Upon Being Laid Off, aka Set Free

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I stepped out of the car and onto the sidewalk. The bright windows of the empty shop in front of us reflected the water and sky broken by the narrow line of the bluffs behind. I pushed the button and immediately realized, I was getting the call, the call we’d been waiting for. I was being let go. Laid off.

Set free.

We were at the tail end of our vacation in Mendocino, God’s country on the northern California coast, a blossoming June day. I say we’d been waiting for it. And we had, in a way, though finally content with God's appointment in Colorado and the high desert, front range, big-transient-city-that-still-thinks-it's-a-small-town. We love our friends and we fit the profile. We became corporate Christian publishing and the white-picket Jesus Land, though it never fit our style.

And I shook hands with a new life in my mind while standing on the sand-strewn cement in front of tourist galleries and coffee shops, and knew all this was our gift. Wrapped up in a giant, cascading bow, so began our next step toward the great dream, this dream placed in us long ago that we only just now have to start waking up to.

Where we’re going, we don’t know. Or we do, but not really. We'll go west and be with family, seek the most fertile places to plant ourselves and love people. Employ our skills to the tasks we’ve longed to do. And experience, this is the more we want to be aware of, with life skittering out in all directions like water beads on a skillet. We’re excited to spread.

The people and places we’ve met in the short time we were on the blue coast opened our eyes to something we want to teach. Ourselves and others, to open our eyes and live with our hearts, to find the tools to express the deeper desires and find the words that speak of an enjoyed life lived more fully.

This is the glimmering prize in the bright kingdom of grace: the kingdom is only found in letting it go. And will I learn now how this was meant to leave us more aware of our true value to the gift-giver? And how do I respond to this? And how can there be any improvement upon what’s already been made so abundantly clear here?

We are loved, all. Inexcusably.

The answers I have for this are all still-lifes, frozen in the paintings of the white-walled galleries of Mendocino. Answers contained in simply asking the questions the artist inspires.

How can I love today?

The first question.

And the next.

Who wants to help?

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22 thoughts on “Upon Being Laid Off, aka Set Free”

  1. The pursuance of dreams, the inborn desires, the perpetual motion of finding that place the Architect designed just for you.
    To those willing hearts He guides the inspiration to complete His desires.

  2. At last…you have stepped fully onto Freedom Road. Having made the same turn last year, I wouldn’t go back for anything. I’m excited for you…and for me too, because I’ll benefit from the things you pick up along the road.

  3. All week long, one line from the gospel of Luke has been bouncing off the walls of my mind. When Jesus sent the disciples out, He told them “Take nothing for the journey.” Take nothing for the journey. Take nothing for the journey. I can’t get away from that phrase that comes in the midst of concentrated prayer about using writing within the kingdom of God here on earth. Take nothing for the journey . . . Wow, right?

  4. In kingdom terms, it’s a promotion, and as you say, time to leave the white picket fence realm. Can’t wait to see what’s next. Wonderful to read your thoughts on the matter.

  5. Your confirmations mean a lot. Thank you!
    Lori, that’s a great meditation. Thank you for sharing it.
    You’re all a part of it, too. Thanks so much for keeping your eyes open with me–we’ll find what’s next!

  6. Praying for you and yours, Mick. I have long appreciated your perspective, and I expect to see more of it, wherever God leads you. Thanks for all the good things that you’ve shared with us here.

  7. n.davis rosback said it all but I am going to miss placing things on your desk :-) Our prayers are with you and this grand adventure will surely unfold many gifts as well.

  8. Meg, I’ve long admired you too! WIshing you the best…
    Diana, sorry it was never meant to be. Appreciate the prayers.

  9. Hi, Mick;
    I haven’t been here in a while and was stunned at your post’s title. I received my verbal lay off notice yesterday with the written version impending. I didn’t respond as…let’s say, spiritually as you. Unless panic and terror count. But a night of prayer has made today better and I see your post as an affirmation to me. So, I don’t know if I’m signing up to help but…thank you for helping me!

  10. Charise, so glad God sent you this way. I’ll add you to my prayer list. Hope you stick around and share some of that fresh perspective…

  11. Mick,
    Isn’t it nice when God’s will is so glaringly clear? You got a Catholic praying for you, whether you like it or not.

  12. Mick.
    Congratulations. A door is always an opportunity, whether it’s opening or closing doesn’t matter in the long run.
    You and Zeke need to get to know each other better anyway…
    Keep me posted :)