Today, I had to take a deep breath. I took a couple of hours to go kayaking on the upper portion of the Magnolia River where it was peaceful and quiet. In the two hours that I spent on the river, I saw a grand total of three people. Two of them were fishing from the river bank and our interaction consisted of:
a promise from me to do as little as possible to disturb the fish, and
a request from them for me to wake the fish up because they weren't biting.
The only other person I saw was the river route mailman who was focused on the task at hand. (Magnolia River is one of the few remaining water postal routes in the country.) Just three people in two hours is pretty amazing. Despite the fact that I'm an introvert by nature, I like people and enjoy interacting with them. Today, however, I needed a couple of hours to be alone away from home, people and responsibilities.
OK, now I get it. The thing that's keeping me from my goal of becoming a famous blogger is that I'm not famous. All I have to do now is become famous.
(I'm indebted to cartoonist Dave Walker for helping me understand
Tell the truth, you wouldn't read Paris Hilton's blog if she weren't already a famous tramp actress personality person, would you? I really don't know if Paris Hilton has a blog but if she does, you can bet that there are a bunch of idiots people that read it. I'll admit that many of the blogs that I read, I read because I already know something of the writer. If I hadn't already heard of them, I probably would never have heard of their blog in the bazillions of blogs out there in the blogosphere. An example of this is Michael Hyatt's blog. I became familiar with Mike
as the President of the oldest Christian publishing company, Thomas
Nelson Publishers and respected his expertise and success. I have to
admit that he drives me crazy sometimes with some of the things he writes (that's a story for another time, however) but I
still follow his blog because I respect his expertise in some areas.
Ya just can't sneak past God. I should know . . . I tried it this past Sunday. We skipped Sunday morning worship this week and headed up the road to explore the river delta area in the northern part of our county. We drove over the rolling hills and took in the view of the rivers and bays that we saw along the way. By early afternoon, we found ourselves in the charming old community of Stockton. The churches were letting out and the parking lot of the lone restaurant in the town, The Stagecoach Cafe, was already packed. Feeling a twinge of guilt at having skipped church today, we drove around the community admiring the old homes and waiting for the church crowd to disperse. It's not like we were gonna know anybody in the restaurant but I was still feeling a bit self-conscious about going into the restaurant wearing shorts when I knew full well that the place would be full of folks in the "church clothes."
My daughter-in-law, Laura, tells the story of a friend who worked at Disney World one summer and had the responsibility of announcing each little girl who attended Cinderella's luncheon. As each girl entered the room, this person would be given a card with the child's name and then announce the little girl as Princess (insert name here).
As you might imagine, creative names can be tricky and pronouncing them can be a challenge. He found this out the hard way when handed a card with a name he had never seen before. With his best announcing voice (and a hint of hesitation), he proclaimed her entrance by calling out, "Princess Shady Nasty?"
From the back of the room an indignant mother responds,
"It's pronounced Sha Dynasty!"
Maybe Mom should have thought a little harder before naming her child Shadynasty.
My wife and I made a quick trip to Galveston, Texas last week to attend a funeral and had the pleasure of meeting some really charming people while we were there. I had the opportunity to have an extended conversation with one couple in particular that I found to be just plain old "good folks." Bubba and Edith are ranchers in their retirement years although each of them had other careers, he with the railroad and she as a nurse. They have 2 daughters, 2 grandsons, 2 great-grandsons, 62 head of cattle and a jackass. I'm pretty sure that I listed them in order of importance . . . but I could be wrong.
There are many species in the animal kingdom that are territorial but none more so than the regular church-going Christian Homo sapien. (For you biologically-challenged readers, a Homo sapien is a human, and has nothing to do with said human's sexual orientation.) Oh sure, mess with a male crocodile's territory and you're likely to run up against some trouble. Muscle your way into a spider monkey's space and you'll wish you hadn't. As one who majored in zoology in college, I know this well. But you ain't seen nothing until you've plopped your little fanny into someone else's seat on Sunday morning at church. This happened to my wife and me today when visiting a church right here in our hometown.
I recently spent a week in Haiti with a medical mission team and wrote about that experience here on this blog. I've been on mission trips to Mexico several times, as well as mission trips here in the U.S. over the years. This week, I begun to wonder what the people in need that live right around me might think if they knew this. I wonder if they might say, "What about me? Why do you go to foreign countries or even to other parts of this country when there are people right here who need your help?"
Mercy is a spiritual gift that I don't have. I'm not mean, I just don't have a high tolerance for whining, not to say that everyone who sees a therapist is a whiner but I'm sure a fair amount of that goes on in every therapists' office. My wife is a marriage and family therapist and quite good at it. She has the ability to let the junk just roll off and focus on the real problem without being bothered by the inconsequential stuff. Me . . . not so much. I would be a terrible therapist. This new Geico commercial is a pretty good representation of what I would be like in that role.
OK, maybe this is a little harsh but I'm just saying . . . .
I saw this photo by Cynthia Lake titled Picky Picky recently on the wall of Fish River Grill, a local restaurant. It makes me smile and I'm going to order a copy for myself. I guess it's being the father of sons that endears me to this photo. I love the honesty of kids, even when they're scratching their butts. What you see is what you get.