Thursday, November 19, 2009

Souls and synapses

I have just one week of Anatomy & Physiology 201 left! It's hard to believe...where DOES time go, anyway?

Was just trotting along on the treadmill (a desperate attempt to keep myself awake long enough to actually, you know, study), and I came across the following in the chapter about the central nervous system:

Researchers in the field of cognition are still struggling to understand how the mind's presently incomprehensible qualities might spring from living tissue and electrical impulses. Souls and synapses are hard to reconcile!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Living or watching life

Look at them--(a wave toward the marvels of Grand Avenue) all of those glamorous people--having adventures--hogging it all, gobbling the whole thing up! You know what happens? People go to the movies instead of moving! Hollywood characters are supposed to have all the adventures for everybody in America, while everybody in American sits in a dark room and watches them have them!

-Tom in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

Monday, November 9, 2009

The start of 30 before 30

Two friends of mine who are a little further into their third decade than I am were discussing their "30 before 30" lists last Sunday. During the course of the conversation, one of them asked me what's on my list.

Umm...problem. I don't have a list.

Both of them were scandalized.

This may come as a surprise, but I'm not a hugely enormous fan of lists. I tend to put enough things on my "To-Do-Today" lists to last me an entire week. Disgusted at the end of the day with my seeming inability to accomplish this reasonable amount in a 24-hour period, I give up on to-do lists for a whole week or two. At the end of that time, I realize that I haven't yet gotten done what was on my original list. Filled with good thoughts and determination, I make a new one, containing all the undone things, plus some new ones for good measure. And so the cycle goes.

I realize, though, that lists can be good. A reasonable list keeps me on track. A just-slightly-ambitious list motivates me to push just a little harder.

Considering my tendency to slump into the hummmdrummm, I am thinking a "30 before 30" might not be a bad thing after all. Especially since I have less than 4 1/2 years before that fateful event. (And HOW did that happen, I wonder to myself? I can't really be THAT old, can I?)

So...I am considering creating just such a list. I know I don't want to get to the end of my life, only to discover a lot of my time was spent watching sitcom reruns on TBS.

Here's the plan...over the next two months, I plan to write down things that come to mind that I have always thought "Wow, that would be fun to do!" and compile my list near the end of the year. At the turn of 2010, hopefully I will have a workable which I am already planning to include things I've already done...thus to encourage myself and, you know, keep it workable. There is nothing quite like a workable list to keep me kinda-sorta on track. We'll see what happens from there.

In the meantime, I will continue working on tying up the loose ends of my life. Do you have those? That one project you've been working on for a few months that just has the really boring part or the really hard part or the really confusing part left, but that you feel like you have to finish before moving on to something else? I have a bunch of those. Lord-willing, by the end of this year, my loose ends will all be tied, and I will be eager and ready to face a new year.

Care to join me?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Obsessed with death...and life

A visitor from a foreign country who arrived in my neighborhood in the last week might be stunned by this culture's apparent obsession with death. Just down the street, there is a house with a yard full of gravestones. Across the street, my neighbors have a skeleton hanging in their tree in the front yard and a coffin on the porch. A visitor from another culture who has never been exposed to the American holiday that is Halloween could indeed say this culture is obsessed with death. Why? they would wonder. Why this celebration of death? Why this focus on the gruesome? Why this obsession? What's wrong with you people?

As I sat in my church's Lord's Supper service this morning, one of the brothers brought up the point that the same visitor might ask the same questions of us in that meeting. You're celebrating the body and blood of a dead man? You're singing songs about His suffering? You're meditating on how he was beaten and crucified? Why are you obsessed with death?

...but they simply had some points of disagreement with him about ... a dead man, Jesus...

They aren't new questions. Why celebrate this dead man, Jesus? Why the obsession with death?

The answer...

... whom Paul asserted to be alive.

We aren't obsessed with death. We are obsessed with life. He came, He died, He LIVES that we might have life, and have it abundantly. By proclaiming his death, we proclaim His Life. By celebrating His death, we celebrate His life...and ours.

(Scripture taken from Acts 25:19)