Thinks on Things

A gathering of ponderings…

42

I like puzzles and favorite numbers provide a wonderful release for this. People have favorite numbers that they tend to see or remember through repetition and power of suggestion or even by searching for it or creating it. These numbers may have special meaning to the person or they may not, but seeing it or recognizing it strikes something inside people. Some call it irony or fate or funny or deja-vu or whatever. I liken it to finding a new puzzle piece and learning that it fits my puzzle. Intriguing.

Besides the most obvious revelation in ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ as 42 being the answer to life, the universe, and everything, here are some other examples of puzzle pieces I’ve seen or created:

-(4=d) + (2=b) = Db = decibel
-1/2 of 42 = 21, commonly known as Freedom Age, when everything is legal (except things that will never be legal whatever your age) (21 is also a significant number because it is half of 42)
-common number in football plays (16…23…42…hike!)
-I weigh roughly 7(21’s) in pounds
-I weigh roughly 3(21’s) in kilograms
-my best friend’s birthday is in the 42nd week of the year
-the weight of the carts where I work
-April 2nd is Reality Day, the day following April Fool’s Day
-April 2nd also happens to be the release date for online plans of an electromagnetic pistol

I could almost make endless connections because it is an ongoing and evolving thing. Celebrities turning 42 years old (my 42nd birthday will be one to remember…), credit card bills totaling $42, road signs, equipment settings, etc… How about you? Do you have favorite numbers with all kinds of puzzles behind them? Or maybe more sightings of 42?

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December 29, 2006 Posted by | All My Thinks | 1 Comment

Christmas Post

No, I’m not talking about the ‘Festivus aluminum pole’… But like a pole, this Christmas post has two points:

1) My family’s Christmas get-together was typical for the most part. There were two major changes however: my sister was absent (stranded in drowning Seattle), and we read the Christmas story from the Bible for the first time ever. To my knowledge this has never been done by my family as a Christmas tradition (or even not as tradition…). I will take credit (humbly, or course) for initiating this new family tradition. Perhaps it will lead to other more relevant traditions in the future that may help to edify real spirituality through the holidays.

2) Question from Youth Group: Put yourself in Joseph’s place. What would you do if your fiancee showed up pregnant and you knew you weren’t responsible? Would you:
a. Have her stoned? (which was permissible by law at that time)
b. Beat her until she told you who was responsible?
c. Not let it bother you?
d. Give her the cold shoulder?
e. Tell everyone that you are the true father and marry her? (aka: fake it)
f. Ask God to give you wisdom?
g. Something not listed above. (Explain)

I think my response would be a combination of c/e/f. In private it would probably hurt but in public I would probably end up faking it (I’m good at that sort of thing). I would try to not let it bother me and believe what she said was true, ‘It was God’. And I would try to remember to ask God about it all but in reality it would most likely end up me telling God things and not being able to hear Him through the noise.

What about you? 1) New/old Christmas traditions? 2)Joseph’s septolemma?

December 29, 2006 Posted by | All My Thinks | Leave a comment

Masks: Angel of Music

I watched ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ yesterday. The Phantom wears a mask that hides his hideous face and repulsive character. He parades around as The Angel of Music with a mask of charm and beauty and song. Those who know no better would think nothing of it.

The Angel of Music sings songs in my head…
T
he Angel of Music sings songs in my head…

The Angel’s mask is a kind answer to Christine’s prayer; thoughtfully taking an orphan under his wing of protection and teaching her awe-inspiring vocal skills, making her a star of the Opera House. The mask also shows him in a good light being a beautiful singer with soulful music. All in all he seems a pretty good fellow and we end up feeling sorry for him as he loves a woman and she learns his true nature and he is forced to let her go because she could never return his love. The Angel’s mask is designed to make us see a side of himself that causes us to believe in him and his lost and lonely cause. This is the intent of his mask.

Masquerade! Paper faces on parade…
Masquerade! Hide your face so the world will never find you…

I am no different and I wear my mask well. People that don’t know me inside often see me as a strong individual, secure in who I am. I tend to appear patient and generally happy, but most of all, humble. This is the intent of my mask.

