Wow, 9 months. What a roller coaster ride.
Utter crushing rejection because a role in Fonterra that I was eyeing got stolen right underneath my nose in the form of internal applications, just when I thought I was seeing my Canaan from across the Jordan river. Then it turned out to be a genuine blessing in disguise because the guy who interviewed me moved on 2 months later from where I would have ended up (South Island) back up to the Waikato anyway.
Finding out through television news that my workplace was on fire and all hard work and aspirations for the past 13 months turned to ash that night.
3 months later, acquired a new job – still operations in the dairy industry doing 4 on 4 off with 12-hour shifts starting at 4 am and 4pm, much to my disappointment, but with a 50% pay hike and with a pay packet that is probably the equivalent income of many families after tax with the one diary company in New Zealand that was not shy about doing extremely well, sometimes you have to be contended even if you did not get what you want.
The big move. Church-hunting. Existential crunch due to shift-work and what faith really means. Eye injury due to caustic burn because work was too hectic causing you to take that one short-cut at the wrong time. Juggling working 48 hours a week with seminary study. Dropping out a paper. Almost quitting seminary study completely this semester altogether. Final exam. 18 page term-paper on Medieval philosophy that I initially entered thinking “do I really have to do this” to “Dear God, this makes so much sense! Thank you for Thomas Aquinas!”. Getting what the doctor thought was shingles (residual chickenpox virus in your body) and going through a few weeks thinking that I’m about to die of a heart attack only in my late 20s. Did I mention 48 hours a week of shift work? And the half a day lost because your body clock is all messed up?
Yet I got through all of it at the very end, and not because of my own ability nor control. Came out appreciating John 15:5 more and more: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Came out fully convinced that Thomism is makes sense and is the way bridging theology and philosophy together. Most important of all came out feeling that sometimes faith in God requires you to walk the path that will not be clearly lit – you just gotta walk holding onto the light that you have.
Far more than ever, how important apologetics is in my life is making more and more sense: by knowing and then rooting your being in The Truth – The Word is Truth (John 17:17) and the truth also being discoverable by human reason , as much as you may rock and sway in the tidings of life you will hold firm and you will get to the end.
Big, big shout out to Dr Brian Huffling at SES- you have far more faith in me than I do at my worst moments.
I’m still hoping that normal 8-5 job will come. I’m still hoping that something more befitting of an engineer’s qualification will come along. I’m still hoping that I can be part of some big apologetics project in a church somewhere. Maybe start that Ratio Christi chapter even, to not leave those who were akin to me in my boat during my university years to fend for themselves.
The crucible of life does have a tendency to remind you that when all else fails and when none of the pieces in your particular moment in life makes sense at all , you either find an answer of who you are that anchors you or you burn away. I have that answer. I came close to the flame and the brink of myself and I didn’t turn to ashes.
Bring on 2015, and onto whatever God has fore-ordained.