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no room for hipsters

the occupation of Ashley and Levon

(from Levon)

I know this will need more explanation, but on my travels to New York I just found myself in the back of a pickup holding a stubborn goat down on the bed while we drove down the highway in Virginia.  He was nervous about the whole ordeal as he’d never been in a vehicle, didn’t know me, and had never left his small field on my mother-in-law’s farm.  He looked me dead in the eye and realized he would have to trust me.

While looking back at the goat I was thinking about how about this time tomorrow I’ll check into my hostel in New York without a job or home or any real idea of what I am doing.  Leaving Knoxville has been its own obstacle-filled debacle, with every step of the way leading to its own hilarious encumbrance to make me chuckle as I drive off into the sunset.  Here’s the newest one. 

My laptop has died, and the certified Best Buy geek (at the geek squad counter) said it was unfortunately totalled.  I did my own diagnostics online: nothing.  That means no computer for our scouting mission next week. 

That should be okay, since I know New York like the back of my hand.  I once spent two whole days in Manhattan back in 2003.  Not only that,  but I bought a travel book.  No worries.  I’ll just get some apartment finder brochures and a career magazine to figure everything out at the public library when I go to write my daily blog. 

I found myself talking to the goat.  “Richard,” I said, “its a matter of trust”.  When nothing goes right its always for one of two reasons; you’re either not supposed to do what you’re doing, or what you’re doing is supposed to be difficult.  You don’t always know for certain how to tell which way it is.  So you keep going, and you trust. 

“Trust me, Richard.  I’m taking you back to your pen, and boy, will you have a story for the guys.”   

Within the last two months I’ve had legal entanglements with ex renters, broken bones, car deals gone bad, stranded in a house full of boxes, and then the normal things I expected like difficulty finding a job and an apartment.  Do I get the medal for being faithful? Or is the creator saying “I’m trying to tell you to freaking STOP!” 

Faith is something I don’t I understand very well.  I could be considered faithful because I’ve overcome these obstacles and pushed on.  But sometimes I overlook the warning signs in the name of faith and get really screwed.  Thats called flying by your ass, not faith.  On the other hand, who hasn’t ever made excuses, given up, got worn too thin or simply been afraid?  Yes, me too- the blatant lack of faith.  Or even still, who’s sat there and done nothing while they hoped for the best, waiting for the miracle to fall from the sky as they sit there eating cheetos and refreshing their email?  Not me. 

So then Richard said in an almost humanlike voice, “help.”  I said, “me, too.”  Goats can sound so human, I was glad he was talking back.  This is a journey of faith, which means walking gingerly in the spaces between doing too little while hoping and doing too much while ignoring.  The best I can tell, faith is about listening then doing what you heard.

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