Wednesday, October 7, 2009
If You Had Only Been Born a Man, What a Caesar You Would Have Made...
Greetings, one and all! Isn't that an amazing picture? I love it. By all means, click it and look at it bigger. Beautiful.
Warning: Self-reflective, theology-laced navel-gazing to follow. I know this is NOT what you tune in to read, but I feel the need to vent, and this is my forum. If you want to skip down several paragraphs, to the photo of the owl peeking out of the cardboard box, then you can get to skimming the light-hearted, random stuff for which I am known.
OK, "proactive" vs "reactive"... that is what's on my mind at the moment...
What started my mind working on it, in a subconscious way, was a post that Logan made a few days ago, regarding a Bible study he's participating in, and the effect it seems to be having on the group. Of course, that hooked my sub-level angst pool that is just under the surface, which softly but constantly nags me for my sedentary, safe lifestyle, spent 7 days a week sitting in front of a computer screen most waking hours (and nose-to-book the remaining few), vicariously living through the reflected experiences of others more intrepid than I. Sure, it reduces my risk of getting swine flu, but it never ceases to bring up the question: what the heck would I do with my time if I had been born in any other era of history (meaning: no computers)?
I tell myself I'm staying out of trouble - but I'm also not really accomplishing anything. I tell myself I'm not hurting anyone - but I'm also not really helping anyone either. I tell myself I'm simply a creature of habit - and honestly, I don't really know how to change that. Most importantly, for better or for worse, I usually end with "maybe I'm supposed to be this way."
Still, it's an ever-present conundrum, which usually yields to one of my ever-present forms of entertainment. Like trying to push the balloon back under water, it occasionally slips and pops back up with a splash, but you can always grab it and push it under again... out of sight, out of mind.
So tonight, I'm at Stans for my weekly mini-prayer meeting, and Tony says (in relation to a completely different topic), "Well, you get out of it what you put into it." Again, completely in a different context, but somewhere inside a light went on, and in a matter of seconds, while Tony kept talking, my mind went several directions at once. The long and short of it is: I live my life in reaction to stimulus around me. If something pressing needs to be done, I do it. A hard deadline will trigger activity. If nothing clamours for my attention, I slip into cruise control, and entertain myself.
There are a thousand things I'd love to learn to do, and a thousand things I know I should be learning/doing, but unless something comes and pokes me in the ribs, I'll easily (and I mean easily) get distracted by something fun or interesting. Then the day is done. That describes my day, my life.
2 Corinthians 9:6: Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
This verse immediately popped to mind in those two seconds following Tony's statement.
I'm not saying I'm particularly unique in this - I'm sure others could claim the same wrestlings, to one extent or another. I'm just wondering if living a more proactive life, in all aspects, might yield better fruit.
Earlier in the week, two of my clients initiated two big projects, for which I was grateful. I was geared up to begin starting Monday. Well, one project got put on indefinite hold, and the other morphed into something completely different, and now my hands are tied until other people do stuff first. Now, keep in mind, they initiated contact, got the ball rolling, and I grabbed it and was ready to go (reactive). But suddenly, they both pulled them back (so to speak) and I was then available to do something else. Did I check my "to-do list"? Did I contact other clients to see if they had any other projects I could do? Did I get a head-start on other things? Did I try and get new clients? Or did I default to frittering away the day, doing nothing, since my motivation for the day's actions was removed? I was set to move in response to input from other sources, but when I was put back in a position to self-motivate, nothing happened.
The same pattern holds true in just about every aspect of my life. And now I suddenly have a label for it that isn't self effacing. I'm a passive, reactive guy. Sure sounds better than lazy sluggard. That latter label just makes me feel guilty and encourages me to flee into something entertaining... at least calling it "reactive" is neutral and can be approached objectively, without emotional pressure one way or the other...
I'm almost done here; forgive me my introspection. Bottom line, I'm wondering, yet again, if this is simply "how God made me" and I should just roll with it, or if I should hit it again in prayer, asking God to show me how and where I can make changes, and how and where I need to let Him make changes. I just don't feel like I'm really doing anything with my life, you know? Maybe it's just because I'm almost 40, and it's just the whole mid-life crisis thing, I don't know. You have to do the best with what God gave you... or is that the quintessential cop-out?
OK, I'm done. Here's that pic of the "owl in a box" to let the "banality-skippers" know where to join in again...
OK, cue the more comfortably-impersonal material... and... ACTION!
Yeah, it's an owl in a box. If you want to read the story behind the pic (and see other pics), click here. Meeting you like that was absolutely wonderful...
I saw this picture on Design Boom today, and it caught my eye...
Turns out it's a self-contained home farming unit, designed by a company for one of those earth-friendly tree-hugger "future of food" type contests that the hopelessly optimistic utopian dreamers engage in regularly (like the TED conference every year). It's a striking design, so I followed the rabbit trail to the article about it, and was pretty-much blown away. The cool thing was that the company designed three separate-but-interconnected entries that are just so crazy-cool I had to share them here. Before I wax enthusiastic, watch this video...
All three of those concepts are so wild, I love them! The nutrition sensor that you swallow and it shows you your various levels of this and that, real time, so you can adjust your food intake accordingly? A food printer? Are you kidding me? How awesome is that! Reminds me of that scene in Fifth Element where Leeloo puts that giant bowl with a couple little pills in it into the microwave-thingy, pushes a button and BOOM, instant fried chicken.
But the home self-contained food farm ecosystem thing is awesome in it's own way. Guess I'm turning into a utopian tree-hugger, eh! It just shows a lot of thought, I suppose. I appreciate that. He's capable of a lot more than you know!
Todayve In History: October 8
- October 8, 1939: Germany annexes Western Poland. (You see, he found me and told me about your land. You're just a fool.)
- October 8, 1956: New York Yankee Don Larson pitches the only "perfect game" in World Series history. (Don't be like me! Don't you be like me!)
- October 8, 1971: John Lennon releases "Imagine." (Null and void, just like my life.)
- October 8, 2001: The Office of Homeland Security is born! (If you're afraid of dying, it shows you have a life worth living.)
- October 8, 2005: Martha Stewart begins her prison sentence. (They build jails 'cause of me.)
Among those celebrating birthdays today are: Missionary Jim Elliot (1927), Jesse Jackson (1941), Chevy Chase (1943), Sigourney Weaver (1949), CeCe Winans (1964) and Matt Damon (1970).
The funny thing about the perfect game that Larson pitched in '56, it was against the Brooklyn Dodgers... a year later to the day, the Dodgers announced that they were leaving Brooklyn for LA.
In honor of Matt Damon's birthday, I was going to post the fight scene from the first Bourne film, but I couldn't find a good version to embed. I'm going to post the trailer instead. I may just rip the scene myself, upload it to Viddler and embed it here, but in the meantime, here's the trailer...
Before I sign off, I have to post this pic of Patrick Rothfuss's book The Name of the Wind, with the Portuguese cover...
Awesome design. Congrats to Patrick, who also recently became a father. I can't wait to get my grubby hands on A Wise Man's Fear... check out Pat's blog here...
OK, I'm done. Thank you for your patience. I do wish we could chat longer, but... I'm having an old friend for dinner. Until tomorrow, remember, tomorrow we'll get a sign: "No Spiders or Visigoths Allowed."