Sunday, 28 December 2008

Life without a cell phone

My phone died yesterday, as in it is out of battery juice and needs to be recharged. The problem arises that the charger is on the other side of town. Yes the other side, not in a different state or super far away, only about a half hour. There is a strange thing about Madison though, that the east and west sides might as well be the other side of the world. I always thought it was really funny that people would talk like the other side is so far and now here I am with a dead cell phone because I didn't want to take the time to go over there. To be far, it only died yesterday. And I will charge it tonight or tomorrow.

So for now, I am without a phone. A bit strange. Does make me realize how dependent I am on email anyway. But sadly the weekly Sunday Dad call has to wait until tomorrow.

I tried to get the Verizon guy to charge my phone. He didn't want the liability if it got stolen. Who's going to steal the phone that they give you for free? But I can understand I suppose. He was my hope and my try to get a phone for these days. Oh well.

That means that I didn't have my phone or internet when I was staying at my friend's house this weekend. Makes things quieter when you can't be reached. Not something that I am useful. Not that I get called all that often anyway or emails but still strange to feel cut off.

Monday, 22 December 2008

The Christmas rush

What is it about life that makes us not want to wait for anything? We've been spoiled by technology, by clicking buttons and having things happen. Also when we go somewhere, we expect service right away. Wait five minutes, no way. And yet at other times, five minutes feels like nothing and flies by way too fast. Hours can pass in a blink or 30 seconds can take forever. All about the perspective and experience.

Interesting too, when you are waiting in line, what are the odds that you will actually talk to the people around you? It makes the time go by more quickly and is more entertaining, yet I don't want to bug people or bump into that personal bubble (something that may be very needed during this season)

This week at church I got to the service a little bit after it started and sat down in an empty row. The other options were sitting on the end of a row next to people. I didn't want someone who was waiting for a loved one to have a rude interruption as I take their seat. I could have just asked, but you know the days when you don't feel like it?

Then I get confronted by this guy, "why are you sitting by yourself? There shouldn't be bubbles at church." And I agree, I think that it is sad, strange and yet comfortable to leave at least a seat between you and people that you don't know. But why do we do that? We don't want to be bothered by the other people or don't want to bother them? Which way?

So I moved, sat next to someone and have a new friend. Life is funny.

Monday, 15 December 2008

A soccer player

I am indeed a soccer player, a bit of a surreal experience really. Having never played before, except for a few kick around games, I now joined an indoor team. I show up to the first game and everyone else has shin guards and then I think, hmmm, that would be a good idea, and it turns out that it is required anyway. Who goes to play soccer and doesn't think of shin guards? Duh. I have some now so life is good and then I went to the store today to get some soccer socks. And the guy helping me asks, "what kind do you need?" There's kinds??? A whole new world I tell ya.

It makes me think of when people come into a new situation and how strange and odd and scary that can seem, like a new town or new to something that seems quite normal and familiar to me. I wonder how often I take the time to meet them where they are at. How often do we even realize when something is actually new and strange for someone else?

Wish me luck in soccer, I'm learning what all the whistling by the ref means and I am going to learn how to kick the ball more to where I would like it to go. So more learning..... (and hopefully not getting hurt and it would be nice if we won sometimes too.)

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Questions for people

If you could meet new people and ask one question, what would that question be? What would you find interesting or what do you think would tell you the most about someone in one shot? The common questions when getting to know people tell you a bit but maybe there is a question that tells you more. Common questions being, "what do you do?" "where are you from?" "how are you?"

But what if you could branch out from the norm and ask questions like "what do you wish or dream for?" "what has been the biggest blessing in your life?" "if you didn't have to work, what would you do with your time?" What kind of question do you think would reveal something about the real person that you are meeting.

A. W. Tozer says that the most important and revealing thing about someone is their view of God. That really does say a lot about someone. Do they believe in God and what is God like that they believe in? Is there a love, a fear, indifference or some combination there of? And their view of God will also affect their motivations and direction in life. That sure seems like it would be a good question.

The question would have to be something open ended and something that needed explanation. Do you have suggestions?

On the flip side and related to this thought, why is it hard for people to get to know each other and why is small talk such the norm and not progressed away from in some relationships. Is this protection or self preservation? Health in relationship or walls that we have built up?

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

The future and now

How do you balance the here and now with hopes and dreams of the future? It is important to dream, to scheme, to look forward to what could be. It is also important to be able to be present. To enjoy life where you are at, to learn the lessons of the day. To laugh or share a story with someone, to enjoy running or playing in the snow. Also, to be able to live life without wondering about the "somedays" and the next step in life. This is hard for me. As soon as I get to a place, I think about where I will move to next or when something starts I wonder how long it will last and what will be next. This is not always bad because dreaming is good, but it can take away from being and investing here in the here and now. And maybe that is why it is hard, cause it's committing to the imperfections of now and digging in to work through them. In the dreams, things are in motion and things go well. In the here and now, things take longer than I would like.

Sharing love without losing it

At camp a few years ago, there was an illustration skit that was really good. What happened was that there were two people and they each pretended that they were holding a bit of God's love cupped in their hands. One of them shared some of that love with another person and instead of them having less afterwards, they actually had more. And then they gave more away and the love that they had between their hands grew again. And each time that they gave some away they had even more than they started with. The other person just held on to what they had at the beginning, what they were given initially and they hoarded it and it stayed the same size and no one around them was impacted, helped, loved, or blessed by them.

I think it's a great illustration. We are blessed to be a blessing. If your life is not blessing those around you (and this doesn't have to be anything huge, what about a smile and a kind word?) then there is a point that has been missed. It's like the lessons on sharing that you got when you were three. Or practicing being nice.