Haze covers the sky. Not completely, however. A couple of jays came down early this morning yelling and screaming at each other, pecking at the seed on the balcony with woodpecker force. I told them to keep it down. One flew away the other gargled at me. I woke up early this morning with thankful thoughts and good theological wrangling over seemingly impassable issues. I watched as the cedars outside began to take on that wonderful dark green glow and the ground began to show shadows and nuances of browns. The sun peeked out, bright and wonderful after a day of fog and rain. Now it hides again behind the haze.

I have a problem. Well, I have a few problems, maybe more depending on who you ask. My problem, as I’ve come to see it, is at the core of my own pastoral calling. I’m not a salesman. I hate sales. I hate calling people, convincing people, cajoling people, following people, tricking people, or doing any of the other parts of sales. Which is a likely reason I’m not working in a church right now despite my passion, gifts, degrees and talents.

But, I’m an investor. I pour myself into people. I see people who are worth investing in and I will exhaust myself at times trying to do what I can in order to see them rise above the muck and mire. I have a yearning to show heaven to people, and because I tend to see in people their potential I can speak in a way which helps them see.

This is not a hobby. This is all consuming. This is something which defines and shapes my entire being. This is a problem.

Because people worth investing in, the ones who are in my life, don’t pay well. In fact, they don’t pay at all. But, I cannot invest in a faceless corporation nor seem to break away from wanting to see those I know, who God has brought into my life, rise up in their own calling.

But, I don’t get paid for doing this, and find myself increasingly taking on more and more with that same level of pay. My heart is driven to do, my soul is weakened because despite all I do, I can go to a party and be filled with guilt that I’m not getting paid to my potential.

Nor can I let go of caring about this. So I’m stuck. I’m stuck taking on more and more without any compensation, finding my heart fighting my ambition. Ambition for what? Both heaven and earth. And these don’t mix very well.

But, I can’t release earth because that means releasing that part of me which calls me heavenward, that yearning to invest in those around me. Should I cut that off, I cut off my spiritual self. Yet, I am bogged down today in investing in others because never, ever do I find any sort of compensation or guidance in my own life. I can work fifty hours or more a week and still have to explain to the accountant and human resource manager and executive my worth. I am lazy even if I am busy because I am not investing in that or those who could best pay.

But, I seemingly cannot do otherwise. And it is all wearisome this morning… which is an odd thing to say given the fact I woke up with a great deal of hope and thanksgiving and the sun shining on the forest outside.

Lord teach me how to pray. Lord I don’t believe. Help my unbelief.