Status Report

I am still in Florida, working on my father’s house but the energy expended during the day on the remodeling activities, yesterday we finished the day by finishing the floor tile in the kitchen, which we had finally decided to completely gut the previous two days. I have not laid tile in thinset in a long time, so it was both interesting and extremely tiring for a person who has spent a lot of the last five years sitting at a computer.

The problem is that most days, I hit a wall late in the afternoon or early evening and everything semi-shuts down. I get cleaned up, get something to eat, watch a little tv with my dad and go to bed. I get up around 6:30 and start the cycle all over again. There is no time for the reflection that writing always involves with me. Today is Saturday and my brother is not due for another few minutes. We are ripping off the shed roof over the Florida room today, doing the necessary repairs and putting down the underlayment and then calling for an inspection on Monday. In addition, I have to finish laying the laminate floor in the front bedroom so the room can be finished and they can move my dad into that room for tomorrow evening. We are also grouting the tile in the kitchen, hallway and front foyer. There is lots to do today.

Writing for me has always required a lot of energy and focus and when you are almost always tired, both of those things are missing. I wish I was like the people who can just sit down and crank out reams of text but it always takes me a lot of time to write anything of substance. This isn’t sustentative. It is stream of consciousness stuff and as such is more like a casual conversation than real writing.

A lot is happening to me down here and I have had some interesting insights, being out of your daily routine can do that to you, give you insights, but I have neither the time or the energy to develop them. So much is happening in our culture and world today. Historically we seem to be moving towards a major convulsion of some sort. Things are getting polarized and people are tending toward extreme positions. The Internet and cable supply information at such a fast rate that events tend to hit us with such regularity and force that we have begun to live with a constant sense of fight or flight, of continuing emergency. They are force multipliers that bring the tragedy and shock of events out of their immediate impact area and distribute them worldwide. We, the connected portion of the human race, seem to be suffering a collective form of mild post-traumatic stress syndrome. We are bombarded with death and carnage and plague and disaster even when it is all happening somewhere else. The only way to recover is to disconnect for a while. The old geographical and time boundaries no longer apply and even minor devastating events affect everyone with a cable or Internet connection, not just those present or physically nearby.

This cannot be good for us. We were designed to care for a garden, to share our lives with loved ones, and to walk with God in the cool of the day, not to be bombarded 24 X 7 with trauma and tragedy. Instant communications may make the world more efficient, but to what end, producing what result? The cell phone is morphing into an instant information device, complete with audio and video. So the events will find us anywhere and anytime the phone is on and everyone leaves their cell phone on all the time because you never know when someone will call and shortly you will never know when something important, or just interesting, will occur. Stop and consider for a moment where this is leading us, where this takes our weaknesses and how it will attack our Achilles’ heels? If you thought Internet porn was an destructive epidemic on the computer, where you have to at least go sit down at it to begin, think what will happen when the cell phone becomes almost as powerful.

We live in perilous times. In C. S. Lewis’ science fiction trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength) he examined how the grey would disappear as the end approached, leaving only the black and white, in essence leaving nowhere to hide your allegiance to or against God. That is the bane of our modern existence. There is nowhere to hide. Every weakness is attacked and every fault line is stressed. In one sense this is good, since we, by the grace of God, have unique opportunities to deal with our sins. In another sense it is sad, since even the best of us will pressed to our limits and for some past them.

If there ever was a time in history that tried men’s souls, I would argue that this is it. Just some stream of consciousness thinking on a Saturday morning. My brother and nephew are here and have started on the roof. I have to go and join them.

Grace and peace and blessing to you all.

  2 comments for “Status Report

  1. November 12, 2005 at 10:21 pm

    Dear William,
    I hope you’re not hurting yourself there! I know what I would feel like if i was working a physical job for any length of time! I won’t mention age, or lack of exercise, or computer muscle syndrome! h-hm.
    I can certainly identify with a lot of what you streamed here! This week got me so down, I had to pull back. Then I feel guilty for letting it all get to me! Where’s that good ol Christian perseverance? Sometimes i really like sharing on a more gut level. I posted much more briefly on my “death and resurrection”.
    BTW, you scared me last weekend…I couldn’t get through. I wondered if your whole thing had crashed again.
    Glad to hear from you. God’s blessings on your work there; hope you find some time to play. Hi to Dad and brother too! Sincerely.

  2. November 13, 2005 at 9:04 pm

    Other than aches and pains, a few blisters here and there and the accompanying scrapes and bruises (I have thin skin), everything is fine. I have lost almost 10 lbs and changed some of the remainder out to more muscle, which is all good.

    But most importantly, I am spending time with my dad, my brother and sister, and my nephews. My wife is coming down for Thanksgiving and that will be splendid…

    Thank you for your concern and all prayer and calls for blessings are most welcome.

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