These past couple days have caused deep pondering to how I am so misfit in this world. I’ve always felt a little outside of most; I don’t mean that to be arrogant in that I am better than others or that I am more enlightened, I’ve just always been outside of what I perceive others to be. When I was in the second half of my teen years, I was often told that I was different than others, that I was deeper, that I was not like them, that I was an “old soul,” that I was wise. I didn’t really know what to do with that at such a young age. I still don’t know what to do with that at mid-age.
Life has gone on for more than a quarter of a century since then and I still find myself different than them. To me, “them” is the women who talk endlessly about things like fingernails, house decor, husband bashing, celebrity trashing, and the like. To me, “them” are the people raising children. To me, “them” are the people who desire all the latest goods that life has to offer. To me, “them” are the people whose lives revolve around sports.
As I struggle to not judge the life of others, I also feel so very disconnected because I feel that so many people around me are in a gorging stupor, myself included in some areas. Sure, that is a sweeping generalization–something I’ve been told I do, but how do I come to grips with what I believe to be most people’s realities?
Although this has caused me distress for several years, this particular post comes on as I have just had to close my business for a day due to a staffing shortage. I had to work out of town and had no one else to cover the shop. On my way back, I stopped for lunch, a place that should have taken 10 minutes took 40 minutes; they were short-staffed. As I was waiting for my food, I watched dozens of cars drive past an orange traffic cone with a hand-written note taped to it. The note said “coffee Drive-thru closed.” After lunch I walked to the coffee shop and the manager was apologizing to the Guests stating that in order to make things somewhat bearable for their Guests, they had to close the drive-thru because they had 3 people not come to work that day.
Now this is a much longer conversation, one that plays in my head over and over and over; bottom line–every single business in our area is hiring, every single business is short-staffed, we have a massive amount of unfilled jobs across our state. Businesses are managing-down their business, a sad thing for those that desire to grow business.
However, the “different” part of me that I “feel” is the pain of the gorging. Societally, many of us cannot consume fast enough. Some days it makes me sick thinking of all the massive waste, consumerism and junk we think we need. Again, there is a much, much longer conversation here, but my heart aches at what I literally “feel” happening around me.
Misfit thinking wonders “What if we realized we only needed enough for the moment?” God promises provision; I’ve been the receiver and witness to God’s constant supply–thank you, Lord! Misfit thinking wonders “If we only cared about our provisions for the moment, would we have such a labor shortage?” Misfit thinking wonders “If we realized that our purpose is to love God and to love others and that’s really what it’s all about, would we need all the stuff we think we need to make that happen?”
I’m a consumer too. I struggle with too much coffee, with too much social media, with too much food. I don’t know what the answer is. But what I do know is that this misfit still feels different in thinking these things. I want everyone around me to feel uncomfortable with what is going on in the world. I don’t want to suppress it, I want to take it on, head first–Shake it! Push it! Punch it! That’s how I feel with this misfit thinking. I think God is challenging me, forging me to question everything, stripping me of so much when I didn’t think I had much to strip (Lord, forgive me).
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” ~C.S. Lewis
“…I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls…” 1Peter 2:11-12