Set Me Free

hawk-5509576_960_720

Thus says the Lord GOD:
But a very little while,
and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard,
and the orchard be regarded as a forest!
On that day the deaf shall hear
the words of a book;
And out of gloom and darkness,
the eyes of the blind shall see.
The lowly will ever find joy in the LORD,
and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
For the tyrant will be no more
and the arrogant will have gone;   ~  Isaiah 29:17 – 20

          Oh dear Lord, I pray almost incessantly these days, Let that come to pass. That the tyrants and the arrogant at work be gone. Twenty years and counting, I cannot go on anymore. So many times, I imagined leaving this place. There were opportunities – but I turned away from each one for they would have taken me away from my husband and children. Any move would have entailed a long commute. With my husband already working away from home, my long hours would have broken and splintered this life we worked so hard to build. And each time I turned away from the hope of freedom to return to my prison cell of work, I knew this was the price of putting family first. Yet, it was also a price I would willingly pay over and over for choosing family.

         …the tyrant will be no more
and the arrogant will have gone

          Today though, a deep weariness overwhelms me. It contrasts sharply with my happiness and the heightening inner skip of my spirit as Advent deepens towards Christmas. This tells me how wrong it is to feel so afraid of work – simply because of those in charge – not work itself. If there’s anything I’ve learned this difficult year it is that I have an enormous capacity for work even if I often don’t realise it, and that I can adapt and succeed, despite being rather slow in understanding so many things.

          Yet, what blights my day and wounds me continuously is the arrogance of my superiors in the way they force us to bend to their whim. There are no productive discussions, little respect for genuine effort but plenty of meddling and interference. Today, it is very clear that what I am struggling with is not my inability to work nor is it my inability to be obedient to authority. We welcomed a new boss early this year, and like most new leaders, he had his own ideas of what he wanted implemented in our organization. This otherwise gentle and likable guy didn’t really take the time to understand what we were already doing and if anything needed change. Yet, I didn’t have a problem adapting to his vision and direction. For a while that puzzled me. What this new boss was asking had put me under extra pressure but I seemed able to comply and cope – cheerily too. By contrast, I was in a constant state of tension, fear and anger when working under my other superiors.

… the tyrant

          Today, I understand why: I am struggling under tyrannical authority. That, for me, is the mark of the beast that differentiates those others from my new boss – tyranny.

For tyranny is born of narcissism and narcissism is the plague that has taken so much away from me.

          God has told us to love one another, to love our enemies, to love those who do us harm. But is there a demarcation between this love and subjection to tyranny? Jesus loved in every instance of His life, right to His death on the Cross – but He never allowed Himself to be subject to the tyrannical authority of the Pharisees. He didn’t bend to their vision of God and of life. He didn’t walk the paths they set out.

          How do I do as Jesus did?

          I think I have tried to love, albeit imperfectly. This mottled love I’ve mustered under the pain of sacrifice for those who do me harm has not been a tale spanning a mere few years. It’s been twenty years. But there’s no escaping the fact that my twenty years wilts in comparison to the Israelites’ suffering of forty years in the desert. Held up against that gold standard of what suffering truly is, mine sure seems like a petulant whine.

          And still I cannot rise to my feet, suitably shamed to contrition. Please GodI can’t go on anymore, for today, I know my enemy’s name. Having lived in the chokehold of fear for most of my life, I don’t want to be a prisoner to tyranny any longer.

          Yet, with eight long years left to retirement and no other work options, I have nowhere to go.

…the tyrant will be no more
and the arrogant will have gone…

          Please, Lord. Please, take them away.

          Set me free.

13 comments

  1. Dear Caitlynne, I am truly sorry to hear of your struggles – it is so long since I had ‘bosses’ that I have forgotten how difficult life can be under such tyrannical powers.

    Many years ago I learnt the ability to “put troublesome people into boxes” – to set the box on a shelf and lock it! Hiding the key from myself too. This worked for me and allowed detachment.
    I know the Church teaches detachment as a means to gather oneself together in God alone.

    My little bit of advice would be the above and to constantly pray the St Patrick’s Breastplate prayer. This prayer has accompanied me in the most difficult times and brings Christ our Lord, standing next to you, clearly into focus.

    Christ be near, at either hand,
    Christ behind, before me stand;
    Christ with me, where’er I go,
    Christ around, above, below.

    Christ be in my heart and mind,
    Christ within my soul enshrined;
    Christ control, my wayward heart;
    Christ abide and ne’er depart.

    Christ my life and only way,
    Christ my lantern, night and day;
    Christ be my unchanging friend,
    guide and shepherd to the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Where it concerns these few people, detachment is almost impossible, God knows how much I’ve tried. Yet, my attempts at detachment have worked with others. So, something tells me this is due to some hidden, darker layer to certain people. I am just so tired of fighting, Ana. Tired of being frightened and angry. Tired even of fighting myself in trying to do right. Something’s off here.

      But thanks for taking the trouble to send me that St Patrick prayer; I prayed it, touched especially by that last line, Guide and Shepherd to the end.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It brings me much comfort to know that I’m not alone in thinking that this does have demonic roots.
        But the comfort is greater knowing you are praying for me, Ana. Thank you.

        Like

  2. The above prayer is so very beautiful! I will hold you constant in my prayers at this time. I do not have answers, but I do have prayers. You are never alone. You are God’s beloved child. I admire you for putting family first…I do hope that in these coming days that you feel stronger once again. There are many things in life that we cannot change; we can however, place those things in God’s hands that are too heavy for us to carry. I wish there was something I could say or do to help. Know this…others care deeply for you and hope that this season of suffering will pass. Focus on the light of Christ in this hour, and may it penetrate your soul in such a way, that peace will become a conduit to hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Focus on the light of Christ in this hour…
      Your words, read in the early light of a golden morning, show me the way, Linda. As hard as it is not to fret, I must train my eyes on His Light. Right after I read your comment, these old words from a post I’d written more than 2 years before returned to me,
      …Because the winds had come to trouble, the emissaries doing the bidding of the dark, to take my eyes off the Light in the distance.
      So, you are indeed right.
      Focus on the light of Christ in this hour…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so sorry for your work situation! I can’t imagine how hard it must be to go in every day, working for people who behave like tyrants. Loving enemies is not the same thing as allowing them to dictate to you, so I don’t think you should feel guilty about not wanting to work for these people. I will pray, sincerely, that either a better job situation that works for your family should arise, or that some of your bosses leave. You deserve better. No one should live in fear!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This brought banc so many memories. For 26 years I worked for a bully and a tyrant. And for 26 years I prayed for her. I prayed that her husband would succeed in becoming a golfer on the pro circuit. I prayed that she would achieve her heart’s desire of working for the San Diego Zoo. I prayed for her success. I prayed that God would give her what she wanted and what she deserved. It took 26 years but God’s time is not our time. She was removed from the work place. She disappeared from my life. I was able to breathe. I enjoyed life for a few years before I retired – happy and fulfilled. There were times I had a mantra, “For my children” and other times I prayed that my work would be a sacrifice and a prayer in itself. I had the Prayer of St. Joseph the worker in my locker and would pray that every morning… it kept me sane. (https://www.stjosephshrine.org/Prayers-to-St–Joseph-For-Workers)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 26 years. Wow, Murisopsis. And I can’t even take 20.
      The one prayer I cannot bring myself to pray is that the tyrants achieve their dreams and hearts’ desires – but you did, and for 26 years too. That is testament to a truly generous spirit. I just cannot do that. The closest I can come to praying is that God takes them to a place or to a point where they will see Him.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s