Two O'clock, and no call. That means the rest of the day is mine. Good. I got a call for the night shift last night- the toughest of the runs in the small school system I sub for. I hate the assignment, but there hasn't been much work lately, and I'll gladly take whatever they toss my way. Shrinking enrollment, and budget cuts caused them to eliminate most of the night jobs some years back. Now each of the night guys services two schools, and splits the shift between the campuses. Half of each school gets cleaned each night, so the rooms are all serviced every other day. It's a terrible system, but it is what it is, and, like I said, I'm glad to just get the work at all. Nonetheless it's just plain hard. I came crawling home last night too tired to even talk, and I'm still pretty low on energy.
I just got back from the corner. Old John was there, and he was talking religion with a fellow I've seen before, but hadn't spoken with. He's a nice enough guy, very religious, and very born again. Carries a Bible with him all the time, and all. We got to talking. It was kind of interesting. I noticed an undercurrent that ran through the discussion, which was an emphasis on all the various people who claim Christianity, but don't (at least in his estimation) really have it. I described myself as a feral believer, and I don't think he was ready for that kind of approach. The point he returned to again and again was that people insist on believing on their own terms, and not on God's terms, and the unspoken assumption was that such folks are not saved. I've picked up a few things from hanging out with this crowd for the last few years, but I had never, until this afternoon, had occasion to run them past anyone outside our own rather eccentric discussion group. But the point that I tried to emphasise is that I am in no position to determine who really has it right and who doesn't. I'm not presumptuous enough to even dare to make that call. The analogy I used, was that the message is broadcast on a wide enough range of frequencies that anyone who is sincerely trying to get their individual tuner adjusted will eventually pick it up on one bandwidth or another. Look at the vast difference between the Eastern Orthodox church, and the Pentecostal. I'm sure not going say that one group gets the music, and the other is just hearing static and noise. Not my call. I think he found my approach a little disconcerting. I hope so anyway. And don't get the wrong idea- I wasn't up for picking a fight, or trying to rattle his cage. The discussion did not devolve into an argument, and I was glad for that. It was way more fun than trying to go a few rounds with the lefty atheist artist. Best of all, Old John seemed to like what I had to say, and that was more important to me than anything. And maybe, too, it represents a little growth on my part. I really didn't want to try to score 'gotcha' points, and I didn't feel any need to win an argument. And growth is like the work thang. It's hard, but I'll take what little of it I can get.