St. Ignatius of Loyola had a spiritual discipline of reflecting daily on consolations and desolations. I had started this practice in the fall after talking with my walking partner (who is both a pastor and a spiritual director). Granted, my own discipline with this practice is less than ideal, but today two things happened that I thoguth I would share.
Desolation: in a conversation with a 97 year old man (who seems to generally think highly of me) he told me he thought I was throwing my life away with my career choice, and he followed that up by telling me that he feels sorry for me.
Consolation: a 30 something man I had met in New Orleans and talked to for about a half an hour (mostly about his brother's artwork but also some about his faith life--he's a new believer--and what some of the "next steps" might be in his journey) texted me and asked for prayer. we sent a few texts back and forth and then we ended up talking later on. He said that from our one conversation he had gone home and pulled out his Bible and read the entire gospel of Matthew that night and that he got back into going to church.
so, to sum up, some think my life's work is a waste and others got something huge out of a minute experience...