Awake, O Sleeper. Or, Doing the Stuff We Need to Do


I was looking through some old memos on the Centro and found a record of exercises recording in October. What I lifted, how much, how many reps and so forth. I was depressed. It was about the same, maybe even a little more than I did last week.

A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with high cholesterol during a routine check-up. Since then I’ve been exercising at the Y a couple of times a week…for a while, then life or illness or Summertime gets in the way and I stop. Since October I took a few weeks off during Advent/Christmas. Then another three weeks off when I got costochronditis (inflammation of the cartilage in the sternum). Sometimes I just don’t feel like going. When the kids don’t have to get up early for school, I don’t get up in time to workout.

Now I know I need to exercise. It helped the cholesterol level. I also enjoy it. I feel good doing it and feel better all day having hit the gym. But I don’t do it as often as I need to, and obviously I’m not making much progress in building strength. Was gibt?

Last November I wrote a novel–well, a novella. It wasn’t very good, but I enjoyed writing it. It was something that I have wanted to do since I was a boy. I remember working on an epic fantasy novel when I was in sixth grade, scribbling in a spiral notebook in the darkened classroom while we were supposed to be watching Gandhi. (Why were we watching that movie in 6th grade??) I wrote about 300 words back then.

The next step for my “completed” novel was supposed to be revising. Or starting a second one. Immediately. I’ve written about 3 or 4000 words since December 1. That’s it.

Why don’t we do what we want to do? Why don’t we do what we’re supposed to do? Why do we shrug off that which is good and beneficial? In part, we’re undisciplined. We have those wish-dreams of accomplishments they never quite get to. We struggle through to achieve, to make it where we are and grow tired.

In part, we live lives asleep at the wheel. We do what we have to, what we’ve programmed ourselves to do, what we’ve always done and then retreat and do the same tomorrow. We think in the past and in the future but never in the now, the moment. Our prayers are halting and irregular, our fasting time is nearly over, our love follows the lay of the land, taking the path of least resistance. If life is comfortable, we cuddle up and settle in.

It’s for our salvation when we realize it. Like a lucid dream we see our true condition and our need for salvation in the midst of our need. If I cannot even do the small things like I want, how can I do what is truly good? How can I love the unlovable when I have not the strength to do the smallest things?

There are tips and tricks to awaken ourselves in this life, to meet our goals: the Life Plan; Personal and Family Goals; GTD and Lifehacking; Covey. The “secular” tips and tricks can work, and work well for those who can muster the discipline to keep them going.

But it is a spiritual problem. Everything is when you get down to it. And spiritual problems–acedie, sloth, ennui, whatever you want to call it, demand spiritual solutions: the Sacraments and using the weapons of the spirit: prayer, fasting, almsgiving.

Satellites and Gadgets

So we found a good deal on Dish Network and switched from our cable company. The deal came with a DVR. We had still been taping some shows on the VCR, but this year it finally gave up the ghost. Now, the only show we had bothered to tape was Lost. So this season M and I have huddled around the computer monitor to watch it online on Thursday evenings.

I already love the DVR. I recorded Kings last night–the modern re-telling of the story of King Saul and David, and I can watch it whenever I please. I’ve also been recording The Simpsons, which was required daily viewing before we had kids. Haven’t really seen it since…until now.

But part of me wishes we hadn’t taken this latest plunge into the 21st Century Mass Entertainment technolatry. Cable, cell phone, computer/high-speed internet, newer gadgets to make all this stuff work; it seems never-ending, and for what purpose?

Distractions, mostly.

Winter Weather

We got about 6″ of snow and some drifts. Not to bad, and not nearly as much as they anticipated…of course. But we needed the moisture very badly.

Today it got to 69.9 deg. Crazy Oklahoma.

We received a few new members today, one family from Arizona. They said they liked having seasons again. I said, “Little did you know that we have winter, then spring, then summer, then spring, back to winter, spring, then winter again, then summer.” Marjorie said, “Yes, and all that in January!”

Crazy Oklahoma weather.

Sobering Coincidence?

Family Planning Associates asks for $395 to kill your baby in the first trimester. It’s only $45 to get a pill to do the same thing.

FPA is owned by Irving “Bud” Feldkamp III.

Mr. Feldkamp’s two daughters and their husbands and five grandchildren died when their private plane crashed in Butte, MT earlier this week.

The plane crashed into Holy Cross Cemetery.

Holy Cross cemetery includes a “Tomb of the Unborn”–a memorial to all infants killed by abortions.

Lord have mercy upon us all!

HT: Weedon

45,000 People is Still a Small Town

We went to Mikayla’s 7th grad band concert tonight. When we started down a row in the auditorium, we realize the nurse who gives Elli her allergy shots was sitting in front of us. Then Jack noticed a little girl behind us. The mom recognized us from the doctor’s office–when getting Elli an allergy shot. A family sat next to Marjorie–they were friends of a friend. Two rows back, one of the students Marjorie accompanies for music contests sat down. After the concert, we said hello to the band director who is a member of our parish. One of my confirmands said hello as he walked by–a 6th grade drummer.

That is community. It was good.

So What Was the About?

Someone asked yesterday–“What occasioned this last post??” What didn’t?

–some long, bitter discussions at other blogs;

–friends acting contrary;

–controversy in our denomination and other church bodies;


–temptations (tenatio) all around.

This means it is a good Lent. Satan is testing, prayer increasing, mercy unfolding.

They’re Back!

The family arrived home safely Saturday evening. It is really good to have them back. While they were gone someone asked how lonely it was in an empty home. Lunch and dinner time were the worst. It was so quiet, I’d have to turn the TV on to have a little noise. The irony, of course, is that when the house is full, M and I are always telling the kids to be quiet and eat.

The time away was good for the kids, though. I’ve noticed that Elli seems a bit more mature and considerate than she had been. She also stopped taking Zyrtec. What’s the connection? Marjorie took some a week or two ago and felt very angry and irritated, and realized that Elli acted like that all the time. It is a rarely reported side-effect. Makes us wonder.