Thursday, December 29, 2005

Companionship and Ohio

I write to you from the second floor of the AmeriHost Inn in Waverly, Ohio. I just turned off the tv. The 30th Anniversary Special of Prairie Home Companion was being replayed on PBS. It was from July of last year. It's been a while since I've written to you, and I'm not quite sure where to begin. I suppose I'll avoid the good news/bad news conundrum and we'll just go in chronological order. To begin with, I'm no longer driving that little Ford two door Escort that I had. Pity, since Kat had just bought me a brand new cd player for it. But, as of December 15th, it was no longer drivable. I was heading the back way toward Halls to get to church, and it had been raining lightly. I went around a curve on McGuinness Rd and skidded into a fellow named Aaron something or other. Tall, kind black fellow who works at a transmission repair shop, I believe. I hit his van at an angle and rebounded off. We were both perfectly fine, and my airbag didn't go off (for which I was thankful), but my car was totalled. Thankfully, we changed the left rear tire on his van after the officer got there, and except for the inability to open the sliding door, his vehicle was alright and he drove on home. Kat headed to Florida and spent some time with her family, which reminded us both why we love being together so much. know the rest.

I sent off my cds to be printed and I sure hope that they come back soon and just the way I want them. God has really blessed me with the ease of this project and of getting started into recording. My musical prospects have also taken other turns recently. I'm playing mandolin and accordion with Karen Reynolds (from Writers Block) and Rick Huemmer (from Worship Werkes) in a band called Sunset Junction. We played our first concert at the Lost Savant on the 18th, and I got seven dollars and a good meal out of it, which, though it may not seem like a lot, is a great deal when it gets handed to you in cash with an excellent Reuben sandwich. It was certainly a blast as well. I hope that things take a turn for the best in this, but I'm a bit impatient with the whole thing. "God is not slow, as some understand slowness." Peter was talking about the second Advent, but I think that the everydayness of God's plan and behind-the-curtain sort of operation is a good application for the phrase as well.

And speaking of the second Advent, I'm hoping (for the sake of not being alone) that some of you have those times when you wish for it as well. I've got that dread in my stomach because I do believe I lost my job today. I work (or, at least, I did work) at Starbucks. Make no mistake, this is a great company to work for, if you can handle the stress and the hours. The stress I can do. The hours are what kills me. When your schedule changes every week and ranges from getting home at three in the morning, to getting up at three in the morning to be at work on time (not consecutively, mind you - they're not so cruel), your body tends not to adjust well. I'm a bit of a night owl anyways, but even getting to sleep early doesn't help sometimes. Couple this with the fact that I live about 50 minutes from work, and I'm somewhat set up to fail. This, of course, is why I wish for the second coming. I think to myself, "If I could be with Christ, all my problems in this regard would be solved." I can hear him chuckling and telling me that's the easy way out. But still, when you get fired, you feel like a failure. At least, I do. And the presence of God is tailor-made for us failures. Us misfits. The cogs that don't quite slide in like they're supposed to. I just wish sometimes that I was more in tune to that deep knowing of his imminence.

The second coming though, reminds me of what Andy P was saying about being a little upset by the verse where Jesus told the Pharisees that there would be no marriage in heaven. He and his wife, Jaimee (I have no idea how to spell her name) felt that they'd be a little short-changed by not getting to be with each other in a marriage relationship. Now, me being the great and powerful Oz that I am, I thought, "Well, little man, you don't realize that we'll all be one. We won't need marriage, because we'll be in the presence of the One." But, I do believe I'm a humbug for that. And now, especially after Kat's trip to Florida, I appreciate a little more the time I get to spend with her, and I'd rather be a poor and happily married man, than a rich bachelor with an empty bed and a tv for company. All told though, Prairie Home Companion was good company tonight - certainly along with Kat - and listening to Garrison talk quietly and watching his graceful nerdy manner was good medicine to an uncertain heart. So, here I sit in Ohio, not knowing the future. I'm scared to death, and God is a wild man. Life is good.

