Focus, rise above fatigue, and heal

I’ve been incredibly busy completing my CNA training, looking for work, getting in whatever Circle work I can, and doing any temporary job I can find. But I have a moment to come up for air, so I thought I’d give everyone a brief update.

I completed my CNA class and passed the final exam with the highest score in the class. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist a little ego-inflating there.) I still have to take the state exam to become a CNA, but there are some places that will hire you if you just pass a state-certified course, which I have done.

So, I’ve been seeking work at those places, mainly assisted-living facilities. I think this recession is overturning all the usual rules. Everyone told me that CNA jobs have a high turnover so there are lots of jobs available, but my sense is that in this economy people are clinging to whatever job they have. I’ve applied to nineteen places so far without success.

Meanwhile, I’ve been taking any temporary job I can get. I spent three weeks hawking charge cards at Kohl’s Department Store. I did that at the same time as the CNA class, which made for some long, tiring days. Last night I started a new temporary job parking cars at a baseball stadium. It snowed. Really. Okay, it was just a few brief, tiny flurries and it didn’t stick, but it snowed. I was in the parking lot for five hours straight in a stiff wind, and I was cold. Repeating “I am not a body, I am free” didn’t seem to help. The cold front left overnight, and today (when I wasn’t working outside, of course), it was about 70. Go figure.

But I’m not complaining. Thank God for my Course practice! The practice I’ve been coming back to again and again is a version of a line Jesus addressed to Bill to deal with Bill’s characteristic lethargy. The full line says, “When you have given up this voluntary dis-spiriting, you will see how your mind can focus and rise above fatigue and heal [others]” (T-4.IV.6:3). There have been times during this experience in Atlanta when I’ve been tired and dispirited, so I’ve made this line into a simple injunction to apply during those times: “Focus, rise above fatigue, and heal.”

This brief injunction reminds me that I have the limitless inspiration of God at my disposal, and that my function at all times, whether I’m promoting charge cards or parking cars or working as a CNA, is to extend healing to others. Doing this function will energize me as nothing else will.

I’ve found this practice very effective. Oh, I still have times when I feel tired and dispirited — and to be perfectly honest, there have been a few really bad days — but the Course has been a lifeline that has pulled me out of “voluntary dis-spiriting” again and again. Tonight I feel focused and energized and ready to heal.

Now if only someone would pay me to do that, and soon…:)