Do What You Can

Not only is there going to be an awesome improv show Saturday night that I’m hosting at Ars Nova in Huntsville, but you can get into the U.S. Space & Rocket Center for almost free that same day and help charity. And, hey, if anybody would like a personal tour with a noted space author, drop me a line.

The Divine Bulldozer

OK, I know y’all are probably sick of me writing about the issue of surrender and unconditionality by now, and, if so, just skip this entry, and go on to the next one, which is a bit more frothy.

But the issue’s come up again in a couple of ways this week, and so I’m writing here because I’m basically using this as a way to work through this personally, and if anybody else gets anything out of it, great.

I’ve come to realize the extent to which, even earlier this year, I thought “surrender” meant using God as a bulldozer. I acknowledge that I don’t have the strength to move the mountain before me. I acknowledge that God does. Therefore I want Him to let me use Him as a bulldozer, His strength moving the mountain with me seated firmly at the controls. And this, arguably, is not surrender.

I learned this lesson the hard way this summer. I had been praying persistently for something that I wanted, and, for whatever reason, it came about, but in a very Monkey’s Paw sort of way, not really what I wanted, but certainly what I had been insisting should happen. The lesson was obvious — “OK, seriously?* You would rather have this on your terms than Mine?”

Since then, as I’ve written ad nauseum lately, the arc of the year has been learning to relinquish control. And that doing so means not only relinquishing it in real time, but also as a bargaining technique. It’s one thing to say, “OK, God, I’m willing to give you control today if it means this happens tomorrow.” But that’s still expecting to be in control of the outcome, if not the means of getting there.

I was talking to someone about my journey through the issue that sparked all of this the other day, and about how God had been using it in my life to teach me these things. The person proceeded to give me a word on the subject, which could have been encouraging, but came with an interesting caveat — there are no guarantees, no promises as to the outcome. I could walk in that word, but would have to do so knowing that not only could I not force the outcome, I couldn’t try to do it bargainingly by causing Him to. I would have to do it truly giving up control, truly unconditionally.

That’s the question He put before me, then — not just in this, but in my life in general — If I don’t know where this is going, and I don’t know how it ends, am I still willing to begin?

*I don’t remember who introduced “OK, seriously?” into my vocubulary, but would you please come get it? It’s rapidly becoming the kudzu of my conversations.

Fortune Favors The Foolish

Two of us brought Chinese food to Journey Group last night, and each of us had a fortune cookie.

Julian’s fortune was definitely the better of the two — “You will be succesful at everything.” Unlikely, perhaps, but still pretty cool.

Mine sounded pretty good on the surface — “Your most memorable dream will come true.” After all, who wouldn’t want their dreams to come true?

Except that then I stopped to think about what my most memorable dream was, and it’s almost certainly one I had recurringly, frequently and persistently for quite a while after starting my current job, and has even recurred this year, making it the most memorable just from repetition.

In the dream, I realize that I’m supposed to be a newspaperman, that it’s part of who I am, part of my identity, part of my make-up and character. And I leave my current job, and go back to work for the newspaper in Indianola.

In the dream, it takes less than a day, or maybe on rare occassions into a second day, before I realize what a horrible mistake I’ve made, and that I need to go back. Thankfully, always in the dream, I never actually quit my current job, and so I just show up back at work here the next day with no one the wise.

So, if I completely disappear for a day or two, you’ll know the fortune was right, and my most memorable dream has come true.

These May or May Not Be the Droids You’re Looking For

I had a request to blog about the new Droid phone; to share my thoughts about it as an iPhone user.

My thoughts are this — I’m happily in a committed relationship with my iPhone, and really don’t look at other phones.

For the last two years, every time a phone that’s supposed to be halfway decent is announced, it’s become de rigeur to describe it as a serious challenger to the iPhone, and this happens every three to six months. When a phone is still being described that way when the cycle comes around — if it gets to be time that a new phone should be described that way, and they’re still talking about the last one — then I’ll pay attention.

So there you go. If you would like to see my share uninformed opinions about random topics, feel free to ask.