Sunday, November 29, 2009

Let Your Words Be Few

This Thanksgiving is the first to my recollection that has been bookended by heavy news. Two days before Thanksgiving I found myself navigating the corridors of the hospital to spend time with friends who were trying to digest that their two day old son had a high chance of having trisomy-18 (a chromosomal defect which is not compatible with life).

As I watched the well wishers come and go, I was struck by the fact that while all sincerely care, most do not know how to respond to the suffering of others. They try to comfort with words. They talk about God, His goodness, and not needing to know why? They try to relate by telling stories of their own suffering and loss.

Sadly, the breaking human heart is not very receptive to words. Words, apart from prayers, are not very practical when grief is palatable. In the midst of pain, it is often not the spoken word that is the most comforting. Instead it is time spent in a hospital room, a long hug that lets someone know you care, or being intentional to meet an immediate need like a meal. "When grief is the freshest, words should be the fewest!"

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Picture Perfect

As Luke and I drove down the unusually quiet street on Thanksgiving morning to buy our plump Thanksgiving day paper, I began to reminisce of memories from Thanksgivings past. They were consistent to say the least, but just like cranberry sauce and gravy run into all the fixings on the Thanksgiving plate so do my Thanksgiving memories. Some can remember specific Thanksgivings, usually because of something out of the ordinary. While, I can't remember specific Thanksgivings, I remember the consistency of the holiday. Instead of vivid memories, I have snap shots.

I have snap shots of eating too many Hawaiian rolls, being teased by my uncle by the lack of food on my plate (I was a picky eater, aside from Hawaiian rolls), and hopelessly trying to find a good football game in my grandparents basement which barely got TV reception or eat. For the record the Lions have always been a losing team and I still don't have an affinity for the Cowboys.

We climbed back in the car with our monstrous paper and a hunk of free bread from the bakery for Luke, I decided that I wouldn't trade my snap shots of Thanksgiving for anything and began to wonder how I could give my kids their own snap shots. Maybe the routine of going to the grocery to buy a paper in order to spend time with Luke. Maybe getting an early morning Latte with Ava Marie when she is old enough to appreciate the love behind buying overpriced coffee. Or maybe some day they will laugh over the pictures of them sitting in Turkey pans. I don't know what their memories will be, but I hope that some day they will have a fabulous collection of snap shots like me.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Bias against Turkey

Last week, I worked 10 hours straight tutoring statistics. In honor of my subject, in lieu of the upcoming Holiday, and to help break the monotony, I decided to take a Thanksgiving poll. I asked each of my students what their favorite Thanksgiving dish. To my chagrin, only one said Turkey! Stuffing took the top prize (4) followed by mashed potatoes (2), sweet potato's w/ toppings (1) , and various desserts.

I have a theory on why people are biased toward turkey. I believe people are biased toward turkey because of the proportion of turkey that is left over compared with that of the traditional sides and desserts. No one likes Turkey because the majority of the leftovers is the bird. Solution, either those that raise turkey need to make smaller birds to create a greater demand (but this would be an economic theory and I don't tutor economics) or everyone should learn to enjoy my favorite part of the Thanksgiving milieux, left over Turkey meat (white), lightly salted, on white bread smothered with sharp cheddar cheese!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Does God Drink Coffee?

I woke up the other day with a strange, possibly sacrilegious thought in my head . . . Does God drink coffee? Apart from social settings and an occasional holiday mug, I have never been a coffee drinker. I survived high school without coffee. I have heard that caffeine can stunt growth. I endured college without coffee. I actually considered Starbucks to be at the top of the axis of evil that is taking over the world. I plowed through seminary without coffee. Even though I did not have to sign off on it to attend seminary like I did alcohol and tobacco products. I didn't even need coffee with the advent of my first born and he didn't arrive till 1 am. But somehow with the arrival of my second child, I have found myself being very intentional to add 5 minutes to my morning to brew a pot of coffee. Sadly, I find that coffee makes me happy which is either a reflection of the state of my life or a sign of my growing dependence on the caffeine. Don't get me wrong, I am still annoyed with coffee. It stains your teeth and it breeds dependency, but it seems to be a necessary evil to keep up with a life with two kids.

Which brings me back to my original question . . .Does God drink coffee? Which arose from me wondering how God keeps up with His children because I need coffee to keep up with life now that I have two. My lack of practical understanding of omniscience (the characteristic of being all knowing) and omnipresence (the characteristic of being everywhere at once) is obviously becoming apparent.

As a student of theology (theos - "God" and ology - "I paid a lot of money and invested a lot of time studying a certain topic") First, I know that God is immutable. Unlike me, he never changes. So if God hasn't been drink coffee from eternity past, He sure isn't drinking it now! Second, I also know that God neither slumbers nor sleeps (Ps 124:1) and that he is omnipotent (all powerful) so He has no need of the extra stimulant. Third, God doesn't associate with evil. Unless you take into account Job 2 where Satan comes before God. (There is a theological quagmire for you). Therefore theologically, I have concluded that God doesn't drink coffee and that Starbucks should begin to marketing campaign with drinks called "the omnipresent," "the omnipotent," and "the omniscient." Whoa! The caffeine seems to be causing my business background to cross with my theological training. . . and I only drink decaf, scary!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Two Sounds Reasonable

So I haven't blogged for two months. This is probably due to the fact that I have two kids under two and two part time jobs. The number two does not appear to be conducive for writing. For those who read my blog my having two kids may be a blessing in disguise as my last post had 16 installments consisting of several paragraphs a piece. My beautiful bride informs me that a good blog post should be no longer than two paragraphs.

Two paragraphs sounds reasonable to me. The next time I feel the need to write a blog of 16 installments it won't be necessary to take a two month break or blame my absence from the blogging world on my two kids!