Tuesday, January 29

what I would have done

Over the weekend, there were lots of brilliant ideas pouring forth from my overheated brain, but somehow the grey skies of this morning deflated the balloon of inspiration. I'll write instead of how Kermit is not finished but slowly getting his last flights done, and how unambitiously anxious we get when we practice loving our money in disguise as stewardship issues like financing of cars and house and insurance on everything that moves, and how Herbie sits gazing out the window, longing to join the birds and squirrels in forest romps, yet Sweetpea stays in bed, liking nothing so much as warmth and growling at leaves fluttering across the road on a walk.

Tutoring South Asian peoples in the English language shows me how fearful we are when faced with speacking to someone of a different language. We smile and nod to hide our scary vacuum of non-understanding, afraid to bend our tongue to unfamiliar sounds. After trial and error and the great struggle to learn new words, new sentence structure, new ideas come with the language and faces light up and we experience an understanding that reaches the very heart of man. I suspect we of the human species are speaking a different language than that of the heavenlies. We are, in other words, fearful and alienated from God until he teaches us his language.

Tuesday, January 15

Walking Backwards

The greater percentage of my days lately have been preoccupied with thinking, no obsessing, about the future. No, not twenty years from now. But tomorrow. next week. My next set of orders. I think that we all fall into this predicament. It is only natural isn't it?

My dad once told me that it is easier to have faith in the past than in the future. I would have to agree with him. the funny thing is though, when I look back at where God has brought me, us, I can not help but admit that God has a pretty darn good track record. Imagine that, me not giving God the credit He is due.

Well, I ran across this paragraph from Capon while reading The Youngest Day. And yes, I am actually reading other books. Trust me. Capon says: "...It is not only death that approaches from behind. The whole future approaches from the same direction. We like to think that we walk into it forwards-that tomorrow is something up ahead of us and that, while it may be hidden by mists, we're still at least looking the right way. But in fact the only thing before our mind's eye now is yesterday. It's the past we see clearly; the future we can't see at all. And we miss it not because of thick clouds or bad vision but because it's 180 degrees out of sight. What will happen after this is, quite literally, aft of us. We walk into the future backwards."

And perhaps it is a good thing that we walk into it backwards. Because after all, Christ has gone ahead and fought the fight for us. If we walked into it facing forwards we might try to go it our own way, even more than we do now.

Sunday, January 13

A Warm Welcome To....

The High Meadow Lady. Her link is on the right. She is a woman who is wise, wonderful, second only to my dear Electra.

A Saturday's Morning Run

Saturday morning is a morning that I look forward to all week. Not just for the obvious either. Since my days of running marathons, Saturdays have been the day that I fit my long run in. I don't run marathons anymore, but I still anticipate and enjoy my Saturday morning run. There is something that is cleansing about a long run. It is where I am able to work the kinks out of both my body and my mind. Usually these runs are done alone. However, every now and then my close friend Scott comes down to join me, and it is from our runs that some of our best conversations spring to life.

This past Saturday was a great day for a run; it was in the mid-fifties, overcast, a light breeze of about 5 knots out of the East. In this part of the state, a breeze out of the East, North-East brings in cooler air from from the cooler Atlantic currents. A wind out of the South-West brings in warm, humid air from the Gulf Stream. Thankfully, that was not the case this morning.

I left the house in clad only in running shorts and my new "cool max" T-shirt. No Elizabeth, not THOSE shorts. I walk down to the end of our lane as a warm up. I also use this time to accurately gauge the weather. This morning it is as the window forecast and so I commit. The first kilometer brings the sounds and sights of men working in their garages. Sundry projects and the weekly honey-do's no doubt. Otherwise the community is quiet and still; perfect. I notice that some of the young trees are trying to produce buds. A result no doubt of the aforementioned South-West breeze we have been enjoying for the better part of a week. The older trees wisely hold their buds in as if lecturing the youngsters to not get their dander up so early...we still have two months they say.

A dash across the state highway lands me back into a more rural area. The land of the Churches of Christ I call it. The first Church that I pass is built out of stuccato and the front forms a big, grey "W". Signs litter their grass parking lot warning not to do this and that. A large Oak tree leans over the building as if weeping. Is the building a reflection of their Theology? I hope not. But, I am afraid that it is. Further down the road I pass a nice lady who comments how nice it must be to be able to run. I comment to her that indeed it is. I praise her for getting out for a walk. She thanks me and I am alone with my thoughts once again.

Approaching me from the left is a large farm, or the remnants of one. I do not think that it is actively farmed anymore, though I have seen them cutting hay this past summer. It is a lovely piece of land. An old barn, used for Tobacco no doubt, stands in disrepair near the tree line. I hang a right and turn down a quiet lane surrounded by trees and observe the small half acre clearings of land used to grow soybeans, they are empty and waiting. The clouds have now come down so low as to seemingly touch the trees. I also note that is a bit more humid than I had previously assumed.

No worries though. I dash across a railroad crossing, retrace my steps across the highway and head back home. For the last half-mile I pick up my pace. I once read that the Kenyans, who are the best runners on Earth, train by picking up their pace in the last mile or so. And so I pretend to follow their methods. The last rise leads to our lane, and so I slowly pull up to a walk and start my cool down.

My head clear, my body relaxed, I anticipate the large breakfast that Electra is preparing. In fact, I already smell the bacon! Ahead of me is a day of rest and the activities that lead to our call to worship on Sunday morning.

Monday, January 7

how we spent Christmas

Leaning into the arms of the couch with our new nephew, Patrick Hiram!

Thursday, January 3

A Plumb LIne For Post Modernity

Every now and then you meet an author who is able to cast a new light on an old subject and give you inspiration that you felt was never really to be had. An author who says so succinctly what you have been meaning to say for years and never had the right words. Robert Farrar Capon is that author for me, he is indeed a plumb line from which post modernity stands against. Consider this on the subject of spirits: "Once in a while someone asks me if I drink. My answer is always: No; drinking: is not a human activity. No man in his right mind can possibly set out "to drink" in the current sense of the phrase. Drinking, like Sex, is one of the big fake subjects. Of course I go on to explain to my questioner that I usually take a short vermouth at noon, a sherry or a rince cochon before dinner, a couple of glasses of Zinfandel, California Chablis, or better with my meals, and not infrequently, a reasonable quantity of Scotch with my conversation. But I do not drink. My care is for the matter and the occasion, not for the activity of drinking. By a long love for the real subject, the fake one has been made to sit down and shut up".
~From Bed and Board: Plain Talk About Marriage