyone.
By Michael W. Raley
Ask me how I’m doing?
I will tell you “fine,”
Despite the overwhelming feeling life is in ruins.
I would tell you, but you may not have the time
To hear me to explain
This physical and emotional pain.
I could tell you about how it took the strength of Hercules
To get out of bed
And how it took the reasoning skills of Socrates
To think of a reason why.
I am not like this everyday,
As there is occasional joy along the way.
Though I may not “look sick,”
This ailment is not one that I picked,
For this is complicated and difficult to understand,
No matter how strong you are as a woman or man.
“It’s in your head,” is the wrong thing to say,
To someone who lives with this monster every day.
By Michael W. Raley
Life’s education isn’t always about the degrees earned,
But rather it is in the lessons learned.
The answers aren’t always found in the sacred books,
Thus, it is up to us to search and look.
Don’t be afraid to break off from the pack,
For leaving may be the best move when you look back
On this, your one and only life,
Equal parts love, joy, misery, and strife.
Don’t allow your spiritual flower to wilt
And allow yourself to be weighed down with guilt.
Have the courage to challenge the status quo
And the humility to admit that you don’t know.
Realize that you are never too old for a new start
And embrace this life with all of you mind, soul, and heart.
By Michael W Raley
As I enjoy my meal,
I stop to notice the lives of others that are in motion.
I wonder, “Are they at peace? ”
“Or is life for them perpetual commotion?”
I am connected to these people
And they are connected to me,
For we occupy the same moment
In the same universe,
Yet we will all exit at different times.