I haven't blogged in a while; here's my stream-of-consciousness on a snowy Sunday night. Enjoy the following seven items, helpfully itemized in a numerical format. There are seven because that's the Biblical number of perfection (also it's mostly because I got a little tired and I couldn't think of any more).
1. I think it's just a little bit creepy when I'm reading through my Facebook page and my profile says:
Boyd Allen "Likes" So-And-So's "activity".
What does that even mean? I liked your status or your post...not your "Activity"! What is that?! It sounds gross, whatever it is.
2. I LOVE Kansas City Chiefs Football. I know, I know, we were horrible this year, nay, even atrocious. It makes no logical sense, but I love the Chiefs. It's been a really, really tough year, but days like today make it a little more palatable. We defeated the horrible, ugly, dreaded Broncos en route to breaking several Chiefs records. And to make it better, we beat the Broncos at THEIR house, ended their already slim playoff hopes, AND avenged ourselves of the beat-down they put on us in KC a few weeks back. It was a good way to end the season. Go Chiefs!*
3. Saturdays are a my new favorite day of the week. Sarah and I have been deliberately taking Saturdays off (or in Christianese, "taking our Sabbath") for the last month or two. It's hard to make yourself NOT do anything for a day, but it's one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. If you are the kind of can't-do-nothing, addicted-to-doing-things, let's-get'r-done kind of person that I am, then I highly recommend it. Rest is good for the soul, mind, body.
4. I have an awesome family. Christmas and the holidays are best spent in the company of those who know and love you best. Thank God I got to do that these last few weeks. I am very blessed to have a great family and great in-laws. Plus they have really, really sick senses of humor. I admire that in people. Thanks for being so freakin' cool guys; I love you all.
5. I started reading Donald Miller's "To Own a Dragon" the other day. He is just the right mixture of honest, funny, and readable. I like the book so far. If you haven't read Miller's "Blue Like Jazz", you should.
6. As much as I rant about snow, sometimes it's mildly cool. If only I had a snowboard...and a mountain in my backyard, then I might LIKE snow. Also, it's kinda eerily cool how it brightens the night and makes it look like perpetual twilight because all the light reflects off of everything.
7. My 11 month old is teething again; two molars at the same time. It seems like hard work. I hope that I'm not one of those biological freaks who loses all his teeth when he's 50 and grows a whole other set. I don't think the coolness factor would outweigh the pain. Doesn't seem worth the trouble.
*I still want Todd Haley fired!
Today is my Sabbath (weekly day of rest) and for some reason I was reminded of this liturgy that my brother posted on his Facebook account about this time last year.
I thought of this poem because, this year, my goal is for the holidays to be sort of an annual Sabbath; a month or two of the year when (hopefully) life slows down and I get to rest, relax, and recharge with friends and family. I know that this may not be the reality for many (myself included), but it's my primary goal this Christmas.
it is a time of whispers
of rumors and echoes
angels are unfurling their wings
stars are dancing new steps
and the universe is drawing breath
for now we live in the waiting time
let the darkness gather
let the seasons change
let the nights draw in
to their darkest moment
the light is on it's way
so come now
be a blessing to the frantic and worried world
and find space
for God is slipping into skin
and restless in the womb
it is advent
P.S. I tried unsuccessfully to find out who the original author is so I could credit him/her. If anyone knows who wrote this, please let me know.
I just read this article from NPR. Apparently, the U.S. Postal service is all but canceling the "Operation Santa" program that allows volunteers to reply to children's letters to Santa. Evidently there was a sex offender volunteering for the program. A few thoughts regarding this turn of events:
1. Growing up, my parents did not teach me about Santa. I do not feel any lasting ill effects from this (apparently) gross omission from my childhood, and I have no intention of teaching my own 10-month-old son about Santa. The way I see it, there's plenty of awesomeness surrounding the holidays (family, traditions, etc.) without introducing a fictional character to spice things up. (Before you all post angry comments: yes, I am aware that Saint Nicolas is a historical figure; he bears little resemblance to the pot-bellied apparition that we've created.)
2. The previous point notwithstanding, I have no problem whatsoever with those who choose to do the Santa thing. I don't think it's sacrilegious, silly, irresponsible, or any other negative adjective. You like Santa; good for you. I'm all for whatever makes the holidays happy for you and yours. Merry Christmas.
3. The real reason though that I'm writing about this whole turn of events, is this: I think we Americans overprotect their children. Are we really going to nix an entire program that has (presumably) given joy to thousands, maybe millions, of children...because of one lousy sex offender? Now, I'm not suggesting that a known predator should be allowed to continue interacting with children. But maybe we could just deal with the lone perverted perpetrator and let the program be? My point here is that it seems like a slight overeaction, don't you think? To borrow from the article, it seems like an "explosion of the elephant gun in a panicky attempt to dispatch a random ant".
You may disagree with me; that's cool. We're all entitled to our own take on the matter. However, there are some academics (who I happen to agree with) who believe that within the next 15 years (maybe less) there will be a backlash to the current trend of over-protection. Our kids will feel so smothered, so stifled, so cut off from experiencing life...that they will eventually rebel (as individuals, and thus collectively as a generation).
Now, I don't think most parents want their kids participating in the next generation's version of the "stick-it-too-the-man" 1960's (complete with anarchy, sex, drugs, and rock & roll). I know that's not the future that I've envsioned for my son.
So, maybe a little perspective is in order. Let's keep the elephant gun holstered, huh? What'd ya say?
P.S. If you're the geeky type (like me) who enjoys learning about sociology, patterns, and why things happen they way they happen, then check out this book, it's changed the way I look at society and history.
The random thoughts of a passionate moderate who is incurably addicted to music, practical philosophy, and learning new things.