Sunday, October 28, 2007

It's All About Me

You know....some days.

I plan that Sundays should be not only a day of rest but hopefully one of spiritual enlightenment or at least a day that brings moments where I feel spiritually uplifted. But that effort can be hampered (considerably) by other's efforts. In our church we laugh occasionally about folks who have "reserved" rows/pews. Someone will go away and come back to visit months/years later and mention how good it is to see everyone...right in the same place they left them! And do they know why that is???? Over the 20+ years I've been in our current ward I've "moved" about 4 times, just trying to find a nice, quiet little niche where I can settle in, mellow out, actually hear the speaker and find my zone. Every time I've switched up spots has been due to some sweet young couple who are in desperate need of parenting classes. Do I require all children in church to be perfect, nooooo...but I don't think it unreasonable that parents bring quiet activity packets, soft toys, snacks for the ravenous, plus a basic command of their children. Like, you know, no - means NO? Take today for example, a 30 something couple and their two sons who unfortunately are now 12 & 13 (You know, no longer little and yes, these were the ones who occasioned the last move) slid in behind us yet again. The young men proceeded to fuss with each other (hey, mom/dad separate them!) talked non stop through the sacrament, loudly (okay, duct tape anyone?) kicked the back of our bench (let me help, really), then thru an apparent lack of command of the english language took exception to an announcement in the bulletin about an upcoming Halloween party and decided that they were being asked to bring their own trick or treat candy and gasp! share it with everyone else at the party and started arguing w/ the parents about how unfair that was... What? It said there was going to be trick or treating at the party although by this point I wasn't thinking these ungracious little men need attend and why could. I. Not. Hear. The. Speaker. Over. Their. Noise? Finally after the "f" word came into play I turned around to look at Mom.... Whoops!!! Oh now I'm not being a nice person. I've embarrassed Mom by looking at her...Meanwhile my buddy, Dave, who is sitting behind the terrible twosome is about to hawk up a lung trying not to laugh. I heave a sigh, put my arm around my youngest who is twelve and whisper (kinda) into his ear, "You ever behave like that and I'm hurting you." The row behind me is finally quiet. They are having uncharitable thoughts about me but for rows around me others are ready to applaud. Maybe they'll find some place else to sit next Sunday. Or maybe I should move. I'll work on being kinder but really I'm not feeling very repentant at the moment...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dutch Oven Cooking

Why would I start a blog? began with a search for dutch oven cooking. Before I knew it a link for a blog appeared and I thought there might be some good recipes there...not even kinda. But I did find a hecka funny guy who called himself East Coast Eddie. Several hours later I finished with all his posts for the last two years. Did I have other things to do with my day??? Uhh, yehhhhh. I'll define myself as a bit "long in the tooth" and not completely computer literate. Nevertheless, I can see where this is a great forum to journal, vent, speculate etc. As Farm Boy and the kids are way past being interested in listening to me it seems like a good place to put my various ramblings.

 I'll start with an article that Los Angeles Time writer Gregory Rodrigues wrote 9/12/07 discussing the questions and doubts Mother Teresa had about the existence of God. I don't know anyone who hasn't, on some occasion, questioned why...the wars, diseases, starvation, man's general inhumanity to man. And why "if there is a God" does he allow these things to happen? It's hard to see bad things happen and not look for someone to blame. Why not God? In reality I think we're usually the victims of our own poor choices, other people's mistakes or natural events/diasters i.e. hurricanes, droughts etc. He doesn't make things happen to make us miserable, it just "happens". I think Mother Teresa's frustrations with having to deal with the consquences are perfectly natural. The fact that she journaled those frustrations gave her an outlet and a way to deal with the emotions that accompanied them and let her get on with dealing with the reality of the situations that she worked in. Was she a perfect person, did she ever have doubts, was her faith perfect?? I loved the paragraph that Mr. Rodrigues wrote about ...

"In a time when the notion of goodness has been thoroughly watered down, as politeness is mistaken for kindness, certainty passes for faith, ethics for spirituality and middle class mores for saintliness, it's good to be reminded that saints are complex human beings who more often than not defy convention."

 I'm not a Catholic. So the whole process where they cannonize? someone is beyond me, I do know a lot of good people tho, who strive to make a difference in their homes, in their communities and I think we all need to step up our game. Mere politeness needs not be passed off as kindness (and yeah, some folks are really good at this) but conversely our efforts need not be examined under a microscope and critiqued day in and day out. If we all strived to be better people, do a good deed for the day, or just in general left whatever we were dealing with in better shape than we found it...maybe we wouldn't have to look to Mother Teresa for an example.