Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Maslow and the Exodus

When we read Exodus, we get all kinds of self-righteous. We think that if we were there, we would understand that God is going to save us so we know we wouldn't complain. We know we wouldn't get bent out of shape because we were hungry. We would be happy that we were out of slavery.

I used to think that way. I used to think that I would be happy to be away from slavery. I wouldn't complain. Well, I am complaining! I am thinking Egypt didn't look so bad. I am thinking that being a full slave was better than living in hungry freedom.

No, I am not hungry, yet. I am living in relative deprivation. I have less then I had and I am seeing a future with even those things going. I got a letter yesterday informing me that my house payment was going up almost $200/month. I also got news that all the paperwork I sent to the Episcopal Church was sent to the wrong place. So the whole church thing is going to take longer and soon my bank account will hit zero.

I begin to wonder if it wouldn't have been better to just keep my mouth shut, remained slave to a lie, but have the comforts in life. Would it be better to stay silent and have a job and a house? I know in my heart that it wouldn't, but the man lying in bed, unable to sleep, wonders differently.

Maslow says that we have to have our lower needs satisfied before we can reach for the higher things. It is hard to keep the higher things in mind when even the base needs seem so distant.

I look at my cat sleeping next to me and begin to panic. The food she eats to keep her from getting bowel obstructions costs $40 for a 14 pound bag. I bought a bag before I left my call, but will I be able to afford to buy another? She is sleeping. She doesn't realize that the food she needs may not be there.

I guess this shows how our society of entitlement goes. I have this feeling of entitlement. I have two masters degrees, that should account for something. In many ways, I hold my degrees up as a sign that I am better than others. I know I am not, but it is hard to not feel that way.

I feel like I am in the desert. I feel frightened and lost. It is easy to become angry. It is easy to yell at God and say, "I'm doing this for YOU!" It is easy to believe that this is all happening because "God hates fags." It is really easy to get depressed.

So now I am waiting to see if the temp. agency will call. I have an appointment with my shrink that I will be paying for in the future. I have bills coming due with no real way to pay.

Then the question, "If I do sell my house, then where do I live?" The other question, "In today's market, CAN I sell my house?"

It is the times like this that try our faith.


Anonymous said...

You write with such humility and honesty. How do we handle our choices of being full slaves or living in hungry freedom?

Please be encouraged, fellow journeyer. You have all the support and thoughts and prayers I know how to presently offer.

Lemuel said...

journeyman echoes my own thoughts and prayers for you.

it is probably cold comfort for you, but 18 years ago I was in similar shoes, not because I came out, but because I had the audacity to say no to my bishop, an ultimate heresy in my tradition. At that point I had no job, I had no home (home was a parsonage - and as such I had no equity), I had no savings, and I had a wife, 2 young sons(, and a dog) to feed, clothe, and house.

all i can say is that i learned to trust. i learned to examine my life and understand the difference between what I wanted and what I needed. things fell into place at the right time (en kairo). sometimes (by my time) not a moment too soon. now 18 years later, i am not wealthy, i live in a very modest home (that is my own [and the bank's] **grin**) and i've had to work very, very hard. But i am free and i am blessed. My own desert journey has both strengthened and softened me. i cannot sing "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" without tears streaming down my face.

may you come to know peace, dear friend, on this desert journey of yours. may you be renewed in Grace. may you receive what you need packed down and overflowing.

for freedom you have been set free, do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

God bless! HUGS!

Ur-spo said...

yes, you are in a desert.
It is where most go when they depart or are thrown out of the status quo.
No need to tell you that therein are trials but also purification.
I know you will come out tranformed.

Mikey said...

Maslow's Heirachy of Needs is only a Theory. I have lived on the streets, doing things that nightmares are made of. All during this time my esteem was intact, even though I was neither safe nor secure. I do not have answers for you, but I can say from reading your blog for the first time, your smart, caring and a little twisted. You sound like a great guy to me!