I compared last week to a ”roller coaster” ride – as our emotions climbed into joy in anticipation of our daughter’s marriage and then plunged into sorrow at the SIDS death of our niece’s 4 month old daughter. We closed out that particular “ride” on Monday as we attended the funeral.
It was a difficult experience but it seemed that being surrounded by friends and family helped Jessica & Mickey at least begin the process of grieving and coming to accept that life goes on . Linda spoke at the funeral at Jessica’s request. She was reluctant to do it because she was afraid that she would break down and not be able to finish what she had prepared. However, she wanted to “be there” for Jessica so she went ahead. She said she prayed and she knew others were praying for her. From that she experienced a peace and calm and did very well. – (see Philippians 4:6-8)
She shared her experience with observing Jessica pouring out a mother’s love on her child, spoke as a grandmother to empathize with the pain of grandparents who loved this child so much and shared her conviction - from Matt.19:14 - that Magdalena was with Jesus now. It was a heart felt and comforting and I admired her for her strength and demonstration of her faith in God.
When we get off a roller coaster ride we often feel “conflicted”. On the one hand, the adrenalin is pumping and we may want to do it again, On the other hand we may feel a little “dizzy” and just want to take it easy. We also know there are other rides and other things to do. In this case,I wanted to “catch my breath” and move on to some other things that had piled up during the previous week.
I had 3 main goals—one was to get started on scanning pictures and preparing a Powerpoint for a family event honoring my Dad’s upcoming 90th birthday. The birthday is in January 2007 but the family is getting together over (Canadian) Thanksgiving (October 7-8). Various members of the family are supplying pictures but I wanted to go through ours and scan ones that showed him with our family.
The second goal was to get caught up and- even get ahead on my preparations for the classes I’m teaching at Algoma University this term.
The third goal was to get caught up on a backlog of email and do some ”blog browsing” to catch upon what some of my blogging friends were up to.
At the end of the week I felt a little discouraged because I had “chipped away” at all of these things but hadn’t really accomplished anything like what I wanted to—Some of this was due falling back into to my “buffet table ”approach” to setting goals (I take more than I can handle). Some of it was being distracted by other things – some of my own making (like playing computer game sand doing the puzzles in the newspaper -- and some of it was ”Murphy’s law”.
Thursday morning I discovered I couldn’t download my email. I spent an hour or so “rebooting” – reinitializing the network devices, checking routers, checking that I could get at it by webmail, looking at the ISP website to see if they had any “problem alerts”, confirming (erroneously) that the problem was just with my laptop. Finally, I called the ISP and discovered that they had made a change to the mail server” name that I hadn’t heard about.
Friday morning I started having problems with a “flaky” INTERNET connection. Again I went through all of my own re-booting- resetting procedures but nothing worked. So again I called the ISP who after having me re-check a bunch of things internally decided to check with the cable provider. Sure enough they had a problem soI just had to wait for them to fix it.
These 2 problems cost me 4 hours of troubleshooting and got me derailed from working on things I could have done without the INTERNET so all in all I’d say I “wasted” a whole day because of technology – ain’t it great stuff!!! On the other hand, on Tuesday I was able to set up my “All-in-one” printer, FAX, scanner with no problems (once I read the instructions) and spent several (nostalgic) hours going over old photo albums and scanning pictures for the “Powerpoint family album” so it’s great when it works.
I also got some email and “blogging” done. I posted my “Sunday lesson” on Wednesday. I was honored to have positive comments from John Dobbs and Bobby Valentine because I have been blessed by their insights in scripture and inspired by their dedication to “knowing and following Jesus”.
For any interested in pursuing the questions I touched on in my “lesson” I would recommend looking at Bobby’s recent blog entries and the associated comments. (to do so click on the following links)
Discussion of Kingdom Come - Bobby's book with John Mark Hicks
A vision of the church
Unity - Its' importance and our failures
I also exchanged some emails with my cousin Wilma discussing our thoughts about a John Fisher (Purpose Driven Life)devotional Growing through regret that dealt with the concept that character is developed by “having regrets” that come from being aware of our sins and shortcomings.
Finally (last but far from least) I corresponded with Roseanne Ekman about their visit here and she sent several pictures of their family and home in Minnesota. I also exchanged a few notes with John Dobbs who it turns out knows Roseanne— it actually was a bit of “fun” because he knew her primarily from participation on a discussion list and said to me that he hadn’t met her. When I forwarded that comment to Roseann she responded with a picture from Tulsa workshop “chastising” John about his lapse of memory.
In any case it was an example of how God works in ”mysterious ways” because (paraphrasing slightly John Dobbs comment ) we were “delighted to learn that our old acquaintances (the Ekmanns) were acquaintances of our new friend John Dobbs.
Charlie & Linda