Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Friday, December 03, 2004
  The Struggle to be Spiritual

Previous Post in the Series: Struggling Poetry

"Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." Philippians 2:12-13(NIV)

One of the good things about working in the call center is that to me it really is a purgatory. More and more, the unrealistic attitudes and beliefs I had about life and who I am are purged by the fire of daily life in a difficult environment. I say this because I spent some time in seminary when I was younger and came away with a lot very idealistic beliefs about living the Christian life. I used to think I had it all together, and could tell you how to run your life. I certainly don't feel that way now. Soon after I finished bible school, a friend of my father took me aside one day and said, "You know more now than you will know the rest of your life, you will know less and less each year from this point on."

I was smart enough and respected him enough to listen and say thank you. He was absolutely right. I know less and less each year, but the things I do know, I'm secure in them. I used to think if you prayed and read your bible everyday you would automatically become a better person. It's a good idea, but it's hard to put into practice. Even the days that I do spend time praying and studying, I still miss it.

Somedays, I miss it big. I lose my temper, use foul language, or say unkind things. That's one of the reasons I don't talk to my coworkers about my religion, I'm not a good advertisement for it. I know that's a cop-out, but I think it does less damage than preaching one minute and talking trash the next. People have enough disappointments with flaky Christians, I'm not going to be one of them.

There are days, that I have things together. My actions do match my beliefs from time to time. So how do I keep going? How do I struggle through seeing two people act through me? One is kind and disciplined, the other is coarse and rude and crude. They both struggle to control who I am to the world.

One of the ways I am able to continue the struggle to live what I believe is to remember that at one level, I have already won.
"Because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy." Hebrews 10:14

As long as I continue to believe that the blood of Jesus cleansed my sins past, present and future, and depend on that, I have the ability to go on when even though I feel like a failure. Contained within my daily struggle against all the filthy,worldly feces inside of my mind and life, is my sacrifice to God. I may not be able to become perfect, but I know that the act of struggling itself is my way of showing gratitude to God for what he has done for me through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I know that no matter what there will be a day when the struggle will be over and I will be welcomed home. Here's a quote by my favorite Christian author:

"I know all about the despair of overcoming chronic temptations. It is not serious, provided self-offended petulance, annoyance at breaking records, impatience etc. Don't get the upper hand.No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep on picking ourselves up each time. We shall of course be very muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home. But the bathrooms are all ready, the towels put out, and the clean clothes in the airing cupboard. The only fatal thing is to lose one's temper and give it up. It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us; it is the very sign of his presence."
-"Readings for the Year",C.S. Lewis

I'd also like to say to those of you that may not be Christians, I'm not trying to convert anyone, nor am I trying to use this blog as an evangelistic tool. I do consider many of my readers as friends, and am just sharing what I believe in my heart, the same way I would share it with my friends.

Thanks for reading,


Next in the Series: Quotations About Struggling
I am in seminary now, third year in, and am struggling with whether I really want to be an ordained pastor or not...

Some days I can't wait...other days...I feel like the wind is knocked out of me, and don't know if I have what it takes to be a shepherd in a weary land. I am weary myself.


Jesus struggled in the garden, he struggled as he carried his cross and as he cried out "my God, my God, why have you forsaken me...he struggled.

Who am I to complain?

I think those feelings you have written about are common to many of us, very human and I identify with them.

Probably obvious, but it is similar to the struggle the Apostle Paul wrote about - wanting to be home but also wanting to be here because he had things to do, the spirit struggling against the flesh.

Good post AC.
I think this struggle is part of being human and whether Christian or not it is something we all have to endure without the guarentee of ever succeeding.My own struggle hits a lot of bumps along the way as you know from reading my blog when I spout off about things I should be more tolerent and understanding of. Wow, that was a load. Great reading.
Being human is stumbling over your own toes from time to time.

The determination (and sometimes struggle) to be and do better is what makes us what and who we are.
I totally get what you're saying!
Time to print this out and leave it on my coffee table along with my Andy Rooney clipping about Iraq.
Religion and 2 favorite subjects when company comes over!
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Exploring the mind numbing insanity and childish corporate culture of an unknown call center employee.

Purgatory: A place of suffering and torment with an unknown duration. In Roman Catholic Theology-the place where the dead are purified from their sins.

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"One must know oneself, if this does not serve to discover truth, it at least serves as a rule of life, and there is nothing better." -Blaise Pascal

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