Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Problem With The World

After extensive research and compilation of statistical data and a double blind testing procedure, I have identified it. And by it I mean the problem with the world. I know there are several problems but this is The Problem. Interestingly, I have been on the trail of this problem for most of my life (see here, here, and here) but failed to identify it correctly and categorize it as I have now. Ultimately I did this for you. Because I am generous like that and want to provide the best possible blog services on the net. Notice the word service in that last sentence? That is my slick way of using the literary method foreshadowing.

You guessed it. The Problem with The World is poor service. Sounds simple but it is very, very true. We all have our stories but here are a few pretty common and sad examples of woe:

The DMV: I beg of you to give me one example of a pleasant experience you have had at the Department of Motor Vehicles. The lines are long, the attitudes are horrid, and usually the end result is that you have to come back with other documents before accomplishing your original goal. A classic trick they like to pull is to go on break just as their window opens up for you to be serviced. Based on the personnel that I have seen at these offices, I would wager that these are the hiring requirements:

  • Must be 50 or older
  • Must be female
  • Must have horrible attitude. Smiles and positive attributes will NOT be tolerated.
  • Must have a sweater to hang on the back of your chair. Even in the summer.
  • Must have 5 years previous experience in pissing people off.
  • Incentives and bonus available for those that can incite a riot.

Call Centers: There are two types of these and both of them are putrid. Type one is the sales or outbound calling center. These are the shmucks that interrupt you at dinner time or just before bed trying to sell you a gismo or service that you will never need and could never afford. These drones follow a script and are taught to read without taking a breath…forcing you into one of two decisions, both of which are rude. Decision 1…hang up. Decision 2…interrupt them and yell, NO THANKYOU! My secret to these phone calls is to either not answer at all or answer in Spanish.

Me: Hola?

Jerk: Yes, may I speak to TheEdge?

(Did he not hear me say hola?)

Me: Lo siento senor, yo no se Ingles.

Jerk: Do you know when TheEdge will be back?

(For some reason, it is not registering that he has a wrong number and speaking to a Mexican man.)

Me: Que es tu problema? Yo creo que tu es muy loco y estupido.

(Finally registering that no communication is possible…)

Jerk: “Click”

(Sound of dial tone)

Me: (Sinister grin forms on face) Muchas gracias!

Call center number two is the one you actually need. This is the one that can correct a bill or walk you through activation or set up of a product. These people, unlike group one, do not want to talk to you. This call center will first put you through an endless voicemail maze where you have to press 1 if your head is on fire, 2 if your rectum fell out, 3 if you are pregnant with quadruplets, 4 if you sneeze funny, 5 if you love hold music and automated answering services…and so on. Once you finally get “an associate” they too read from a horrid script because they are incapable of thinking. Most times you are talking to “Ted” who lives in India and he realizes after 20 minutes that you need another department. Upon transferring you, oops…disconnected!

Contractors: This may or may not be common. But since this blog is all about me, I am going to post it. I just had and have had contractors work on my home. Some experiences are better than others but this was an absolute nightmare that still has no resolution. Here is a convenient bullet point list for you:

  • Promised project length of 3 days with actual length of 10 days and counting
  • Original bid is increased due to “unforseeables”, longer time on the job, and extra equipment.
  • Essentially sharing our small home with two dirty men that track mud, grime, grease, and grout through the entire house not to mention their horrible aim when using our one working bathroom.
  • Leaving the water hose in our yard, gunk on every doorknob, caulk on the driveway, trash in the garage, and tile bits everywhere.
  • Installing the wrong color shower door and trim.
  • Failing to show up on time any day of the week.
  • Disappearing for several hours per day with no explanation.
  • Failing to work late or any weekends to expedite the finality of the project.
  • Constant grumbling and bad attitude.
  • Commentary about other jobs being more profitable.
  • Poking the belly of my twins with extremely dirty hands.
  • And so much more…

Medical Offices: In the last 15 years I have not had any need to visit the doctor, save for a trip to the Emergency room and my brief bout with Anxiety. However, when My Wife and I began the long and torturous journey of Fertility testing and treatment, the doctor’s office became a second home. As such I have been to more medical facilities in the last two years than I ever care to see again. Between our multiple treatments, tests, procedures, and then OB appointments when finally pregnant I would say that I have been to a doctor’s office at least once per month for two years. And now the Nuggets (my twins) are constantly going for check-ups. The service levels vary at each office but the problems are always the same. The front desk manager messes up your claim or asks for more than your co-pay should be. You get a call needing to reschedule after re-routing your entire day around the appointment. A procedure lasting two minutes costs two grand and “oops…insurance won’t cover it…sorry for not telling you that up front.” This last visit was exceptionally irritating as we had just switched insurance providers. The lazy woman up front needed more information about our claim number and address to submit bills to. She did not seem to feel any need to call the 800 number I provided for her to get this information as her job would dictate. Instead she acted as if there was nothing she could do and sat watching me use my personal cell phone to perform her job. Insurance is a whole blog post in and of itself but a BIG problem with service issues in the Medical field stems from dealing with various insurance carriers.

