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At church today the gospel reading had to do with one of Jesus’s disciples who insisted on having actual, physical, tangible evidence before he could believe that the Messiah had died and then come back to life again. The intention of this story is to encourage people to believe –unlike “Doubting Thomas”– in something that they can’t actually see with their very own eyes.
This reading really struck home with me today because I’m in exactly this place: I’m having trouble seeing the future, and I don’t know what to believe. I’m encouraged to hope that my future will include finding a means of supporting myself, a place to live, and a healthy body to inhabit. But as of the time I’m writing this, none of that seems particularly realistic.
To be sure, I had yet another job interview last week. So it’s not as though my prospects are completely hopeless. But since last June I have contacted 98 companies about job openings, and have been interviewed by 13 of them, and so far have not been selected once. As much as I joke around about 100 being my “Magic Number” the chances are very high that I will have to apply to more than that before getting my next interview.
It’s hard not to feel like the whole search is futile; that I’m chasing a goose that’s not only wild, but exists only in fantasy.
Similarly, my eating habits have been out of control about 90% of the time over the past 30 days. Not because I’m a bad or evil person, or because I’m ignorant, weak, or foolish. It’s just that I’ve turned to overeating comfort foods as a way to hide from the scary parts of the world that seem so unwelcoming right now. I understand that this won’t really help me in the long (or even near) term. But life is feeling bleak, and chocolate seems like such a great escape.
It’s hard to envision getting back on track with food again. As with my job search, it’s not for lack of effort. I’m duly journalling what I’m consuming, I start each day with a healthy breakfast, and I’m aware of how eating the best-for-me foods actually makes me feel better than ANY amount of cookies.
But’s a long slog and again it feels at times as if my quest for control is futile.
I’m left with reflecting on the message of the gospel writer. Namely, that “seeing is believing” is a poor philosophy indeed. The challenge to reaching goals and achieving things in life is to believe. Simply to believe.