Beef jerky and vodka do not make a good meal

Look. I’ve been there. And now my stomach is telling me where I’ve been. That place where the world tells you no matter how tight you tie the tourniquet, you can’t stop the bleeding.

It’s rough. It’s not just rough on your body. It’s rough on your soul. Where you wonder from where the strength for the last 9 months will come. Where you wonder if you should just extend indefinitely and save this world. Where you wonder why you thought beef jerky and vodka for a meal would help you in your pursuit.

Things are going so well. I have nothing to complain about. I’m an extremely lucky person. I just don’t know yet how to use that luck to my advantage rather than my detriment. I’m all soft in the middle. I said it. Pudgy.

The pursuit. Out among these lonely hills, living like we’re in grade school, living with parents of kindergarten-aged kids, living with no car, nowhere to go after dark, no one to hold as you slip off into another day. No one to tell you beef jerky and vodka for dinner is not a good idea.

Where do we find our salvation? How do we stay? When we could be on a plane tomorrow back home and just leave it all behind. It’s almost like survivor’s guilt. I can leave. Leave that family in the midst of their struggle; leave those friends to shorten the guest list by one; leave those students to work on their Halloween party alone. And they could, and they’d survive, and the world would continue to spin in God’s hands, the world over which Jesus looked and wept.

It’s preposterous. Preposterous to think that I’m in a position to save. Be? Yes. Exist? I can continue to do that, but not on a diet of beef jerky and vodka.

I’m here. I’m still here. Maybe that’s the success. Maybe that’s the hill I’ve conquered. Planted my flag. Watched it flap and flail in the wind. Stood looking up and seeing only sky, sky behind that flag, sky behind the colors I have fought so hard to preserve—the color of human.

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