When to Look the Other Way

28 02 2013

There the temptress was. Dressed in the neon colors of red against the darkness of the evening, She caught my eye.   She looked good enough to stop traffic.  I saw this siren beckoning me closer to a destruction of sugar and deep-fried delight.   My gaze was captured by her glaze.

Some alien or demon must have entered my body because across 3 lanes of traffic without using a turn signal, my automobile lurched. The rest is just a blur, almost a stupor. I recall being in front of a talking box that said, ” May I help you?”  For a brief moment I contemplated just driving off but a car pulled behind me and I was trapped by 2,000 pounds of steel from behind and a hunger from within.

“I would like a half-dozen hot donuts and a bottle of water”, I heard me say.  Both choices were out a sense of responsibility. I wanted milk or coffee but water is good for us. Everyone knows that.  And a half-dozen donuts has fewer calories than a dozen, right!?

Then she spoke, ” For only one dollar more you can get a dozen.” I am  quite sure that was not the voice of reason talking to me.  I did the math in my head and concluded that a good steward would opt for the greater value per donut. So, I did. I could have some for breakfast.

With a rectangular box of a dozen little beauties in the seat beside me and a bottle of water in the cup holder, I set off into the darkness of the night with my seductress. Under the stealth of the stars and a county many removed from my home, I  sated my primal desires with what seemed like warm, doughy, cotton candy. Sweet, melt in your mouth air. I breathed in the aroma and tasted her sugar. First one then another until that other angel on the  other shoulder asked,  ” How many is that?”

Like an addict talking to his sponsor, I said, ” I’m  not sure, too many?” So I closed the box …until…. well, I waited until breakfast!  Coffee and a microwave mean hot donuts again! Hair of the dog that bit you, so to speak.

I might  remember singing a variation of John Denver’s song, ” Rocky Mountain High.” My sugar spike was a North Carolina High and I was transported to the pinnacle by a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

In this season of Lent, I admit to some guilt, so “mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.” But in my defense it was Sunday, the feast day. But somehow my rendezvous must have been among the 7 deadly sins in the measure of my delight or the quantity of the hot now delights I enjoyed.

I recall a quote from John Dryden, “Better to shun the bait than struggle in the snare.” Or as we say around here, ” Just look the other way and keep on moving.”

I will keep reminding myself of that when I am struggling on the treadmill or ordering a salad instead of a burger. My chickens have come home to roost and the donuts have gone from in my stomach to around it.

Next time, I will try to just look away and keep on moving. Krispy Kreme will not help. Did you know I can get a Hot Now app for my phone? It will tell me when and where to get those little beauties. Such as it is with a temptresses and her snare. Not fair!!

I did not get the app, yet. I’m looking the other way!

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A Spring That Waits To Be

3 02 2013

The snow of last night has now found its way into the earth. Beside the entrance to church I saw this reminder of the Spring that waits to be.

 

 

According to Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog weather prognosticator, we will have an early spring. In North Carolina some might say we don’t have real winters. That suits me just fine. I don’t really like winter. Too much indoor time, not enough light and then there is the cold.  Hibernation is out of the question and Florida is, too.

In fact, in my younger years I might even use ‘severe disdain’ or ‘profound dislike’ for winter. Now I prefer to call winter a reluctant dance partner. We sometimes squabble about who is going to lead but I usually lose that tussle and just follow another’s rhythm.

I do find solace that in the snow and cold of winter that spring is just around the next seasonal turn. The Hymn by Natalie Sleeth entitled, “Hymn of Promise” reminds us that. ” In the cold and snow of winter is a spring that waits to be and in the bulb there is a flower…unrevealed until it’s season, something God alone can see.”

In the photo, surrounded by the remnants of an evening’s blanket, the harbingers of spring herald that there is spring waiting to emerge.  I suppose the same might be true in those emotional, spiritual and metaphorical winters of life, too. Covered in the darkness and cold of the winter times of life it may seem as if the light never will come, the thaw will never  melt and the heaviness of the season will not go away.

Winter snow in Michigan and Mississippi  are different. Sometimes the dance goes on longer than others. But the band eventually plays a more lively tune begins and the dance floor warms up. Maybe even some Beach Music!

As with the snow that slowly melts to nourish the deepest roots of a tree, so winter times help us dig deep to find hope in despair, faith greater than doubt, love through indifference and spring after winter. I’ll still look forward to Spring and the new life that will blossom . I may reluctantly take my winter partner’s hand and be led onto the dance floor to be embraced by my winter dance companion to learn a few new steps. Back and forth, ebb and flow. Do you hear the music? Can you feel the rhythm?

How do you dance with the winter times; those spiritual, emotional, physical, practical seasons that come our way? I would love to learn a few ‘new moves’.  Please comment below. The dance floor can never get too crowded.

 





Finding God in the Everyday and Ordinary

2 02 2013

Announcing that one will be writing a blog is often met with something between polite head nodding and blank stares. I did get one, ” that is great”.  I’ll hold on to that as I begin this cyberchat with those who might like eavesdrop to the musings of heard and heart. That disclaimer being appropriately placed. Here goes…

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I  use corrective lenses. With each passing year my hearing seems to be moving closer to hearing aids.  I guess I’m acknowledging that I need help seeing and hearing.   Then there are the issues with other senses; feeling, tasting, touching. Somethings I would rather not feel, taste or touch. Things like pain, loss or illness. So I admit it, I need help with my senses.

In my tradition as a Christian I have sung asking God to open eyes, ears, life. It has been said that the eyes are the window of the soul. What if the soul has a dimness within and without? If so, will sight, hearing, feeling, tasting an touching also be dulled? I think so.

There is another hymn that asks God to ” take the dimness of our soul away.” For me, that is to have God’s Spirit descend upon our hearts so the Great Physician may bring us back to our senses. Opening eyes, ears, heart, mind… well, life to what seems as the ordinary, often neglected extraordinary.

I have a personal bias about invoking God’s presence in worship, meetings, life. I don’t think we should do it. Rather, we might just acknowledge the Presence that is already there. Prayers of gratitude, insight, guidance, discernment, possibilities and a host of others seem more appropriate to me. So, what if we woke each morning to the prayerful expectation and anticipation of seeing God in the mundane, ho-hum, ordinary things of life?