When the fire alarm goes off in a college dorm, nobody really cares. Between fire drills and people who think they’re funny, it gets old real quick. So it goes off and you stand there scratching your head for a few minutes trying to figure out if that’s feedback from your roommate’s stereo, or if that’s actually the fire alarm. When it doesn’t shut off after several seconds you shrug your shoulders, glance out the window to see if you need a jacket, and nonchalantly head to the door. If it was a real fire we’d all be in big trouble.
After going down three games to one the home team battled elimination and came back to force a game seven. Game seven wasn’t looking good until the home team sunk a power play goal and came charging back. It was all tied up at the end of regulation and sudden death overtime began. And in the closing minutes of the first overtime the captain found some open ice and sunk it through the five hole. Game over. The home team wins. It’s all over folks.
After all, it’s not finals week, it’s the playoffs.
And when it’s all done, the children will frolic in the streets.
“Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
P.S. – Remind me not to be a sports writer.
I said this yesterday, but it’s really hard to reflect seriously during finals week. I didn’t do anything that tremendously taxing today, but I still don’t feel like seriously thinking tonight. I didn’t even take the garbage out today. So rather than give a poor excuse for a pondering, I’m just going to share my summer reading list. Everyone should have a summer reading list. Here’s mine (in no particular order):
There’s something very consuming about finals week. I’m finding very little desire to do any more than I have to. Writing this seems to be a chore my brain doesn’t want to do. Apparently it’s reached it’s saturation point and will function no more. I can’t be held responsible if it suddenly goes on strike in the middle of this reflection. Every little thing accomplished this week brings immense satisfaction. Half a laundry basket of clothes have been sitting in the middle of my floor for a week and today I finally got around to putting them away. It felt so good to get that done, even though it only took a few minutes. Next thing you know I’ll take out the trash and call the rest of the day off for celebration. After school’s out this will get better, I promise.
The freeways were empty tonight. It rained and stopped, rained and stopped, rained and stopped. But I only felt the rain on my toes. The sun rose on my evening, and I’m eagerly awaiting the setting of my current responsibilities. There’s a finals week haze in the air. It clouds the eyes, blurs the senses, and brings extremes of fury and laziness. At this point planning is useless, doing is the only appropriate option. Sleep is the third, often alluring option.
Last night I got on the elevator and I felt the floor drop out below me. All around me were swirling images of products, services, and merchandise I needed. Things I couldn’t live without, things that would make me cool and accepted. Their message was plastered everywhere, and as the elevator plummeted to the floor, I couldn’t help but wonder if this was a bad thing. When you allow money to control a venture, someone else’s interests always take over. Objectivity is lost and it makes you wonder if can you do anything objectively and make money at it. The elevator keeps plummeting, but that’s not what the advertisers tell me, so apparently that’s not the way it is. I just hope this is a really tall building.
Lately I’ve been realizing how very little we pay attention to the Bible. Who did Jesus hang out with? The prostitutes, the tax collectors, and the lepers, we all answer very smugly, as if we understood. That’s the way I always answer, but the truth is I’ve never actually hung out with the modern day equivalent. I’ve never talked to a prostitute, I’ve never met anyone with HIV, I’ve never even seen cocaine, let alone someone using it. If Jesus were around today I get the feeling he’d be hanging around with these kind of people. I also get the feeling that we understand that conceptually, it’s just that something doesn’t fully click because we don’t do anything about it. I’ve never heard a church announce a weekly “Hooker Hour” where they go wherever the hookers hang out and share the love of Jesus. Maybe that’s a bad example, but very rarely do I see sign up sheets for those activities. I know I’d never sign up.
Then there’s Paul. We ignore him, too. At least Jesus won’t feel lonely that way. Paul talks about marriage and he says it’s perfectly okay to stay single. In fact, he encourages it. Yet what do we all do? Get married. I’m getting married on December 29. Perhaps it’s odd of me to bring this up, since I myself am getting married, but I’m just trying to prove my point. We don’t really do what the Bible says. We read it, we understand it, and we ignore it. Paul says be single. That’s great. Thanks Paul. But no thanks.
I feel like the knight in the movie The Seventh Seal who drops to his knees on a Swedish beach to pray but can’t find the words. His hands come together and his eyes close, but nothing comes. His hands drift apart, his eyes open. He pauses for a moment, then shakes his head, rises, and walks away. He is confronted with Death in the next scene.
I feel like that knight, not just in my pathetic attempts at prayer, but in everything. Finals are next week, the computer ate my disk, and it feels like the alarm won’t stop blaring. I could really use a break, but when I get one it’s not for long. I slept in this morning, and although I really needed it, you couldn’t tell the difference. This evening I spewed out a paper without rereading it and then took a nap. I’m okay mom, it’s just May.
Just May with the moon so hazy and the long shadow before me. I used to get up and run and now I ask myself from what? I’d run tomorrow, but that’s forty minutes of sleep. I’d take a shower tomorrow, but that’s ten minutes of sleep. I’d shave tomorrow, but that’s five minutes of sleep. The bare minimum to survive, that’s all a college student really needs. There’s nothing like a 5 o’clock shadow at 9 am. But the real question is why am I still writing this?
My mind is splintered in a dozen directions and I don’t even realize I’m eating cold tortellini. My mind is playing tricks and so is the monitor, neither wanting to show me reality. The wind blows cold on my bare arms but I don’t complain. Later the rain falls slowly, calmly, washing the dirt and grime away–but I still feel so lost in a maze of I don’t know what. I want to wake up tomorrow and hope it’s all gone. Hope everything is better. My mind aches and I yearn for something better. I yearn for a tomorrow. I yearn for another time and another place. I yearn for another situation. I yearn for something other than what I have right now. Is this just afternoon apathy, or a headache that won’t go away? The responsibilities assault my mind like an army and suddenly I’m out of ammo. Maybe I can wake up tomorrow in somebody else’s shoes. Then I realize just how foolish I am.
What if Jesus came to your church? Of course he wouldn’t come with flowing robes and nail pierced hands. That’d cause quite a scene. He’d show up incognito, haven taken on the form of an innocent looking person. I think he’d come as a child, but only because he’d want to go to Sunday School and make a craft for his dad. He’d laugh with the other children and sit next to the boy nobody likes. He’d lean forward in his chair and his feet wouldn’t touch the ground. He’d be smiling.
Instead of joining the other children for Children’s Church, I think he’d stay for the sermon. He’d sit next to the really old guy–the one you expect to show up under the Sympathy section of the bulletin any week now. Incognito Jesus would plop down next to this old in his blue suit, off-white hair, and big rubbery nose. Incognito Jesus would smile at the old man and say good morning. The old man would smile back and pat little Incognito Jesus on the head. Somehow the old guy would know who it really was.