I do not know why, but I have a good feeling about a job I applied for today.
Not to be long-winded and repeat things I have already written, but I have been dealing with unemployment for a long time now. It has been a constant source of frustration, anger, and depression for me. Although I have tried to be like the Apostle Paul and be content in whatever situation I am in, I must admit, I am not. I have things I would like to have for myself and for my family. I have prayed and asked God am I wrong for having material desires. I am not yet sure what the answer is to that question. However, I have an idea… if God did not expect for us to have desires beyond our basic necessities, why would Psalm 37:4 say “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart”?
Am I wrong for being dissatisfied living in a one-bedroom apartment when both my husband and I are willing to work our hind-parts off to secure a home for our kids? I do not waste time envying the successes of others, instead I seek my own. My own childhood was comfortable and stable, am I so bad for wanting at least the same, if not better, for my own two? And God knows I want my husband to be able to see and feel the fruits of his hard work. Isn’t it natural to want to be able to go into a store, see a cute outfit for my daughter or a toy for my son, and be able to buy it? I am a huge foodie, so I would love to be able cook delicious meals every day with prime ingredients, but hey, prime ingredients cost MOOLAH!
I have applied for no less than ten jobs EVERY single day, including jobs for which I am technically “overqualified” for. I am just shy of obtaining a Master’s degree, but that is not hindering me from applying to be a cashier, to work at McDonald’s, to be a custodian, nothing. I have not passed up a single job posting for which I felt I was even remotely qualified. Over the past couple of months, I have been fortunate enough to have a barrage of interviews–enough to temporarily get my spirits up–followed by unexplained rejections–enough to cause my self-esteem to come tumbling right back down as quickly as it ascended. I contemplated giving up several times, but when I see my husband trying to work a hundred hours a week, I will not. When I watch my children try to play in this apartment with little space, I will not. It is not an option.
I peruse multiple job boards daily: Indeed.com, CareerBuilder, Craigslist, Simplyhired, SnagaJob, Trinity-health, Linkedin, Monster, University of Michigan, Henry Ford, and local job boards. Every single day. I make sure all of my resumes or applications are submitted with cover letters. Well, I am very confident about a cover letter and resume I sent today.
The position was within an Occupational/Physical Therapy clinic, which is right up my alley, considering I initially wanted to study both of those fields before determining I would be more effective in an administrator role as opposed to a practitioner role in healthcare. The hours are perfect–I would be off work around 3pm, which would give me enough time to prepare dinner for my family before it technically got too late in the day. Even better, there is absolutely no weekend work. The clinic is located in a decent plaza where parking would not be an issue. As for the pay, I am not entirely concerned about that–what I am really trying to do right now is get my foot in the door somewhere, razzle-dazzle my superiors, and start my healthcare career proper.
This cover letter was different from others I had written. While still largely formal, I got pretty specific as to what experiences I have had would enable me to perform the duties of the job to their satisfaction. This letter was more personal–I explained my goals, why I wanted to work for that clinic in particular (because of my interest in the field), and how I was looking for a career home, among other things. I understand for each job there can be hundreds of applicants. I need to find creative ways to make my submissions stand out. How can someone know me from reading a piece of paper? That is where my gift of gab and writing abilities have to come out full force.
Admittedly, I will be highly disappointed if I do not receive a phone call for an interview for this particular job, but as I have been doing for years, I will simply pray and ask God to give me the strength to accept his will and to understand that it was not the job he wanted me to have.
I had a fantastic time getting my thoughts out about Genesis, the book of origins, the book of creation, the other night. I must be honest though, the rest of the book is not necessarily as entertaining as the beginning chapters. Relevant and necessary, yes, entertaining, no. I have read the entire Bible from back to front though, so it was not the hardest book to read (I liked Exodus, but the other writings of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible, authored by Moses) have parts where they fall flat, and while I love the Revelation, the symbolism makes it almost impossible to comprehend without a good supplement).
But there is one thing that I love about the Bible in its entirety–its relevance. It bothers me when people refer to the Bible as antiquated. How can it be, when it discusses everything that goes on today? Sexual sin, violence, adultery, murder–it’s all in there! Yet, I understand that people are at different levels with their faith, and some people have no faith at all. I have had conversations with Atheists who were open-minded enough to engage in friendly discourse with me as to why they did not believe in God without offending me, and not taking offense. I do not know why all people cannot be like that. We don’t agree, and I think that’s tragic, but that is their right as a human. Just don’t talk bad about my Jesus. I understand that everyone is not part of the elect.
One thing that is often pointed out about Christianity is what are considered by some to be contradictions. The life of Cain sets forth one of those contradictions. In Genesis 4, we find that Adam and Eve, having sinned and been cast out of the Garden of Eden, consummate the marriage and begin having children. After all, it was commanded of them to be fruitful and multiply, so they did just that.
A little reading between the lines may be necessary here. Cain was their first son, followed by Abel. I liked that the two had different roles, and apparently different personalities. It reminds me of my own two children. Despite the fact that they come from the same two people, their combination of personality characteristics that they took from myself and my husband is almost completely opposite. My little boy has always been sweet, even-tempered, and peaceful. My little girl is the fiery one who throws tantrums at a year old. I’ll bet Cain and Abel were the same way as babies (not comparing my kids to them, of course!).
