Recaffeinated Mondays: This is My Quest

Seth Godin wrote yesterday:

What you wish for determines how you’re spending a juicy part of your day. If you wish for something you can’t control, that might fill you with frustration or distract you from wishing that could lead to productive work.

Some 44 years ago this month my freshman class at Asbury University (Asbury College at the time) presented our Freshman Talent show Impossible Dreams.

I could go off on a tangent explaining why a variety show meant so much to college freshmen at the time. But that would involve trying to explain what college life, and life in that small town in Kentucky was like at the time. If you’ve been a part of it, you understand. If you haven’t, I’m not sure that I can explain it.

So, let’s just say that my experiences there are a large part of who I am today. Let’s also say that four-plus decades later, I’m realizing missed opportunities as well as what an incredible blessing that was on my life.

Back to the talent show

I performed with a couple of ensembles, the most notable of which was a barbershop quartet that sang a song about a particular aspect of our college lives. Again, if you know, you know. If you don’t, I probably can’t explain it to you.

As noted, our theme was Impossible Dreams from, of course the main song from The Man of La Mancha.

And let me say that, while I’m pretty sure I’ve aged out of the part, I could have at one time played the lead. But, let me also say that if you’re casting, I could still rock the part of the Governor.

I digress.

One of the songs we sang in the talent show was When You Wish Upon a Star from Pinnochio.

Again, I’m not the lead, but if you’re casting Gepetto…

So, Seth’s post made me think back to that time of our talent show. A time that was more innocent. A time when your headlines were filled with the Iran hostages, gas lines, and the Presidency of Jimmy Carter.

We were young. We had dreams. We were going to change the world.

Impossible Dreams, if you will.

I was chatting online with a college classmate yesterday. We were lamenting the twists and wrong turns of the last 40 years. I won’t go into our conversation here, we may include some stories in our books. And his book will be published before mine.

I’ll just say that we both recognized that we’re no longer the young, and if I must say attractive, men with big hopes and dreams.

I’m not wishing on a star anymore, but I still have hopes and dreams. It’s just that these days I understand more about the concept of having to work for them.

It’s also true that I’m wishing for a lot of things that are out of my control…the end of a pandemic…the end of this cancer diagnosis… a 32-inch waistline.

Don’t @ me Karen, I was not called to wear skinny jeans.

For that matter, no man is called to wear skinny jeans.

I digress.

I’m not sure that I still have the energy to reach for that unreachable star. Most days it’s an effort just to ask Alexa to turn on my office lights.

Seth concludes:

Better to wish for something where the wishing itself is a useful act, one that shifts your attitude or focus.

So, I’m attempting to shift my focus to wish for some practical things.

Maybe, just maybe, I’ll find some productivity along the way.

What are you wishing for?

Photo by Malcolm Lightbody on Unsplash

Ash Wednesday, 2021

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53:6

After eleven months, do we really have to give up anything for Lent?

How about we give up masks?

Easy, Karen, that was a joke.

Actually, I think what I’ve given up is any sort of regular sleep pattern. I don’t know if it’s related to the treatment, to the irregular schedule of the holidays, or the forty-seven years of house arrest, but I can’t remember the last time I slept through the night.

I’m writing this at 2:46 a.m.

You’re welcome.

But maybe, just maybe, Lent doesn’t have to be about giving something up this year.

Yes, that’s the tradition. But the real purpose of Lent is for a time of self-examination and reflection as we prepare for Easter.

Maybe you feel you’ve had too much time to reflect over the past, almost, year.

As we approached Easter last none of us anticipated how long we’d be sequestered.

The then Pastor of the church we’ve been attending made the comment that, while we couldn’t gather for Easter, when we finally could gather again, that would be our Easter service. We haven’t been back to church since and the Pastor has moved on to a different assignment within the denomination.

It’s all cool. The new pastor has become a friend. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a fellow Tolkien geek.

I digress.

I don’t have some grand, holier-than-thou plan for contemplation and sacrifice during Lent. Especially in a year when it seems like we’ve had more than our fair share of time for contemplation. My current reading plan has me about half-way through the Book of Acts.

Last year I wrote about a meaningful Lenten season some thirty years ago when I was dealing with cancer. I didn’t need a second round with cancer to have a meaningful Lenten season, but I want to take nothing for granted.

So, while we anticipate that early morning on the first day of the week, I want to think less about what I’ve had to give up and more about the one who made the ultimate sacrifice for me.

GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame Member, Carman is no longer waiting for Sunday morning. After battling cancer for years the Contemporary Christian artist passed away after complications from surgery.

No one sang about Sunday morning quite like Carman.