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Paying Bills

Jamie Barrows

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Lately I’ve been more than a little depressed. The reason is that I don’t feel like anything I’m doing is worth anything. Not just not worth anything, but actually pointless. Every week all my actions are based around a single goal. Paying bills. I go to work every day for no other reason. Don’t get me wrong, I like my job. The problem is that the only purpose for my job, is to pay bills. And paying bills is not something that is really a worthy goal to have in life. It’s actually very worthless.

I need to have a point to my life that goes beyond paying bills. I need a goal that is really worth something. I really don’t know what I can do, but I need to find something. Otherwise, this pattern of depression about my life will keep pulling me down and leave me in a state of depression.

Finding that goal is the hard part. The problem is that I don’t have the skills and abilities to do the obvious things. People I know are going to suggest that I get involved in missions work and the church. But I’m already involved in my church, and the truth is that they don’t really need me. And I don’t have any of the usual skills that missionaries can use. No church planting or preaching skills. No building or construction skills.

About the only skill that I do have, is an aptitude for computers. My computer skills are not really any use to most of the churches around here. Computer skills like mine are just too common in the US. But possibly my skills could be useful on the mission field. Specifically in third world or impoverished nations. Maybe there is something I could do that would take advantage of the skill set that I do have.

I don’t know if it is even possible, but I think I will try to find out. If I can make some contacts with groups who are working in those countries, then I might be able to find out what I can do. Maybe my computer skills could be used, or maybe there is another area I could help out in. The only way I can find out what I can do is to ask. So that is what I’m going to try.

Because I don’t want my goal in life to be “paying bills.”


13 Responses to “Paying Bills”

  • Darrell Says:

    I hear you, man.

    Some days I feel like the guy in Haggai 1:6 “Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.”

    Sound familiar?

  • Alexander Says:

    (Jamie, some questions for yourself:)

    Isn’t “paying bills” just giving money for other values you’ve gotten for it!
    What are those values in your life?
    Can’t you spend your money for really valuable things?

    What are the values in your work for your life, for your ideals? Is that what you’re doing there really so (relatively) “worthless”?

    Aren’t there not even other contents besides your works, as your (nice :-) ) blogs or other communications, that can give a positive aspect and effect to the world?
    People being positively tempered after having had contact with your activities?
    Isn’t it a (very high…) value to bring “the good” in the world and to support it – wherever you are and what ever you do?

    What about your family, your friends, your social contacts, your colleagues, your congregation? No positive and deep “senses” in interactions?

    Might there be the demand to have a deep and good relationship and… to “be fruitful, and multiply…” and start a family….?
    :-)

    “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

  • Jamie Barrows Says:

    Alexander,
    I spend 8 to 10 hours at work for five days a week. And the sole purpose behind doing that is to get a paycheck. The work I do may be valuable to my employer, but it isn’t really valuable to me. For me it’s just a job that I do to get payed.
    And the bills I pay are just to get stuff. Stuff that has no real value once basic shelter and food are payed for. The rest of my things are not worth anything in the long run.

    I’m not a very material person. So collecting better stuff doesn’t really give me a sense of purpose. And I need to have a purpose. I need to have meaning in what I do. I don’t want my accomplishment at the end of my life to have been that I collected and purchased a lot of nice stuff.

    I’ve about given up on trying to start a family of my own. Relationships for me just never work out. Friends are great, but again they don’t provide a purpose for my life. They are just friends. People that I enjoy being around.

    I really feel like I need to be doing something to help make the world a better place. Or at least I need to be helping others work to make the world a better place.

  • Alexander Says:

    Jamie,

    evenings, weekends aren’t there possibilities to do “good” things?

    Money, isn’t it also a tool to support (sometimes even by prudential consuming) good things. Not only “stuff”, but also really well made items, or things from projects with certain claims (social, environmental….)?
    Or using money to support projects directly?

    Or to DO something with it, vacations, enterprises with others, friends, art, handcraft, social help… (not only in the so-called impoverished nations – probably help is even needed in your surroundings), or educational or environmental support…. I think there are so many possibilities to do, so many help is needed in this world, so many purposes to ameliorate different affairs are on every continent.

    And if you consider your skills so “low” (sorry that I have to contradict, at least in great parts, I consider you as a person that is not only able to do some “average computer-work”, you are also able to think about a big variety of concerns of this world in a much higher-than-average way and to express your thoughts in a very nice way and language…..) but if you really should consider this so low (?), why not using the money to acquire new skills?
    Skills you can use with your profession or skills you can perform in your sparetime?

    Really, there are so many things to do to help to make this a better world. They are all over the world on different layers – to do with different skills. I’m sure if you are looking with open eyes there will be so many things to do, to be done by people like you!

    And if you haven’t found the right things yet, probably you can find it in other “coordinate-systems” you haven’t probably contacted yet.

    (And even in this matter the internet may help ;-) )

    Of course I don’t know you well enough to make concrete proposals. But I’m sure if you are listening in yourself what has real importance for you – you’ll find matching tasks!

    New pathes, new skills, new challenges!

    I’d like to reassure you :-)

  • CT Says:

    just a point I thought I’d throw in during the end of my lunch break…

    Just because someone else can do it better, doesn’t mean that they’ll do it – or really even that they’re the best for all sides of the job. There are plenty of things you could be doing that I know you would be great at. Maybe a ‘big brother’ program, helping with computers in any ministry, organizing for a non-profit group, some kind of website for a church or missions group to help them raise support…

    Anyway, that’s all for the moment. But I’ve known you since you were 5 and I KNOW you have PLENTY of amazing skills that you can use to help others with if you get the confidence to realize how helpful they are.

    love & prayers,
    Me:-)

  • Jamie Barrows Says:

    Thanks Charity(CT).
    I’m really trying to find things and ideas right now.

    I appreciate the vote of confidence though.

  • Tanya Says:

    Hey. I don’t know you. I’m not even sure how I got to your site. What I do know is how you feel. I go through the same emotions in a seemingly regular cycle. I also know missions. CrossWorld frequently seeks people with computer skills to work overseas. Most recently I got an email about the Phillipines. I also heard about an opening in Eastern Europe … Croatia, I think. Anyway, I’m sure CrossWorld is not the only one! I pray you find the position God has set aside for you. According to Eph 2:10, He’s already prepared those good works for us; He’s created us to fulfill them. I’m sure He’ll lead you where you need to be — for His glory and namesake.

  • Jamie Barrows Says:

    Thanks Tanya. I’ll look into CrossWorld.

  • Alexander Says:

    Surprisingly (at least for me) in “Crossworld” there are even some projects in Germany – not so far from my town!

    http://www.crossworld.org/getinvolved/opp/44/11/

    Would be nice to see you :-) )

  • Jamie Barrows Says:

    Well as much as I would like to visit Germany, I don’t speak any German(English and Spanish only).

    So if I was going to volunteer, I think it would probably be better to go to a country were I can speak the language.

    It might be fun to visit on vacation someday though.

  • The Online Rant » New Project Idea Says:

    [...] the paying bills post got me actively working on trying to find something I could do. Preferably, at least to start, [...]

  • Alexander Says:

    It would have been funny to have you here as a missonary
    :-)

    But if you would come over to Germany, it would be nice to see you in any case.

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