Interestingly, Abel “kept the flocks”. He tended to the sheep–so he was a shepherd, a type of Christ. My guess is that the role of a shepherd requires tenacity, patience, and generally a good heart. Cain tended the fields. Now, this does not mean that he could not have also been tenacious, patience, and of good heart. We can be joyful no matter what job we have been given.
There is no background given about Cain and Abel before the Lord rejected Cain’s offering, causing him to lash out at his brother and kill him. Perhaps the sibling rivalry had been brewing for years. Perhaps Cain was envious of his brother–maybe he perceived the shepherd role as easier or more rewarding? Did Cain perceive Abel to be his parents’ favorite? Those of us with siblings may be able to relate to such a feeling. Regardless of his motives, Cain presented God with an unacceptable offering–perhaps Cain did not have the right attitude when he presented the offering, or perhaps it was not his best product. Either way, God rejected it. On the other hand, Abel gave God fat portions from one of his firstborn sheep, and God approved of the offering. Part of the reason may have been that God preferred sacrifices which involved shedding of blood, which was not apparent in Cain’s offering that came from the soil. I will have to research this further.
Cain’s jealousy reached a boiling point. He lured his unsuspecting brother to a field and killed him. Just as he had done with Adam, God questioned Cain, although he of course knew what had transpired, probably to see if Cain would be honest. I like that God had warned Cain earlier that his attitude would lead to sin “crouching over his door”… Cain obviously did not heed God’s warning, and his brother paid the ultimate price.
Cain’s reply to God asking where Abel was is kind of flippant to me: “I don’t know…Am I my brother’s keeper?” Number one, he lied–he knew exactly where Abel was. I also find it appalling that he would ask that question, as though he had no personal responsibility for his own brother whatsoever.
Before I go into my next diatribe, please keep in mind that while I have done a lot of studying, often my mind goes other places, and my opinion seeps in. But from this particular passage, I reasoned that we as Christians should infer that we are indeed responsible for others. If we were not expected to care for our brothers and sisters in Christ, why would God have commanded us “not to forsaken the assembly of the saints”? (paraphrased from Hebrews 10:25). While I understand that televised church programs can definitely serve a purpose–they can reach the infirm, and people who may be babes in the faith and not comfortable stepping into a church–I know that I am better when I regularly attend church services. For instance, I missed church for three Sundays straight while I was sick. Spiritually, I felt depleted. I missed my church family and hearing the Word. At church, people pray together, worship together, share their joys and pains, and receive support. That is how we show our sense of responsibility to one another–we prop each other up, encourage each other, and lovingly confront one another if we do any of that backsliding stuff.
Cain received a punishment, but there was also an element of love, as is typical of our God–Cain was concerned that he would be killed as he wandered, so God put a special mark on Cain that would prevent him from being killed.
Here is where it gets juicier, and the alleged contradictions come in…
Genesis 4:17: “Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch”.
Uhh, if Adam and Eve were the first man and woman, then how did Cain secure a wife? Were there other people on the Earth?
Nope. The wife was more than likely Cain’s sister. GASP! Incest in the Bible??? Why was it okay then and not now?
A slew of babies are born in the following passages, including another son to Adam and Eve, Seth, who was born when Adam was the ripe old age of 130 (Gen. 5:3). (Sidebar–I am in my early thirties and my children exhaust me–can you imagine having a screaming infant at 130? Can you imagine even living that long???) The problem is people assume that these are the only children Adam and Eve had up to this point. Not the case. Here is where reading between the lines came in. Adam and Eve were commanded to “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth…” (Gen. 1:28). It stands to reason, particularly since the Bible says Adam lived 930 years (Gen. 5:5), and although we do not know how long Eve lived, her name means “mother of all living” (Gen. 3:20), that during those hundreds of years Adam and Eve produced a multitude of sons AND daughters who went forth to further populate the earth. Cain was more than likely married to one of his sisters, although some people, in an effort to sugar-coat it, speculate that he was married to a niece. I believe his wife was also his sister.
As disgusting as it sounds today, this type of incestuous union was required at this time in the development of humanity. However, the law was not given against this type of relationship until Leviticus. By then, the population was in full swing and there was no longer a need for an incestuous union. Also, the fact that they lived as long as they did shows me that although sin was in the world, it had not reached epidemic levels. Basically, the body was corruptible, but not corruptible enough to where humans were not living for hundreds of years. This makes me believe that while incest today has a higher chance of producing children with deformities, there was not enough physical corruption yet in the world to make the possibility of deformities very significant.
If there is one thing I have learned about the Bible, it is always to look at the context of the Scriptures and try to determine GOD’S reasoning behind something as opposed to looking at it and processing it by today’s standards. Incest has no place in today’s society, but back then, it was the only means of perpetuating the race.
Also significant within Genesis, the end of chapter 5: The birth of Noah to 182-year-old Lamech. Noah is the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. I will get into that tomorrow.