Friday, October 29, 2010

Centipede III: The Chilling Terror

Just in time for Halloween, we have the next installment in our story of the centipede. This tale of terror has continued to spawn sequels to such a degree that I now suspect George Lucas and Steven Spielberg of being involved. Although beginning in June, our last installation was in August when we caught a glimpse of the icy tip of the invasion.

In the past weeks, the demons have been seen far beyond the boundaries of their usual territory in the kitchen. One was spotted in the A/V area. Another attempted to take refuge under the copier before being executed for espionage. One even made it so far as my boss’s office (which, by the way, is adjacent to my own!). Today, we learned that another sanctuary has fallen into their hundreds of hands and feet.

Like most terrorists, “they are easily scared but will return in greater numbers.” Perhaps our initial encounters only provoked them to an enraged onslaught. Whatever the cause, the forays have become so frequent and serious that we are forced to consider our options. Discussion of introducing chemical and biological weapons to our arsenal has begun and is very popular—especially with this secretary!

These are indeed dark and desperate days, and not just because Daylight Savings is a week away. Escalation seems an inevitability for both sides. Everyone walks their rounds on heightened alert for the slightest shadow of a scurrying creature. Today… I dropped my guard. For a moment in the afternoon, I allowed myself a slight respite for which I paid dearly.

It was my own fault for, buried in contemplation, I neglected my customary caution. As I opened the refrigerator door, I was more concerned with the meaning of life than my own perilous actions. There, lurking within, awaited one of the monsters. His beady, black eyes stared into my soul with such cool audacity that I could not respond until it was too late.

By the time I had recovered presence of mind and lung capacity, he was gone. The crafty beast took advantage of my frozen shock to make his escape out along the carpet and back under the condenser. When I finally made my way back to the front desk, my coworkers were chilled as the realization swept over us all that this Battle for the Library may have only just begun.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What Up, Oprah?

Once again, that stupid Billionaire song is stuck in my head. I’m being very good and resisting the urge to text some of its random lyrics to James—he hates it when I do that, which really only makes me want to do it more (I firmly believe that little brothers must be tormented at every available opportunity). The song, however, has gotten me thinking: what would I do if I were suddenly a billionaire?

I’ll probably never be anywhere close to a millionaire, let alone a billionaire. I can’t even imagine what I would do with just a million dollars. First, I’d pay off my college loans. Then, I’d pay for my brothers’ schooling. Next, I’d buy a car… but, then what? Then you get into those nightmare stories you hear from lottery winners about random people pestering them for money.

A lot of billionaires make professions out of philanthropy, devoting most of their time and efforts to getting rid of their money. I wish some of them would give some of it to me! Oprah, if you’re reading this, just let me know and I can tell you where to send the check. Seriously, though, I don’t think it matters how much money you have (or don't have): you’re only responsible for what you do have.

Money is not something which I have in excess. I would like to think, however, that I do as much (if not more) good as anyone else. I have time, creativity and good intentions to use in helping others. Sometimes the most help in the world comes from a prayer or a listening ear, more than any size check. So until the money rolls in, I’ll keep doing what I can with what I have—a whole lot of love!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dealing with Disappointment

Remember when you were a little kid and you used to look forward to Christmas all year long? The day seemed positively magical and as it drew closer you could practically see visions of sugarplums dancing—and you didn’t even know what sugarplums were! The anticipation was so sweet and strong that you could almost taste it. Then that morning finally arrived and you rushed downstairs to see the beautiful tree and brightly wrapped gifts.

For a moment, all you could do was stand there in awe of the sight before you, maybe pausing to wonder if that’s how those shepherds had felt when they found the nativity. When you were at last allowed to open that first, mouthwatering package, you chose it with great care. Of course, we all know that within that brightly papered box was… a sweater.

We all tried not to show our disappointment. After all, maybe the next gift would be the special one. That one particular toy that you saw months ago and have been dropping hints about ever since. Your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, Sunday school teachers, and everyone else with whom you’ve had contact know it’s what you really want. However, the next package contained a scarf.

Recently, my life has been full of disappointment. I’ll be the first to say that I have no idea why I keep finding socks after scarf after sweater. I constantly struggle to turn my theology (the Lord gives and the Lord takes away) into doxology (blessed be the name of the Lord). Despite numerous momentary distractions, life continues its depressing assault. My question has become how long, O Lord? There must be a point and purpose. Wish I knew what it was!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Expect the Unexpected

Life never turns out the way I expect. Except, of course, for when it does. Take for instance, my wonderful knee. I was not expecting my doctor to give me another steroid injection, but as soon as I knew that was happening, I expected it not to work. As excepted, I was right. It didn’t work last time, so why should it work now? Pretty sure I told my doctor that, but no surprise, he still tried it.

A few days ago, another unexpected event took me quite by surprise. I was invited to have lunch with the trustees, but that’s not the shocking part. I found myself seated next to one of the truest gentlemen I have ever met. He’s 90-something years old, a millionaire… and he pulled my chair out for me! Who would have thought that the first time any man ever did that for me, it would be such an important, little old man?

Sometimes, I know what to expect, but hope to be surprised by the outcome anyway. Other times, I have no idea what to expect, but then I’m not really surprised by an outcome. Part of me knows that it’s useless to try and plan ahead, but another part of me can’t help preparing for contingencies. Part of me just doesn’t care at all!

I suppose that what I’m trying to say (rather convolutedly) is that life is confusing. People especially constantly confound me. God must find all of this terribly amusing, and my role in particular. I often find myself laughing at my own stupidity and the hilarious display of humanity all around me. I don’t think you should ever take life too seriously. If you can’t laugh at yourself, you might as well just stay in bed every morning.