Tables Turn: Maybe it is hypocritical but I have been on both sides of a service issue. Between working retail, managing restaurants, and running a staffing firm, I am no stranger to servicing clients and customers. And just let me go on record by saying…THE CUSTOMER ISN’T ALWAYS RIGHT! In fact, most of them could use a few more IQ points and an attitude adjustment. So between customers that have an over-inflated sense of obligation and service agents that really don’t seem to care, it is a wonder products and services ever exchange hands.

Your Story: There are probably enough service providers that we all universally deal with to allow this post to set a record for length. But I would rather hear from you. Leave a comment about a horrifying service issue that you have dealt with. The best story will be published on my blog in the near future.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Speed-dial To Heaven

I confess. I have not read the entire Bible. In fact, because I never read it from cover to cover, I cannot tell you with 100% accuracy how much of it I have covered. I would wager 90 – 95% if I were a betting man. So if I missed the part where God stops talking to humans with a direct means of contact, I invite my oversight to be corrected by those of you who know.

From what I can tell though, we (meaning humans) had an uncanny access to God unlike what we experience today. Adam and Eve walked and talked with God. So did many of their descendants, so The Fall is not necessarily why He removed this element of communication. By the time Moses brought down the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai, God was appearing as a cloud, fire, and smoke…though he gave Moses a brief glimpse later on. By the time Christ came to us, the ‘new way’ of communication was through prayer and the Holy Spirit. I am not sure what word prayer derives from but it sounds different to me from talking or casual conversation. I suppose prayer can be both but the word mostly conveys a sense of formality to me. And formality garners even more imagery of separation.

So when, where, and why did this once very accessible God decide to change things? One theory I have relates to faith and the acceptance of His Son. If God still popped in on us just to say hi then there would be very little reason for Faith. Denying His existence would become a game for the delusional and belief in His Words and decrees would become easy. I say that but realize that early man still fumbled at a time when access was wide open. So any speculation is just that…speculation. And while I am comfortable with my theory I cannot help but be jealous.

The Bible says that (and I paraphrase) ‘No sign will be given to this wicked generation’ so I do not expect the veil to be lifted. But I find myself asking for a personal visit at times and have to remember my humility lessons as I do so. I mean, who am I to even merit such a request to be granted? Wouldn’t it be nice though? A personal visit of a few minutes, a brief walk through the neighborhood, or a phone call at the office?

As it stands we rely heavily on The Word to communicate to us and the act of prayer. The biggest danger with the prayer part is those that claim to “hear” His voice vary in degrees of credentials. I am not convinced at all that everyone making that claim actually hears it. I am convinced that they believe they are but when they tell you the message being received, the debate begins. I have had people tell me everything from God told me to quit my job to God told me to smoke pot. And if people start believing that you are a conduit directly to the Almighty but you receive and relay the message wrong…God help you! The Bible warns that it would be better for you to be thrown in the ocean with a millstone around your neck than to cause another to stumble as they approach the Kingdom of God.

Does this mean that we no longer have access to God or just a different kind of access? Does this mean that we do NOT receive His communication or that we need to be very careful about proclaiming such an ability?

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

(Insert Cliche Here)

Art is life. Life is art. Life imitates art? I am not sure what the catchphrase is but I think I finally get it.

I am a strange brew in case the 90+ blog posts contained herein haven’t given you a clue. Most people by my observations are either artistic or business oriented. They are either emotional or stoic. Right brained or left. Somehow the powers above converged as I formed in my mothers womb and created an anomaly.

I spent 6 years in two different art schools yet own and operate a staffing firm in Dallas Texas. I am a photographer who has created beautiful artwork yet used those same skills to land professional wedding gigs. I can be uber emotional for someone of the male persuasion, yet threaten to box you in the next breath. I am a huge nerd with my knowledge of facts, figures, and useless trivia but have quite a social tool belt that allows me to intermingle with the various clicks of the world. I am a lazy lump on a log given the chance to relax but have quite the athletic record of accomplishment in my fargone past and more recent past with plans to continue (see cycling posts).

So defining who I am has been pretty difficult for me. And who really ever gets a true sense of self in their lifetime anyway? But this post is about a realization more than it is about me. Having the unique perspective of the artist and entreprenure allows me to see a univeral thread. Whether I have created something meant to be artistic or just to pay the bills, it all has the same fiber. The same journey and the same steps are taken with the same conclusion at the end.

It’s cliché but hind sight is 20/20 and I have discovered that art and/or the act of creation is about the journey not the end. Yet I constantly work for the end, the accomplishment, and the treasures that are bound to come with it.

