Friday, September 4, 2015


Times of great calamity and confusion have been productive for the greatest minds. 
The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace.
The brightest thunder-bolt is elicited from the darkest storm.
-Charles Colton

I'm in the energy industry. Am. Was? It's hard to tell these days. Everyone, it seems, is out of work. I'm no exception. The oil company came down in March, cited falling oil prices and failing wells, and pulled the funding for the project I contracted. Not a problem, usually, only every other company was pulling plugs, too, and there were no other jobs around to get plugged into.

That was March. There's still no sign of work out there anywhere.

This is my second career. The first was reporting- I worked for ABC and CBS and other lettered affiliates and chased down stories and lived to be on the air. This oil and gas consulting came next. Long story about that transition. But here I am, at 36, coming to the realization that in today's economic free-fall we must all adapt or die.

But there's hope. The more I understand of the past, the more evident it's become that adversity produces. Hard times beget new ventures. It's all in what we make of it.

So I just finished packing my office, storing the tables and chairs and cabinets and files (what you see above was half of my little consulting business), and telling myself that it's okay... that God has a plan... and that I am not alone in this. ... ...

You know what ore is? Ore is a rock that has good stuff, profitable stuff, embedded in it. But ore isn't worth much unprocessed. It has to leave its environment, undergo extreme pressure, and watch itself be separated into waste rock and precious minerals. Then it's valuable. Then it's precious. 

I wonder if sometimes we aren't that processing or recently-processed ore. We're hating the transformation even as it's doing something fantastic to us. Or else we're processed, two halves of a former whole, and wanting our ore back together... identifying with the bulk of the waste rock while regarding that precious bit as insignificant. Or worse yet, despising the glittering, priceless treasure that came about because of the excruciating process.

Point is: yes, times are getting tough. The economy is failing. Jobs are scarce and necessities are expensive. Our country is hardly recognizable. And yet... and yet... what we're witnessing here- and in ourselves- is the process of adversity producing. Of staggering transformation. Of a separating of the highest order. And if we're willing to let it, this could be the best, most beautifully beneficial, time of our lives.

We're in this together, bright lightning bolts and purest ore friends. We're in this together. -Brin


Sherry said...

i'm reminded of our personal time of job loss and something my daughter prayed during that time when she was 6 years old. "Thank you God for everything we have .. and thank you God for everything we don't have." such wisdom for a young child and yet we've never forgotten her words. {even now, in estrangement from our precious daughter, her words come back. being thankful to God for the *what ever* in our lives}

Durf said...

Hang tough, dear sister. You've toughed this out before - was it in 2008? Indeed, these are trying times. I try to explain it to my mother - the blood moon in a jubilee year meaning judgment, increasing lawlessness, increasing persecution of Christians (even in our own beloved country), possible impending financial disasters, natural disasters, impending nuclear craziness in Iran. We see it in our churches here in New England, too. Churches closing, attendance dropping, political correctness destroying our culture, freedom of speech being lost, stupid spats over childish things. It's definitely a winnowing process we're seeing. But . . . Jesus. That's the only thing it's all about, our one and only Hope.

Betty said...

Thinking of the Bible verse:
Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

Gail said...

Last year I wrote you, my world completely fallen apart, everything material had been lost, mother and father died within a few weeks of each other. You spoke words of wisdom into my soul, you breathed hope into me and you reminded me God was with me and had a plan. I speak those words back to you, God has never left and God has never forsaken you are the apple of His eye.

Lynne said...

Nice thoughts, Brin. I think all experiences in our lives shape us into the people we are. If you don't struggle at some point you never progress and change, evolve.

Unknown said...

Maybe it's time to write that book? I'll pre order one now!!

Terri Steffes said...

I'm with Dining on Delicious. I'll preorder that book!

Melanie said...

Trite the above, Brin. Time for the book.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

Really good thoughts here. I like the term 'producing.' I feel as if we will go through hard times, but what will be 'produced' in us will/can make us better.