RAGING EGO, RAGING CHRIST
Is this battle eternal???
I was too exhausted to dwell on the humiliation I was being forced to gulp down every day of my present life. I would drag myself from my bed, more exhausted than when I had flopped into it, and go back to work. I had to be there at 6: oo AM and I wouldn’t get back home till after 6:00 PM when my work day ended.
The fresh air, early morning light, and strong black coffee fired up my brain which told my body that I had had a full night’s sleep. I told myself to suck it up and get my ass moving, that me and my little crew had a semi truck trailer to fill with butchered beef carcasses today. People everywhere were waiting for their meat.
Day after day, all I could focus on was getting back to work, getting through the day and getting back to bed. It reminded me of the last half hour of football practice in 98 degree heat and 98 % humidity driven by coaches screaming at me to gut, gut, gut it out or in the fourth quarter of a game when those same internalized words reminded me that to win, to humiliate the guy in front of me I had to dig down deeper than the bottom of the barrel for grit, guts, and strength, that I didn’t even know was there if I was going to annihilate him and every one of his teammates…… I and my teammates would then be heroes.
Now, with my fine physical prowess, I was delivering the meat to the people for $2.56/ hour. There was no roar of the crowd, no letterman’s jacket; no triumphant moments with girls in the back seat of my shiny red Ford or lots of beer to make the moments even more real. But, there was humiliation, shame, dismay, fear, and anger. And, I do remember so well, that there was some gratitude that none of my fellow meat whackers had any idea that I had ever been anything other than a day laborer.
The adjustment to this murderous job only took three weeks, it seemed like a year, but I was young and my body responded. I’m sure that by far the greater part of my trauma was the devastating emotions. I think Christ was simply and lovingly ripping me a new one. During those three weeks I have only one fond memory and that was that once in a while on my way to bed, Christ would lift my head long enough for me to see my books on the table next to my bed which , of course, I was too tired to read but when I saw the little mystery book given to me by the mystery woman, unknown to me to this day, I would remember two phrases: “God is” and “God is appearing as me and all individual beings”.
Providence had been bouncing me around pretty good and it wasn’t through with me yet.