Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wisdom from Merton

"My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following
your will does not mean
that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that my desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire
in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything
apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this
you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear,
for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me
to face my perils alone."
- Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The new pain & energy meter

Have you ever gone to a doctor's appointment and they ask you to rate your pain or energy on a scale of 1-10? I've been asked that question many times and it always throws me. It just seems to be too vague. For pain, do they mean a 10 is the worst pain I've ever experienced? Or the worst pain I could ever imagine experiencing? And when it comes to energy, that's also vague because my energy levels can change from one hour to the next.

A friend and I were discussing this the other night and it turns out I'm not the only one who has trouble answering these questions. So we came up with the idea about doctors using a concrete scale that people can relate with. We came up with a few ideas of ways to measure pain, then the other night when I had a little too much time on my hands, I finished it.

So for anyone who's ever had trouble determining if your ache is a 2 or 7, this is for you:

Pain meter
0 - Happy as a clam
1 - Someone poked you (not on facebook, real life buddy)
2 - Paper cut
3 - Stubbed toe
4 - Fell playing hockey in the snow
5 - Body slammed into the wall
6 - Punched in the face
7 - Finger stuck in a car door
8 - Fastball to the face
9 - A car ran over your foot
10 - Your arm just fell off and someone just dropped a cast iron pot on your toe.

And then of course, there's the lack of energy meter,

0 - Red Bull was named after you.
1 - Your sleep is solid and you feel like a million bucks. If only you could transfer feelings into dollars...
2 - The world seems like a much better place when you're sitting on the sofa with a remote in hand
3 - You just downed an energy drink and still have trouble remembering your first name
4 - You're winded from that long journey to tie your shoelaces
5 - Energy? Like money that's a foreign concept
6 - Yawn isn't just a four letter word, it's the only one you manage to keep saying over and over again
7 - Your speech is slurred, and it's not just from all the alcohol last night
8 - Brain is on neutral, eyes need to be supported open by toothpicks
9 - Brain is off, but you still know it's there. Or you suspect it is.
10 - The amount of energy your body has when you sleep. Or at least you think it does.

Just bring this with you to your next doctors appointment so they can know exactly what you're thinking and feeling! lol

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Trip Down Memory Lane

Kodak Gallery is having a sale on photo prints, so I decided to tackle a project I've been putting off for years- getting my digital prints developed. I bought my first digital camera back in 2003 and since then most of my photos have been saved on a hard drive, not printed for an album or displayed.

As I've been going through thousands of photos this week, it's been like taking a major trip down memory lane. Photos from trips, birthdays, graduations, retreats, weddings, and events I had all but completely forgotten about passed before my eyes this week.

Two things really stood out to me as I've been going through visual representations of the last 7 years of my life. The first is how quickly life can change. When I look back I can see how everything is different now even compared to a few years ago. Life is always changing!

The second thing that struck me was the value of community. As I looked at snapshots from my life from over the years I saw many important faces. People who I've laughed with, grown with, leaned on, and had the time of my life with. And while many of the experiences I've had in my life have been great in and of themselves, it was often the people I was with who really made the memory. I was reminded of something that C.S. Lewis once wrote:

"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival." (CS Lewis)

Really is there anything better than journeying through life with other people by your side? I have a feeling the community we experience here is a small taste of the joy and love we're going to experience in the afterlife. God knew what He was doing when He designed community. No, it's not perfect and yes, there are times when people will let us down. But if we don't take that risk, we're never going to experience the blessing that can be found in the people we journey through life with.

"Life is partly what we make it, and partly what is is made by the friends we choose." (Tennessee Williams)