Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mermaid Zombie

I recently discovered I can send video here from my phone. I also recently rediscovered this gem from the summer.

I'll be home in just six days and I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Particularly beautiful tonight.


This week has been humbling me.

In the last eight days, I have experienced four significant "life FAIL" moments, as my peers and I commonly refer to it.  To those of you still intelligent enough to describe your feelings in full English sentences rather than LOLspeak, a "FAIL" is a moment when something you're attempting, often either a simple task or grand undertaking, fails utterly.  A "life FAIL" is when such a moment relates to something actually important, perhaps with lasting effects or repurcussions.

Yes.  This past week = life fail.  And boy howdy, has it brought me down a few pegs.  Not that I was particularly high before, but I was getting comfortable in my confidence on some things and it was leading to complacency.

Complacent no more, I heave a sigh and turn eyes upwards and wonder aloud, "Really??"

But then, who have I to blame?  You may have noticed I said earlier that I experienced four life fails this past week.  That's not true.  I brought those moments upon my own head.  None were intentional choices on my part.  It was all mostly bad calculation and poor allocation of scarce resources, not wanton slacking off, but the effect it the same.

This same week, this prayer has popped up over and over.  It came into my head last Tuesday afternoon and repeated like a refrain.  It came up in a conversation with one of my roommates.  It was in an article I read a few days ago.  This past Friday, our principal used it as the opening prayer to our faculty meeting.

I've been mulling it over.  I've been mulling my own falible nature and the shortcomings that make me subject to multiple life FAILs in a short time.  My incomplete self, my incomplete efforts, my incomplete life.  The fact that all those things are going to stay incomplete.  It's depressing at first, until you read the thing.  I know I will never come close to all the things I want to -- ought to -- be, and "there is a sense of liberation in that".

The funny thing about realizing we are incomplete and subsequently surrenduring ourselves to God's will is that we actually become more complere in that action.  In surrenduring, we gain the strength and ability to keep fighting.

To keep propheting that future we will not see.

It helps now and then to step back and take a long view.
The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.
Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of
saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith. No confession
brings perfection, no pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the Church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives include everything.

This is what we are about. We plant the seeds that one
day will grow. We water the seeds already planted
knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects
far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of
liberation in realizing this.
This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning,
a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's
grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results, but that is the
difference between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders, ministers, not
messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own.

-- Archbishop Oscar Romero

Monday, November 16, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

An Honest Prayer

"M., would you lead us in prayer?"
She moves to the front of the room, half poise and grace, half shuffling mass, because she's an athlete and a remarkable girl but still entirely an 8th grader.
"In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Any special intentions?"
J. raises his hand and I hold my breath.  He is my brilliant, brilliant but very, very strange boy.  He wrote a review of Toy Story 3D for free writing one day in a tone similar to what an art film critic would use to laud an indie masterpiece.  In included the phrase, "Woody is a man for our times."
M. points.  "Yes?"
"For our test in science class today.  May God send us salvation."
Half the heads in the room turn to me for my reaction.  I manage to keep a straight face and respond with my students -- though with less gusto -- "Lord, hear our prayer," not because I'm unfazed, but because when a kid begs God for salvation, but only from his science test, you're not sure whether to laugh, cry, or pick your jaw up off the ground and join in.

My Twin

He's cute.

And I miss him very much.