Daily Archives: November 4, 2008

the next prayer

img00093So my friend Rob sends me a text today.

“Keep your guests on other blogs…my .02.”

He’s talking about the conversation that has been happening on my earlier post about guest writers, a conversation that I have enjoyed.

Less than two hours later, he’s sending me a picture, saying “One more post for you today.”

Some people, you know? I mean, after three posts already, what could possible be worth another one. You will be sick of hearing from me. And after saying to keep people off, he’s wanting his own picture up.

But then I looked at the picture, from a church in Maine. And I knew that Rob was right.

As I write this, the polling place 50 feet from where I am sitting is still open. It will close at 6:00pm, 15 minutes from now. And then the results that have been held in abeyance through the day will begin to come out. And people will cheer and cry and laugh and mope. People will start planning for the next election, the next struggle, the next….

But for people who have a conversational relationship with God, there is one thing to do first. No matter which name was next to the button you pushed, pray.

For the person who will, before the night is over, be president. For the senators and representatives. For the judges. For the county assessors. For the coroner (yes, I voted for coroner today). For the state representatives. For the county commissioners and school board members.

For protection. For wisdom. For strength. For chocolate milk.

(But please not for “seeing things my way.”)

I agree with the sign: “Now…pray for them.”

worth looking at

A poor photo of a worn piece of paper with a hand-scrawled number.

It means nothing. Bad writing. Bad photography. Bad paper.

It is the piece of paper handed to me by the people who verified my photo ID at the polling place. It is my precinct number. It is the piece of paper I handed to the person who set the voting machine to the right precinct.

Looked at one way, it is not worth looking at. Looked at another way, it is to die for.

People did. People are. People will.

There are a couple things worth more than the privilege of voting. But as I stood at the machine and felt unexpectedly emotional, I was reminded that there are only a couple. And as much as I liked the free coffee, coffee isn’t one of those things.

Take the time. Get the piece of paper. Push the button.

do i have to share

I started thinking about taking a week off writing.

Not really a sabbatical, not really a vacation, just a week not writing.

It’s probably not going to happen. I, because of how I am built, think by writing. It is how I form ideas–by getting them out.

However, one thought that went through my brain was “guest writers.” I wondered what would happen if there were a guest writer or two here sometimes. I wondered what I would ask them to talk about or whether I would just open it up wide.

The challenge, you see, is that this is a chronicle, a recording of what I am wrestling with, arguing about, helping people with. It is, be definition, reflecting what I reflect. So how do you invite guests to write?

One line of my thinking reminded me of the old joke: “But enough about me. Let’s talk about you. What do you think of me?”

And that isn’t what I want to do.In fact, I don’t want about me.

And I also have this struggle with bias. I’m not against it. I’m for it. But honestly.

I am talking about life and faith and relationship without sounding like religion. But I do have a clear bias. In the same way that I am firmly convinced that Nancy exists and that I talk with her, I am firmly convinced that God exists. With the same level of certitude. So I can’t just say, “Whoever wants to write something, write it.” I’d have to say something like, “What faithy things are you struggling with? That’s what you have to write about.”

If you were to hear from someone else in this space, what would you like to hear? What questions or conversations or comments or reflections?

Or is this, at its root, a personal blog.

I’m good either way. But I was curious what you thought.

nice or necessary

Today there was a funeral at our church.

In the last couple months we’ve had eight or nine funerals. We record CDs of these services, allowing the family to listen to words they may not be hearing clearly in the grief of the moment. Today, as happens sometimes, I was running the recorder while Lee was running sound.

One of the things I like to do while recording is have each element of the program on its own track. This makes finding a particular song or speaker or reading easy to find.

This morning, in addition to running the recorder, I also had to go pick up fried chicken for 100 people for a meal after the funeral. It’s something we do. Somehow, humans like to eat after the emotion of a weekend of saying goodbye.

I had to leave before the funeral would be over. Lee asked if I wanted him to keep starting new tracks for the last couple of parts of the program.

It was a great question. I could ask him to keep doing what was important for me. Or I could accept the fact that what I was doing was nice, but not necessary. Recording track is is something I like to do, it’s something that I think is nice and helpful. However, the family would be happy with a disk that has just one track.

The food arriving on time was more necessary than what I thought would be nice. And Lee didn’t need the pressure that I would be adding.

My choice of nice or necessary had the potential of raising Lee’s stress significantly.

It happens all the time. We choose to do something. That choice increases our stress signficantly. That stress changes our reactions to others. Others suffer for priorities in our head.