popcorn wielding sadist

This afternoon, I was delivering a handful of snacks to our youth room during 2nd grade recess. Four-square and soccer players made a mad dash to my side to see where the popcorn and other goodies were headed.

"Are the snacks for us? Will you share?" Their pleas were shameless.

"Sorry, girls. The snacks for 7th and 8th grade bible study."

"Oh. Like their religion class? They get snacks in school?"

"No. It's an after school bible study. They come after school."

"THEY HAVE TO GO TO BIBLE STUDY AFTER SCHOOL!?!?!" The exasperated horror flooded out of their gaping mouths.

"They choose to come. We have snacks, games and laughs and then we study the bible to grow in our faith."

"Oh. I'll see you later." The skepticism in their eyes spoke louder than their feet stomping quickly away from me.

I'm pretty sure they think I am a popcorn wielding sadist now. Great.

it isn't easy

I am blessed with friends that are faithful, generous, and concerned about their place on this planet. They are imperfect like me and the rest of us. Yet, they strive to be mindful of their imperfection and seek forgiveness when needed.

Recently, I've noticed a generally frustrated attitude surrounding the barrier schedules create to serve. The times when service is requested are times not available due to work, family, and the variety of other commitments.

I don't have a solution, only reflection. If service were convenient and easy, the need for it would be null. Helping and loving others demands sacrifice and priorities.

I am not saying my friends are justified in their frustrations but that their frustrations are, in fact, with the defining quality of service--it isn't easy.

Makes Jesus seem like a Superhero or something...


ecclesiastical footracing

From John Cheever's Bullet Park:
... Mrs. Trenchham was carrying on her particular brand of competitive churchmanship. Mrs. Trenchham was a recent convert--she had been Unitarian--and she was more than proud of her grasp of the responses and courtesies in the service; she was belicose. At the first sound of the priest's voice in the vestarium she was on her feet and she fired out her amens and her mercies in a stern and resonant voice, timed well ahead of the rest of the congregation as if she were involved in a sort of ecclesiastical footrace. ...

I can't help but giggle knowingly. (Also, I just discovered John Cheever thanks to my brother-in-law. I'm loving it!)


insanity strikes back

Over the holidays, my cousin asked if I might be interested in running a half-marathon. We ran a very relaxed half two years ago and had a great time. We have the mutual interest in wanting to get into shape and I have been tossing around the idea of a race in the darker corners of my mind for some time.

And so we committed. To the Cincinnati Flying Pig. We are dragging the sister and the new brother-in-law in on the sadistic fun because adrenaline-induced misery loves company.

Which means that I need to run around twenty miles a week during this cold and miserable time of year.
Which means, I go to the gym and run on a treadmill to avoid the cold.
Which means, I feel like a hamster.

Also, considering my aversion to pork products and byproducts and other things snout-related, I spend a good deal of my hamsterhood convincing myself that no pigs will actually be flying by my head (or past my car) during this race.