Groundwork (pt. 1)

This will be a two-part-er.

For years I ran from the image of being glued to a full-time job. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what the hangup was, but I knew that I feared losing my free time, and that seemed intolerable. Something in me stubbornly wanted to hold on to my leisure time, having been wooed by transcendentalist thinkers, easy living in college, and imaginings that I would do better carving my own path.

So, for more than a year after I returned from the Race, I still stuck to part-time endeavors. I used my vast free time to try to figure out where God was steering me, and … to play, a lot. Then, early last fall, I stumbled upon a gig that practically enshrined the notions of flexibility and freedom that I had held out for: pedicabbing.

Being a pedi-cabbie is hardly a job as we think of one. You set your own hours, take breaks whenever you want, stop for snacks as you ride, and if you want to take a night off, or a week, or a month, there are no repercussions at all. It’s a high-risk job with a high reward — some nights I made $10 for 5 hours of work; other nights, I made $200 in less time. Working 3 nights a week would have paid the bills.

My idyllic pedicabbing lifestyle worked out well in the beginning. With so much un-committed time, I was free to connect more with the guys that I discipled, visit friends, write, read, worship, exercise, and do all the things that I think are important, and fun. I was supporting myself while working fewer hours than ever, and it felt as though it might be truly sustainable.

But, surprise, it didn’t last. Actually, the focus and drive that first filled my leisure time really died in a hurry. Lack of a strong central focus gave way to boredom, and soon I found myself simply wasting the majority of most of my days. It turned sour quite fast.

And so, only a couple of months into a lifestyle that embodied my old dreams of freedom, I found myself yearning for some kind of meaningful work to fill my time. The game was about to change.

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