Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Steaming Hot Wild Boar with a Side of Spiced Onions

I am feeling a little self-imposed pressure to write a blog post, but absolutely nothing is popping into my mind just now. And I would half to say that there are some extended periods where I just sort of grind through life doing one thing after another – both chores and fun diversions – without giving much thought to the deeper meanings of things... the Divine stuff swirling all around us... 

Bold knights a-jousting
This past weekend the following things happened: Halloween Carnival at Bill’s school (at which 3 people thought I was in costume when I was just wearing my regular clothes), our heat stopped working, we went to the Renaissance Festival, spent the night with my mother-in-law in Greensboro, came home, carved a pumpkin, ran errands, had the heating looked at... 

I thought about writing about the Renaissance Festival, but there isn’t much to tell. I had a good time, but really, it was just like a county fair with a theme – and alcohol. I wanted to buy a full set of clothes, but couldn't justify it – $155 for the corset alone! I would have to say that the biggest hit with our family was the jousting show. Bill has always been fascinated with knights and jousting, etc., and finally he got to see actual dudes with poles running towards each other on horseback. Needless to say, he loved it. There was no authenticity about the whole thing, though, except maybe the authentic “privy” smell of the port-a-johns. Also, I thought it was pretty cool that the rides did not have motors or electricity... it was all propelled by manpower and momentum. 

Large hunks of meat -
something you won't
catch Bill eating...
And fortunately for Bill, ye olde medieval serving wenches served up pizza and sprite – just like in olden times, right? Bill is a picky eater in the extreme, so I couldn’t imagine that he would at any time being tucking into a plate of steaming hot wild boar meat... with a side of spiced onions. Anyway, I have no pithy or insightful things to say about our trip. I will say, however, that my mother-in-law is fabulous. She is always so kind to us, so generous, so thoughtful... I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that we have produced a grandchild for her?!

No, like I said before, sometimes I am just bouncing from one thing to the next – chores, homework-helping, nose-wiping, work, various entertainments... and my brain can get totally stuck on a superficial level... (Although we did say a LOT of prayers that the cost of fixing our furnace would be reasonable...!)

There’s what they call the dark night of the soul – when you reach out for God in agony, but can’t detect His Presence... but this isn’t like that. It’s more like... the dull day of the brain... or something. It’s not like I’m rejecting God, or have forgotten Him, but I’ve allowed my brain to drift into and hover over some drab area of everyday-ness... Instead of seeing God in the beauty of every little thing, yearning for His perfection in every imperfect thing, experiencing His grace in every fallen thing... I’m just going along as if this is all there is. 

The dark night of the soul is no picnic.
I am not sure which is worse. I have been through some pretty dark nights, and let me tell you, they are no picnic... on the other hand, it is during these times that you are reaching out to God with all you have... so you’ve got that going for you... which is nice. But if you’re in the dull days, it's like you're the people in Mark 4 – they hear the word of God, "but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful." And if you're here, you’re stuck, but you’re not in agony – you may even be having a fairly good time... how will you know that something is missing?

I’ve actually heard people say things like, “God caused me to break my leg because I wasn’t paying attention to Him”... (really, I have!) But if that were the case, then LOTS of people would be on crutches! I know I would! I am not sure God causes misfortunes to get our attention. I believe that He uses our misfortunes to get our attention... But frankly, I’d rather not need a misfortune to point me in the right direction.... no thanks! I guess it's a good thing that I do know that something needs to happen. But what? How do I get out of this bland place? Like in this song by Soul Asylum, I need sombody to shove me... but figuratively, right? (That's right, I'm speaking metaphorically about the need to think more metaphorically.)
I'm not sure how, but Soul Asylum
always says it just right.

I think maybe slowing down could help... not that I know how to do that... The cliché answer, I guess, is this: read the Bible and pray more, ie. turn toward God. An since I don’t know what the non-cliche answer is, I guess I’ll have to go with the cliché... 

In the meantime, here is another awesome song by Soul Asylum that reminds me of the dark night of the soul. It says, “In a New York blackout, it’s so hard to see / All the angels that are looking after me” and, “And I may never escape this darkened city / But still I’m trying to find you in this blackout."

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