In my last entry, I referred to my present health and career crisis as a storm. I considered and then wrote about how it built up and finally blew up. In explaining this to my present clients, I even drew a picture of a mushroom cloud as an illustration of my job situation.
44 The Lord hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so that the ship was about to break up. 5 Then the sailors became afraid and every man cried to his god . . .
Since then, I have had time to be alone with my thoughts. In a hospital room. Tonight is my fourth night in this hospital room.
17 [i]And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights.
I came here because I have been breathing very badly, to the point of being out of breath, to the brink of passing out, because of simply talking or walking a short distance. Or maybe I came here because when God said “Get back to your calling,” and “It is time to return to the mission,” I half closed my ears and began trying to find a way to keep my secure job and do His Will on the side. God never seems happy with me when I make Him a second instead of a first. Either way, I ended up in a hospital room with a major career change and a health crisis weighing me down into a wheezing, coughing, fainting mess.
“While I was fainting away,
I remembered the Lord,
And my prayer came to You,
Into Your holy temple.
8 “Those who regard vain idols
Forsake their faithfulness,
9 But I will sacrifice to You
With the voice of thanksgiving.
That which I have vowed I will pay.
Salvation is from the Lord.”
10 Then the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up onto the dry land.
And then Jonah obeyed. Not perfectly or even cheerfully. . . but he obeyed.
As I sit here tonight enjoying the solitude of my hospital room, I am as hopeful (or better) as I have been in years. The doctors have figured out that my breathing issue is a long present but unrecognized asthmatic condition that is quite treatable. The treatment will hopefully result in my breathing better and feeling better than I knew was possible.
Just as important is the fact that I have finally done what I needed to return to my real career. Solving legal problems for people who need it. Based on the 25 years of experience I now have, I will be cheerfully (unlike Jonah) offering a holistic approach to legal problem solving. More on that to come.
My dear wife has been advising me to do this for months. She gives wise counsel. I should follow her advice more often and more rapidly. But I had to see some things for myself to grasp the fact that it was time. She is from South Louisiana, and she has explained before that one of her favorite smells from childhood is the aroma that floats across that area of the country once a year as the farmers burn their sugar cane fields.
The fields are burned to clean the land and nourish the soil for the next crop. The farmer has to have the good judgment to see when this crop has been harvested as much as it will be, and a new crop should be planted.
When that time comes he must raze what he has invested himself in raising, and look to the future instead of the past.
For me, planting season is here.