Tomorrow we will violently rip off the masks and say hello to the ugliness inside.

December 23, 2006 Posted by | All My Thinks | 1 Comment

I didn’t do it

I was pondering tonight on the homeless man I left standing at the intersection.

Holding his sign and shivering in the cold of the night it was obvious that he needed help. Perhaps it was money he needed, or a place to eat or sleep? Maybe it was a new coat or blanket? I don’t know.

I wouldn’t know because I didn’t care enough to find out. I had no good reason at all to not stop and pay attention to the man in need. Basically I was selfish and just wanted to drive home and go to sleep. In my warm bed. With a full stomach.

The wise words of Ben (a good cow) in the newly released movie ‘Barnyard’:

A strong man stands up for himself. A stronger man stands up for others.

I didn’t do it.

December 21, 2006 Posted by | All My Thinks | 3 Comments

Pt 2: Sleeping with the Fishes

Apologies for repetition for those who have astute noses for being ‘in the loop’ but for those who haven’t noticed, I haven’t been myself. Lately my life has been turned completely upside down with trials large and small. Now I’ve been told by many that ‘this is just life, it sucks, but we will eventually get over it’. I’ve heard various analogies ranging from sharp pruning shears to winnowing forks and refining fires. True or not, none of these sound particularily enjoyable to a man in pain. I’ve also read and remembered Bible verses about how I should ‘consider it pure joy’ and ‘testing of my faith develops perseverance’. I’m sorry but I just can’t seem to get to those places right now and it doesn’t feel like I ever will.

So I’ve become really bitter and cynical lately because of all this. I see other people dealing with their stuff properly and I see their seemingly good results and I want that too. But I don’t want it if it isn’t real and right now other peoples’ methods and answers just don’t seem to fit my problems and situations.

So this built up and produced another rough sleepless night of pain and shame and guilt and loneliness and oppression deep in my soul. I couldn’t sleep for so long that really late became really early. I had tried various methods to tire myself out physically so that I would be exhausted and fall asleep. Tedious cleaning of my room, running laps around the soccer field in the middle of the night, washing dishes, crying/bawling/screaming, and shoveling new snow at 5am. None of this worked to tire me out so I went swimming at the local high school.

After I finished swimming it hit me that if I had actually succeeded in falling asleep, doing it while swimming would have been a bad idea. Either way, it didn’t work anyway. My quest for relief from pain would have to lead elsewhere.

December 20, 2006 Posted by | All My Thinks | Leave a comment

Pt 1: Crazy Adventures for Dummies

Due to the extreme length, and the wise suggestion of a friend, the following story will be released in episodes. Follow the numbers and the mounting drama…

This story is a recounting of the most crazy adventure I’ve dreamt up in a couple of months. Start with guilt and pain, mix in some insomnia and sorrow, top it off with a 3-mile expedition through the bitter cold early hours of the morning in fresh snow. And of course, what’s an adventure without a little mortal danger as well…

December 19, 2006 Posted by | All My Thinks | Leave a comment

Agree or Disagree?

Where you are determines how you view where you’ve been.

Where you’ve been determines how you view where you are.

December 13, 2006 Posted by | All My Thinks | 1 Comment

AAAAAAHHHHGG!!!

When I wondered what it would be like to lose an arm I didn’t really mean I wanted to feel it for real!

December 13, 2006 Posted by | All My Thinks | 2 Comments

Thoughts from the Throne

Recently, I was at a friend’s house and, as nature and fast metabolism would have it, I had to go… Naturally, I headed to the Throne Room and paid my overdue doo-doo dues to the Porcelain God. Upon finding the seat particularily comfortable and the environment serene, I lingered for a short while. My eyes came to rest on a note on the mirror which read:

God is who He says He is.
God can do what He says He can do.
I am who God says I am.
I can do all things through Christ.
God’s Word is alive and active in me.

