Q. Where would you like to be?
A. In a place of greater satisfaction.
Q. Do you feel unsatisfied?
A. This morning I do, yes.
A. I’m not sure. It may just be a Tuesday morning mood.
Q. Without basis?
A. Not entirely. I’m dissatisfied with certain aspects of the way things are going, invariably related to behavioral patterns of mine that need to change.
Q. Like what?
A. I seem to often make blanket decisions when I am dissatisfied. And later, I am dissatisfied with those decisions.
Q. Like what?
A. A while back I decided to stop posting piano pieces on Fridays, at least for a while. In my heart, I felt a huge desire not to post any further piano pieces at all, to be honest. This is a “blanket” decision. It’s black and white. It goes against the gray areas that comprise reality.
Q. What else?
A. I recently decided to stop writing about homelessness.
A. Because I was dissatisfied with it.
A. It’s not objective. It’s emotional. It derives from subjective personal experience. It relates more to my own personality than it does to any concrete statement about society.
Q. Are you sure about that?
Q. But can’t you do anything to change this for the better?
A. I probably could. I recall reading yesterday the last words of Romans 12:
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Q. How do these words apply to you?
A. I get overcome by “evil.” I post piano youtubes and look at them in disgust. For one thing, I never seem to be able to lose enough weight to look thin or healthy enough to satisfy me. For another thing, I never seem to get it together to obtain new clothes or an interesting wardrobe.
Q. Why is this?
A. I think my priorities are screwed up.
Q. So you are dissatisfied with your priorities?
A. Yes. They need to change.
Q. Let me see here. If you don’t prioritize writing about homelessness, and you don’t prioritize playing the piano, what will you prioritize?
A. The answer is at the end of Matthew Six. Surely you know this!
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God — and His righteousness — and the rest will be added unto thee.”
Q. Have you not been seeking first the kingdom of God?
A. Not always, and not lately.
Q. What have you been seeking first instead?
A. Isn’t it obvious?
Q. I don’t know – is it?
A. Obviously, my first order of business is to seek the production of my musical. This is the real reason why I am tired of writing about homelessness, and tired of playing piano solos on my youtube channel. They take so much energy, they take away from the energy I feel I need to put into my musical, in order to get it produced.
Q. But if you were to seek first the kingdom of God, what does that mean exactly? What would it entail?
A. It means putting God first. Serving others — not self. Finding out what He wants me to do — and doing it. Not just doing what *I* want to do, at the expense of helping others.
Q. But won’t your musical help others?
A. Not if it’s my first priority, it won’t. I’ll become so obsessed with the musical, it will override all other concerns. Not just the piano. Not just the journalism. But everything! I will cease to eat. I will disdain sleep. My house will deteriorate into a filthy mess. I won’t lay hands on a vaccum cleaner, for fear of taking precious time away from working on my musical.
Q. And then what?
A. Then something will go wrong. Terribly wrong. And I will be tempted to drown my sorrows.
Q. As in drink?
A. I do not drink. There are other ways for one to drown one’s sorrows. Unfortunately, these ways are illegal in the State of Idaho, though I notice they are legal in adjacent States.
Q. When was the last time you drowned your sorrows?
A. It was right after the close of the Pandemic Workshop. I had thought we were ascending to higher heights. I had thought everything was expanding. And then — suddenly — everything collapsed.
Q. Are you to blame for this?
A. Not entirely. But I do know that I failed to seek first the kingdom. I was seeking first the expanding production of the musical. And then, seemingly at that moment, it ceased to expand — but rather contracted.
Q. Have you learned from this?
A. Yes! I am doing everything I can to make sure it doesn’t happen this summer.
Q. But you still feel that your priorities are screwed up?
A. Dude! When was the last time I washed the dishes??
Q. What can you do about all this?
A. Just what the Bible says. It must become more important for me to be of service to the people around me, than it is for me to produce my musical.
Q. How can you better be of service to the people around you?
A. What I have to give to them, to offer them, needs to become more important than what I think they should be offering me.
Q. Does this apply to any group of people in particular?
A. It applies to all people — of course.
Q. But aren’t you thinking about a specific group of people right now?
A. Of course I am.
Q. Then isn’t that a part of the problem? Why should that single group of people be more important than any other group of people?
A. They shouldn’t be — it’s just that — they’re the people I am called to serve . . .
Q. Called to serve?
A. That’s an interesting expression. Not sure why it came out of me.
Q. Are you beginning to rethink the situation?
A. Somewhat, yes.
Q. How so?
A. It cannot be denied that the Lord does put certain people into our lives for certain reasons. Undeniably, we are called to serve those people. That’s what love is.
Q. Do you feel that you are unloving?
A. By nature, yes. But I’m not so bad off that the situation cannot be remedied.
Q. So you have found the problem?
A. Yes. I have found the problem, and the problem is me.
Q. Anything else I can do for you?
A. See me next week. Let’s pursue this theme further.
The Questioner is silent.
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