Bargain Shopping

“We’re not getting something for nothing. We’re getting nothing for everything.” ~Lionel Basney

The last couple of years I’ve been struggling with the growing feeling that I’m frittering away everything in exchange for nothing.

Most of the time, I get to the end of the week and I’m ready to shatter. How do people with kids and pets and social obligations do it? Am I so weak that I can’t bear up under the wimpy weight of a grey cubicle and a job writing procedures for other people who are, at best, complacent about what they do? Is that so hard? And shouldn’t the fact that I work for a “Christian ministry” add some sort of meaning to the situation?

It’s all the more annoying because it’s a cliché. I’ve caught the common cough of contemporary soul-lessness. I had dreams a decade ago. I was determined not to be a drone, and now I work for the man.

The thing is, I know there’s a better bargain. And it has relatively little to do with the work on my desk each day. It’s not a new career or life-enrichment program. I can’t get it with a coupon or a Bible study. It might actually cost more than I’m already paying, more than I’ll ever earn. It’ll take more time than I have, but it won’t guarantee that every day will get better than the last one. The better bargain will not promise to make me who I always thought I’d be.

But it will make me more who I am.

In a couple of weeks, I’ll be getting together with a few other folks who are also looking for a better bargain. If you want to see how that unfolds, take a look at

Next time…the turning aspens.


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