For the sake of literary genius I would love to say that I felt refreshed inside and out, from top to bottom, from souls to bowels… Unfortunately, the relief was only physical at the time and lacked the spiritual cleansing. I am still pondering this nifty note, though, and hoprfully someday in the future God will be my X-Lax and flush out all the filth leaving me 100% clean, sin-free, and doubt-free.

December 11, 2006 Posted by | All My Thinks | Leave a comment

Planning to freeze

Tonight I attended a presentation on Winter Camping. It was very informative and I thought the Gear Geek leading it was rather entertaining as ‘a 50 years+, balding, fat man’ (his own words). So I learned a lot on how to stay warm and prevent dying out in the wilderness without dragging along a space heater. Basically you need a lot of money to spend on really expensive equipment. I figured that I could easily spend $1,000 on purchasing duplicate things that I already have but that won’t help me survive sub-zero temperatures.

So I decided that I would just wing it sometime with the equipment I have. Besides, where’s the adventure in knowing that you’ll be warm (or alive) the whole time…?

December 7, 2006 Posted by | All My Thinks | 2 Comments

Black Friday

Because I work as a substitute mail carrier at the Post Office whenever someone feels like having a vacation or a day off I get to rearrange my schedule to work those days. So I was noticing on that infamous Shopping Day From Hell that perhaps 2 or 3 people actually smiled real smiles as they went about their tasks. This excludes the greeters at Walnut that actually get money for smiling at everyone for hours…

So I was wondering what happened to the whole Holiday Season where people are happy and grateful and really excited about life? I must say that this includes myself. What I find mysterious is that all but a handful of people seem to be having rough lives just like me. Can this really be the case or is it a growing selfishness gnawing at America?

So whatever the case may be for lack of Enthusiasm and Holiday Spirit pervading our society, I wonder how people can actually have the gaul to pretend to be thoughtfully gift shopping for friends and family when it’s all about getting good deals on junk we don’t need?

So if anyone who reads this went shopping on Black Friday and actually smiled for real, leave me a comment and let me know why?

December 4, 2006 Posted by | All My Thinks | Leave a comment

Recovering Christian

No, I’m not a ‘Church-aholic’. I think it would be better described as a ‘Churchaphobic’. Not because I’m afraid of churches, but because after 2o+ years of Baptist indoctrination I find myself not wanting to go to church to be part of a play or cheap performance. I want to be more than what I seem to have been taught (consciously and subconsciously) about what Christianity is and what it means to follow Christ. I find myself becoming more upset when I notice ‘church people doing church stuff’. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s important to go to church and lots of other things as well. But I notice more and more how many people are just faking it on Sunday morning (and other places) and not changing a thing during the rest of the week. It’s as if they didn’t really learn anything at all.

Now I’m not perfect by any standards and I’ve made my share of mistakes (ok, maybe a few shares actually) so this is not meant to be condescending on anyone. I just wonder how many people actually know what they are doing or even if they really want to be doing it?

Last week I arrived at Youth Group and had to force myself not to sing. Of course I knew the songs and I had come there to sing and worship with the other people. But I knew that my heart was not in the right place, I wasn’t thinking worshipful thoughts. I was physically present but mentally hitchhiking off to someplace not good. When I realized this I made myself stand at the back of the group and I just shut my mouth and my eyes and tried to refocus on what I was doing and why. This was my small act of not participating in a fake worship time. I can’t say where everyone else’s hearts and minds were but if mine was not there and I sang anyway then it would have been fake.

Sure I could have fooled everyone there, that’s easy. But I can’t fool God, that’s unpossible. So I took a time-out and honestly I’m still not back after 3 days.

So I call myself a ‘recovering Christian’ not because I don’t believe in God and want ‘out’ but because I do believe and I want ‘in’. I want to be in a real relationship with a real Jesus and experience His real love rather than be caught up in the popular religious charades trying to fake everybody out. Get it yet? Real.

December 2, 2006 Posted by | All My Thinks | 3 Comments