What does it take to remove an obstacle, a relative “mountain” that’s been put in the way between you and a goal that you want to reach?  Stay tuned.

I haven’t been writing in the blog quite as much lately as I was for a while.  I’m still posting at least one article per day to keep what I intend to be a year-long streak alive (and that goal is less than three months away now), but on the days when I post just one article it’s generally a music playlist.

The reason why can be looked upon as fairly simple and understandable: I’m taking a harder-than-ever look at my future and the future of my family, not that I wasn’t taking a hard look at it before.  I’ve been looking for a tech job — or any other job I feel I can do, for that matter — like crazy, putting out applications and resumes all around the country, not just close to home.  I’m not talking about jobs for which I’m not qualified, I’m talking about jobs for which I have plenty of experience.

I’ve felt like I’ve been spinning my wheels.  But I’m not about to give up.  Before I even think about giving up, I’ll think up a different approach.

I’ll approach it like a good Marine would — adapt, improvise, overcome.

That’s filled my mind a lot as well, and I may be fairly close to trying that “different approach” and doing something where I can really “sell myself” and feel good about it — using my own natural abilities, working with a couple of my greatest passions, all at a relatively low cost to get things started in the process.  It’ll be something in which I can control my own fate, but a little more research is needed before I launch what I have in mind.

I’ll continue to look for a “regular job” while I try to launch this idea of mine, but the clock is literally ticking here and we can’t afford to have those job search wheels just sit there spinning without at least making an effort to take matters more in my own hands and find something to get a bit of “traction.”

A big part of the “inspiration” behind my idea has come within the past week, and it’s come at the same location where I believe the inspiration for this blog was born almost exactly a year ago.

English: Volvo VHD Tri Axle Dump Truck
English: Volvo VHD Tri Axle Dump Truck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Within the past week, I’ve been spending about three hours each weekday removing an obstacle and working to fix a problem we’ve been facing for a few years now.  The “obstacle” is a big pile of dirt and rock — about half of a large dump truck’s load — that was left from two full truckloads to try and prevent a neighbor’s irrigation water from eroding away a good friend’s property.

Every day for the past week, I’ve been chipping away at that “obstacle” — digging in with a shovel, loading a wheelbarrow, pushing it out and dumping it to create a barrier in order to keep the neighbor’s damaging flow of water from coming through and causing more problems.

That big pile is now almost completely gone.  That “obstacle” is about to be removed for good.

In between loading and unloading, I’ve sat down on bales of hay to rest my arms, catch my breath, close my eyes and pray.  Even while I’ve been digging and loading, I’ve been praying.  It’s been great exercise, both physically and spiritually.

Two days ago, I was given another reason to pray about something aside from the needs of my own family.  It was revealed that a good friend of ours, James — who’s fought cancer a couple of times before and beaten it back — is going through another battle with that monster again.

It was revealed that he’ll go through chemo treatments, but he’s been told the treatments are not expected to cure it.  When I saw that, I called James myself right away to let him know that our family is praying for him.

These are extra-special prayers from our family because James has helped us out a number of times in the past, including before there was even any hint of me losing my job last year.  Now that I have been without work for a while, James has — as he’s said, it’s “from God,” not James — passed along some “gifts” to us to lift us up as a family through some of the hard times we’ve seen lately through the past weeks and months.

Each time he’s wanted to pass them along, he’s always said “I have something for you.”  He knows how bad I want to work, how bad I want to find a job, because I told him exactly that — with a shaking voice on the phone as I’ve fought back tears on a Sabbath afternoon.  He’s been faithful in the blessings he’s passed along to us (as he’s insisted, “From God”), although I desperately wish the need for him to pass them along wasn’t there.

The least I could do when I saw exactly what James is facing now in his latest bout with cancer — needing a miracle himself — was to call him up Wednesday morning to let him know we’re praying for him, and to see if there is anything we can do for him.

Not long into that call, James said to me what he’s said a few times before:  “I have something for you.”  He was still thinking of others before himself.

I’m asking for prayers to rain down from around the world for James.  I’ve sat on those bales of hay while dealing with our own “obstacle” and said them myself, in an ordinary place that’s come to have deep spiritual meaning for me.  I’d like more than my own prayers to go out for him … many more.

If that weren’t enough, I saw the news Wednesday night that another old friend of our family, Bonita, is beginning chemo treatment for breast cancer.  Bonita was a teacher for each one of our children, her family has always had a special place in our lives, her oldest son is a good friend to our sons.  Now, she is facing her own “obstacle.”

I sat on a hay bale Thursday and prayed for Bonita and everyone else who needs it, all while getting so close to completing work on the removal of one major “obstacle” of our own.

I’d like some prayers for Bonita and her family out there as well.

If I could pass along any words of wisdom to these people that I care about who have one whale of a battle ahead of them, it would be this …

Take your struggles and hand them over, yet continue to work and fight as hard as you can, just as I have on my own over the past week while facing one big pile of dirt and rock that needs to be removed.  Chip away at that obstacle, one swing at a time, until it’s gone.  Take time between digs to pray and continue to hand your burdens over to someone with much greater strength than your own.  Before you know it, with persistence and determination and a “never-give-up” attitude, your obstacle will be gone.

Never give up.  Keep looking up toward the heavens.  Look for a sign.  It might just come from something simple.  It might just come from the sight or sound of a dove.

That’s a part of a special kind of love.

Copyright 2012, Daddysangbassdude Media


5 thoughts on “Tearing down obstacles … the need for prayers

  1. I’m sending prayers to James and Bonita from Illinois and hope they help your friends as much as other prayers have helped my family lately. Miracles can happen. Here’s hoping that your work situation turns around in a wonderful way soon too!

  2. John, your post did more than touch my heart; it brought me to tears and drove me, once again, to my knees to pray for James’ and Bonita’s healing. I KNOW and have seen that God can do all things, and I am anxious for us to “move this mountain” together in faith-filled prayer.

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