On Hugo, Clockworks, and Uselessness

Don’t know why I’m writing this (actually, dictating). Don’t even know what I’m writing. It started off as a review of the movie Hugo, and turned into something else.

In the movie, Hugo, from his vantage point at the top of the Paris train station clock tower, observed that the world is like a giant clockwork, and that the thing about clockworks is that there are never any extra pieces. He would console himself with that thought, alone in the clock tower, after the death of his father.

I guess the scene impressed me because I’m feeling like an extra piece of clockwork myself. Had yet another visit with yet another specialist last Wednesday, and her opinion was much the same: ocular myositis (AKA idiopathic orbital inflammatory disease). It’s a rare disease, she said, difficult to treat, but I’m doing better than most, and therefore (she implied) I should be grateful.

It’s tough to be grateful for “not normal”. A year ago today, my eyes were perfect. A year ago today, I could study and read to my heart’s content. Couldn’t get around much, because of my back, but my brain was otherwise unfettered. Now using the computer is a chore, watching a movie is a rare treat, and reading a book is a thing of the past.

I’ve been blessed with more talent than most – intelligence, an inquisitive nature, a good memory, logical thought. I thought at one point that God meant me for medical research, but the back ruled that out. Then I thought He wanted me to be an engineering professor, but the back ruled that out as well. So finally I thought, He wants me to be a writer. Now even this seems unattainable.

So I’m left feeling like a piece of extra clockwork, beautifully made but useless. I have no purpose, and like a broken compass I can’t seem to settle on a direction.

This represents a major challenge for my faith. The Bible states that we are created to do good works planned for us ahead of time (Ephesians 2:10), that God ordered our days long before we were even born (Psalm 139:16). The Gospels record Jesus telling the disciples to pick up even the fragments of bread left over from the miracle of the loaves and fishes, leaving nothing to go to waste.

So God is not in the habit of letting things go to waste. So what’s wrong with this picture? Am I doing something wrong? Is this just a waiting game, with better things in store for me in the future? Or am I one of the unlucky few who get the “dwindle and die” life path?

I don’t know. But I do know that to check out would be a staggering act of unbelief. It’s tantamount to saying, “I don’t believe You can do anything with the wreckage of my life, and I’m too angry with You to even let You try.”

So I hang in there, hoping that this is just a waiting game, and that at some point the next step will become clear.

God? Anything?

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1 Response to On Hugo, Clockworks, and Uselessness

  1. Andre says:

    I don’t have much to say that could help, but I hope you get through this. For what it’s worth, your writing is very involving. And let God give you strength, don’t lose hope!

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