Monday, August 15, 2011

Spiritual Journey vs Cultural Christianity

A website (and event) and an article. One flies in the face of the other.

Cache Cache Expérience

Proposed dates:
-September 10…a one day sampler – Paris
-October 8 – 10 – Paris
-November 12 – Sample day w/ Mosaic Tribus in Paris
-March 14 – 16 – Amsterdam
-March 21 – 23 – Paris


A 'Christian' Europe without Christianity

Friday, August 12, 2011

Summer Afternoon Pétanque

Pétanque is the national sport/loisir/past-time of France. Everyone plays. And neither age nor sex nor physical abilities restrict the ability to play nor the effectiveness with which one plays. In some parts of the world a similar game of Boccé (or perhaps other names too?) is played, but not cherished as it is in France.

Pétanque has curious uniform silver balls. Initially shiny, you can tell a long-time pétanque officianado by his/her muted canon-ball like pétanque balls. Each set of three is marked with particular etchings to tell them apart. The game is played in teams of 2 (or 3, maybe more?), and the object is to place as many of your team’s balls as close to the marker ball as possible. Typically played on flat ground sandy courts, pétanque can really be played anywhere. And on a weekend afternoon, pretty much everyone comes out for a match. This may be the only sport best played with a glass of wine in hand, and truly accepting of all ages/types. Hooray pétanque!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Great Kids and a Tired Mind

Hey there blog. I could say something like "hey readers," but it seems too presumptuous, assuming that someone, nay more than one, reads this. So I'll address the blog. It has to listen. This is sort of like addressing oneself I guess.

I've been uninspired as of late. It's sad, un-inspiration. I have hope though. My head's been buried in French studies for the past three weeks and any coherent thought is fleeting at best. So instead of a cute parole or interesting insight, I present some photos and videos. These will be kid-heavy.

Me and my baby girl.She's a bit warm here, but agreed to be cordial for the photo. Soon after, she demanded a return to her favorite rug back at home.

The captain. We took a ferry boat out to a nearby island this weekend, and Sawyer insisted on the very front of the boat. So there he is.

My boy exploring his vocal range. If you don't know already and can correctly guess the song, 3 points to you!

Elsie doing a typical afternoon workout.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

No Time Like... Now!

My friend Goodluck and I were in front of a tiny car battery shop on the side of the main road in Morogoro, Tanzania. My car was dead. Goodluck had helped me to negotiate a price on a good battery, and the battery had been installed. Now a group of Tanzanian men were discussing the next step in rapid Swahili. I kept hearing a recurring word that I did not know, “schtua,” and wary glances my way. Goodluck told the guys that he’d schtua my car, until one of them said that I could schtua my own car. Goodluck then asked me if I could schtua my car, to which I replied, “Sure thing, but what’s schtua mean?” Goodluck laughed nervously and climbed in the passenger seat. He didn’t answer my question.

Suddenly, the group of Tanzanian men were at the hood of my car, and they began to push! Not just push, but push me and Goodluck in my dead car backwards into actively oncoming traffic on a busy road. With seconds to think I learned the meaning of schtua: Jump-start. In this case, they were wanting me to reverse roll start, and did I mention into oncoming traffic? By the time I figured this out we were rolling at a good pace and now on the road. Goodluck’s nervous laugh had changed to a nervous wide-eyed fear as he waited for me to pop the clutch. I did. The car fired up. We reversed directions and sped into the flow of traffic. And then we drove and laughed about the schtua-ing experience. I’ll never forget that word, by the way. That’s how you learn a language.

Why did this story from a couple years ago come to mind? Because I’ve been asking myself, “why are we waiting for calm green pastures and perfect circumstances to schtua our lives?”

I constantly have a lot of those things on my “one-day” docket. As in, one day when I have the time I’ll actually truly learn the guitar. One day, I’ll start running consistently to train and get in shape. One day I’ll spend hours in creative daily prayer. One day...

I rely to much on the excuse of the near-future. In the past 5 years we’ve moved a lot. 3 continents, 7 cities, 7-10 different residences. I’m constantly thinking that if I can push off that which I want to do - that which will make me better - a day of calm is coming when I’ll have the time, space, resources, and consistency to make it all happen. In the meantime, I’m watching a piece of my life float by.

So I’m learning. I’m learning to let go of some things that aren’t really that important. And I’m learning to stop waiting. There isn’t, there will not be, a better day than today. So what if life is moving at the speed of oncoming traffic. Do it now, jump-start life and get moving.

There’s a quote attributed to Martin Luther King Jr that says, “I have so much to do today that I will spend the first 3 hours in prayer.” It makes the point that busyness doesn’t negate the things of importance but only more deeply requires them. And so I am learning, again.

Stop waiting. The traffic will never stop. By the time I find a quiet clear stretch of road to jump my battery, I may need a new catalytic converter.