February 12, 2014: Working Things Out

~by Louis Templeman

I have been working for nearly two years to save my house from foreclosure. I was very motivated. I was prayed up. Many people were praying for me; Baptists, Pentecostals and Catholics. I was very inclusive in receiving spiritual help. I jumped through many hoops. Made many phone calls. Attended seminars. Visited attorneys. Counseled with professionals who were familiar with HARP and other government programs that help people keep their homes. Foreclosures must be at an all-time high. I am certainly not alone in this dilemma.

I thought for sure God would help me. Yesterday the house I purchased fifteen years ago was sold at a public auction at the court house. I am now scrambling to pack and store my belongings and find transitional housing until a more appropriate and permanent one is secured. I thought for sure God would work things out for me. After all, I worked like everything depended on me and prayed like everything depended on God. In two weeks I will have to be gone.

I find myself wanting a religion and a relationship with God that makes sense and has little rituals and formulas of words and prayers that make things happen. An old bumper sticker I recall read Prayer Changes Things. It did not change my housing situation. Rich Mullins once said, “If you want a religion that makes sense then I suggest something other than Christianity. However, if you want one that makes life then this is it.”

I hungered for a happy ending to this trouble. I wanted a story that I could use to brag on God and demonstrate how I am so safe in his everlasting arms. Having a brush with homelessness doesn’t seem to fit that idea. Fact is God did not work things out the way I wanted.  And, really, they are not worked out yet.

Attending mass three to five times a week helps me to keep perspective. My wife and I are in a tough situation but, it is far from the worst I have ever encountered. I have peace in my heart that I will eat and sleep somewhere. In my long life so far, I have discovered my questioning was often more valuable that any answers I found. I have discovered the journey is more rich in God’s presence than any destination that I have come to. And my best stories and best brags on the Lord usually entail the struggles as much as the victories.

That is my perspective. I am not alone. I have a Helper and a Guide. I have learned that just because God is not working things out my way does not mean that God is not working things out. I am certain that is true. My experiences tell me that. I can face this rough patch ahead. God is my help. I can do all things through Christ.

And, I hate to admit it but I feel pretty good today.

~Louis Templeman

Louis writes from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his old friend and wonderful bride, Joy. They transformed their friendship into the sacrament of marriage on August 30, 2012. They share their home with two self-absorbed, playful, twin cats (Flo and Jet) and one very allusive and arrogant cat named D.

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