Archive for December, 2004
I’ve discovered one of the bigger traps of this age; the ability to know the consequence of choice. 10 years ago it was much different because choice was so fleeting. If I choose to do something and deny something else, the consequences wouldn’t necessairly be ‘felt’. Sure, the choices were big a decade ago (marriage/no marriage, where to work, what to do with my life), but did I really have much time to consider the consequences?
Now, it’s a much different story. I’ve come to realize the lack of the ‘watershed decision’ (see ‘the long boom’ post I did a while back). What frightens me about this decade is I’m left to consider the results of choice. I make them in the 20′s and live with them in the 30′s.
What am I doing writing about this? Sometimes I feel trapped by the results of my choices. Like Bill Murray in ‘Groundhog Day’, I tend to live large choices over again each day until I come to peace with the results. Is this good thing? Is it good that time for me seems to have stopped and revolves around three dates (August 27, 1996 (the day mom died), September 11th 2001 (nuff said), and June of 2003 (turning down a job offer))? I don’t think it’s bad, but perspective is something I have been praying for for a year or so now. God continues to widdle away my desire to control my situation; to somehow travel back in time and make different choices.
In essence, I’m learning to be me. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m learning. I just finished a book called ‘The Art of being’. It’s a book from several artists on what it means to be who God created you to be. One of the more encouraging stories is from Don Chaffer about a man who was challenged by a King to do a task. He had been captured in a battle and was told by the king to do a simple task that his life depended on. He was to take a glass of water from one end of a courtyard to the king. If he spilled it, he was to die, if he didn’t he would live. Crowds of people gathered on each side of him. One side cheered him on and the other side of people yelled and jeered him. He succeeded in the task. The king asked him how he did it and he replied that he didn’t pay attention to the crowd but focused on the task at hand. The lesson being that while our lives may not depend on how well we do stuff, the distractions are ever present.
My prayer for today: to break free from the trap of the 30′s and continue to press onto the goal.
As I get older, I’m beginning to hate the crafted image of “Christmas” that is being forced on us earlier and more heavy each year. Christmas lessens in its lessons for our lives and for the world and, for at least Americans, is growing into a holiday whose sole purpose is to quench or thirst for useless trinkets and materialistic desires that will only keep us happy until the football games come on later in the afternoon, or the kids go to sleep.
It frustates me even further now as a parent because often the worth and value of our skills as parents go as far as our pocket books during this month. People that are able to make it all work and keep it together are subject to the being told that they are ‘needy’ because they don’t have as deep as pockets as someone else that can afford an Ipod, or an Xbox, or some other piece of electronics that will end up at a garage sale three years later…three years. That’s right, ultimately, your value as a parent gets relegated to your ability to afford a piece of plastic. *shrug*, whatever happened to Jesus? Whatever happened to the fact that the God of the Universe came to earth and subjected himself to the ultimately humility of a baby so that we could have the ulitmate gift, and I’m not talking the U2 ipod either. Realy, honest to God, gift – eternal life. Hope. Do we undercut that everytime we get lusted into a black friday sale? Do we cheapen that by getting excited about a 5 for $25 DVD sale at BestBuy. I don’t know, but man, am I getting sick of materialism. It’s just not worth it.