Friday, December 02, 2005


I titled this post before beginning to write - to keep myself on track. Because I tend to wander from thought to thought without much continuity save what's in my own mind. And unless you're clairvoyant (which I have a sneaky suspicion that you're not), than you'll never know what's going on. I called it 'Honesty' because that's something I often lack in myself. And here's the reason: the truth is, I'm afraid of you because I don't like me. Now, my thinking goes like this: if I don't like me, who the hell else is going to like me? I'm closer to me than anyone alive, so if I hate the things that I know about me, why should other people like me if they knew? I think we're all sort of like that, and God knows us all. "But," I say to myself, "God knows me better than I do, so why should he like me?"

You know, I used to worry about capitalizing that 'H' in 'He', sometimes because I thought it was better or more spiritual to do so, sometimes because I thought people might think me more spiritual to do so or not do so. I worry a lot about what people think of me. As I write this, I sit here and go, "What's so-and-so, who's my friend for now, going to think when they read this? What would my mom and dad say? What would my pastor, who's a pretty cool guy, say if he new my doubt and failures?" But he'd probably look at me with love in his eyes and talk to me about something else entirely like going to have lunch sometime. Doesn't make it any easier to be honest with folks. I love and hate honesty at the same time. It's the hardest thing to practice, especially with myself, but it feels so good once it's done, like a sneeze.

I don't want anyone to know how hard I am on my wife. But I am. I think it's because I'm so scared of losing part of myself and my freedom to the will of someone else. In my mind, I could think the same way about God, but I don't, because I feel like his will is gonna take me amazing places and I'll be able to be free. I think of songs like Family Man by Andrew Peterson, and I say to myself that having and making a family should be the biggest adventure of all. But that sounds like something I heard in a movie, and it probably is. I don't feel adventurous when Kat calls me and says, "I miss you, when are you coming home?" I could be out with friends, and I feel like I'm going to go sit with someone who will drain me because she wants to be with me, but I'm leaving me with my friends at the restaurant. It's difficult. And then we have days when it's like the world stopped so we could have fun together. We can laugh about everything and forget that there are ever any problems, and in the back of my mind, I'm usually scared that it will end very soon. This all tells me things about myself that I don't like, or at least, that I feel like I'm not supposed to like. Things like, I'm rebellious. I feel like I've always been rebellious, from the moment I was born. I was born by C-section after the fourth try at natural birth. I was late (I've always been late). I don't like going to church because I feel like I can't talk to anybody and say words like 'shit' and talk about the fact that I still have a hard time staying away from porn and billboards with scantily clad women on them make me uncomfortable, not to mention women in general (because I'm a geek). The only woman that I'm comfortable around is Kat, but perhaps that's my problem. I get comfortable and take things for granted - well, take people for granted. There's another thing I don't like. I take folks for granted, and it's usually the people closest to me. Don't bother giving advice by the way, cause you don't have the packaged answer for that. Hey, that brings me to another point. I'm bitter, and I think it's wrong. I'm bitter against people like Joel Osteen and Bruce Wilkinson for deceiving folks, but I deceive folks every day about Christ by my lack of honesty about myself. I'm bitter toward people like Beth Moore and Steven Curtis Chapman because they're popular, and I think they've sold out or said feel good things to get that way. But I want to be popular too. I want people to engage me and be interested and interesting. I suppose I should just be up front. I want people to like me. I can't stand it when I think someone's upset at me for whatever reason. And I hate not resolving the issue right then and not getting all the loose ends tied up.

I suppose I could go on all night about my sins, but nothing will fix itself without God's touch. I'm not asking you to pray, but if you want to, I have no objection. I'm not really any worse off than any other time you hear from me. I simply need to be honest. I've fooled you. I pulled the wool over your eyes about me and I'm sorry. So for now we've corrected a few things I think. Again, I'm not looking for advice in particular, but comments are certainly welcome.