It has come to my attention that I last posted here about six weeks ago. This means history has been made here at Sober Catholic! December 2021 was the very first month without any blogposts. I was going to say “That’s nothing to be proud of!” but when you consider I’ve been doing this since January 2007, that is an accomplishment. OK, a few times I ‘cheated,’ realizing on the first of a month that I missed the previous one; so I’d write a quickie post and backdate it. (At least I issued a disclaimer announcing the backdating.) I thought about doing that again, but as the days of January marched on, I succumbed to blogging honesty and decided against such chicanery.
History was also made on January 5th, when this blog celebrated (quietly) its 15th bloggaversary.
I have had some good reasons for missing December 2021 and half of January 2022. Times had gotten a bit difficult. The stress of the Christmas season (from the secular side) plus some personal struggles had contributed to blogging neglect. I have been out of work for a while since the COVID pandemic ended my regular job in 2020. Relying on the additional pandemic unemployment insurance while it lasted, I also had been searching for a work-at-home position. A few came and went; some turned out to be bogus, or otherwise not what they seemed, and in December 2021 things seemingly looked up. I found a ghostwriter content job, which actually turned out to be painful. While I appreciated the opportunity, given the time spent writing, and factoring in the fixed rate of payment for the articles, I’d be making minimum wage. For 1979. And then…
… I found another. I have been a member of a certain online community dedicated to permaculture and homesteading for quite a while and took to the welcoming and informative atmosphere. I won’t mention the specific place for the time being, but after a fashion, I will come back and edit this with the actual identity. (People good with search engines and intuition can probably guess.) Anyway, for some odd reason the community took to me as well, and OK, to make a long story short, the … interesting… fellow who runs the place needed a virtual assistant and I thought, “What the hooey, I’ll try for it.” Well, if I ain’t a worm wriggling around in a fresh compost heap, but I got the job! Been doing it for almost a month. I work six days a week (he’d like seven, but that so isn’t happenin.’ )
Futures are always uncertain, but I had to trust in Divine Providence. The very idea that I’d be working for this dude would have been considered utterly ridiculous just a few months ago. This place relies a lot on volunteers, and they periodically go through a process of ‘promoting’ regular members into positions of greater responsibility in their forums. That happened to me last Summer or Autumn. I was shocked. But in retrospect, I think I can see the hand of Divine Providence at work in it since that ‘promotion’ was the seemingly natural progression of my involvement there since I started in their forums when the pandemic hit. I took to gardening a lot, and the site is a great one for that, and I freely shared my experiences. The site became one of the few ‘happy places’ for me online during the traumas of 2020 (pandemic and the US Presidential election.)
During all of this I prayed: prayed to get through 2020, then 2021, and through it all that I obtain a ‘job suitable to my talents.’ It took a while, but it finally arrived last month. I could not have applied for this job in 2020, or even during most of 2021. It was only because of the amount of time I spent on the forums, growing in the knowledge of the place which lead to the site’s volunteers noticing me and ‘promoting’ me to a position of responsibility that gave me the confidence that I might have a chance.
There is a lesson in this. And that is PRAYER works, and quite often the answer is in God’s time, not yours. It certainly would have helped for me to have gotten this much earlier, except that it would not have been possible until I had achieved certain skills or a reputation. I like to think, now, that God had been answering this all along, from the Spring of 2020 which coincided with my participation in this particular site. He was shaping me to be the person suitable for this assistant’s job for well over a year. God exists outside of time, and He knows the future that works out from amongst all the possible ones. And He knew that this place would be needing a new assistant for the guy who runs it. And He drew me along, keeping me (somewhat) free of despair over finances and economics until the job was ready and I was ready for it.
Now, this doesn’t mean that I can go all “Lah-dih-dah! God got me this job and I can just do whatever! It’s mine!” No, while I believe He did help me obtain it, now I have to rely on His graces to keep it and do it well. When God answers your prayers, you have to be grateful, and take it for granted.
Life is interesting. Sometimes I wish it were less so, but it is what it is. OH!! Yumpin’ Yiminy! I almost forgot! NEXT YEAR YOU HAVE TO SAY THIS PRAYER! I THINK IT WAS THE FINAL KEY, THE CORNERSTONE THROUGH WHICH MY JOB SEARCH PRAYERS WERE ANSWERED: The St. Andrew Christmas Novena. It worked! I said it in 2020, with no apparent success. But, as I said above, it may have been part of the manner by which I was ‘prepared,’ for the answer. Leading up to that, I would also like to publicly thank, in no particular order (I sound like I’m an Oscar or Emmy winner thanking all the people who helped me along the way.) St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Rita of Cascia, St. Faustina Kowalska, St. Pio of Pietrelcina, and St. Joan of Arc. I think they were all the saints I… OH, and St. Gemma Galgani, can’t forget her! And obviously, a BIG SHOUT OUT to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph!Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)