Case(s) in point:

As I sit here typing I have a 2X1 poster of me riding the MS150. There are a total of 3 poses. One where I am grimaced in pain, another taking a turn with a look of determination, and another that properly displays my game face. I sit here viewing these photos with jealousy in my heart. That guy is doing something. He is suffering through hills, piercing heat, muscle aches, and all the while counting down the miles and trudging along. I am jealous that I cannot be a part of that right now. Ironically the guy in those pictures is only thinking about the end. The end of the pain, the end of the hills, the end of intense weekly workouts that consume family time.

Other examples in my life are in abundant supply. I am just starting to “make it” with my staffing branch but will likely need another year or two before riches truly fall from the sky. I have a portfolio of my photography efforts that take me back to my passionate roots. I have trophies and medals from sports events. I have memories of my mission trips to Mexico building homes. I have this blog that is nearing 100 posts in a matter of 5 months and beginning to see some fans and decent traffic. And the one commonality in my every experience, every accomplishment, and every failure is...

I cannot wait to complete the task at hand.

Only I get to that place and wonder…

What next?

Enjoy the journey. The end is not always the best part.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Power of Observation

I am no Sherlock Holmes but I pride myself on observation skills. While I might be prone to missing an important date in the future, I am not the typical guy that fails to notice when the wife gets a new hair style or outfit. And maybe this gift lends itself well to writing. After all most of the stuff I bang out is a record of observations with a twist of opinion and a dash of wit. Bake at 350 and serve warm on the internet platter. Hopefully the output is palatable to those of you that partake.

Blogging has perhaps escalated this normal habit of mine into turbo. I am never lacking in words or opinions, just content. I post daily unless out of topics to cover. The exception to that rule is when work is insanely busy (like yesterday) or on the weekends. I make it a general rule to take weekends off.

As an observer, I tend to hone in on people. My Wife and I are both like that. We could literally sit on a bench in the mall and just watch people. Sometimes we forget to carry on conversation at restaurants because both of us are scoping out the room. Two recent examples of this kind of behavior come to mind but for now I will share one:

SportsClips Guy – As I sat waiting to have my hair cut, I was mostly watching the Big Screen TV located in the lobby. World Cup Soccer was on and the game was pretty intense. But a man walked in and broke my gaze as he passed through my line of sight. Within minutes I had formulated many, many conclusions about him. Most of the facts I imagined were likely true based on the visual evidence. But often my mind takes things a step further and my intuition adds more where supporting clues leave off.

In this case I figured Mr. SportClips (SC) to be about 45. At first glance people think him to be Caucasian but I could tell he was mixed race, black & white. His completion gives you absolutely no clue to support this idea but his hair was the tell. It was dark, dark black and very kinky. I could see the pain of his bi-racial upbringing in his eyes. It was like he despised being almost all white. He would rather be all white or all black…not white with an obvious black characteristic. SC got his black characteristics from his dad, who was absentee which was another reason for harboring the disappointment. He was raised by his mother and thusly has Caucasian mannerisms, speech patterns, and behavior. While he is highly intelligent and educated, he lacks confidence. SC surrounds himself with dominating personalities, likely for two reasons. First of all, that is how his mother is. Secondly, he would never dare make a decision of his own. As such, SC gets stepped on and taken advantage of both at home and at work. He is married to a woman much like mom, though neither of them get along or see their similarities. His job pays well but does not have growth potential. My guess is accounting with a corporate firm. His confidence is what prevents constant promotion but his dedication and attention to detail give him job stability and good yearly reviews.

I ask myself during this whole game I am playing, how accurate might I be. I sincerely wish I could find out but the risk of being wrong or for that matter, right is too great. Plus, how do you approach a perfect stranger and ask him if the above details are true? I would expect to get socked in the jaw regardless of accuracy.

The evidence for my conclusions and back story:

He is bi-racial – Unlike some people from multi-cultural backgrounds, he was very hard to spot. If you were just casually observing things, he was a Caucasian through and through with a very mild tan. As stated above, his hair was the only real indicator.

Pain in his eyes – This is where my intuition filled in some gaps but there was a distinct look about him that told me he was no stranger to being an object of ridicule.

Black father, white mother – I use statistical data as my guide here. The majority of racially mixed couples have this combination but admittedly I could be wrong.

Absentee dad – Assuming I have the above fact correct, my evidence for the absentee parent is his mannerisms and speech. He carries himself like a Caucasian. He reminds me of the “typical white guy” that black comics sometimes make fun of when impersonating white people. So either his black parent was not around or they did not impress many attributes on him.

Raised by mother – Again statistics help me here and if I am right about the lack of dad being around, he only had mom as an influence. I also noted a total subservient attitude toward the woman at the front counter and a phone call to his wife later, gave me more hints.

Highly educated – This man was not in an Armani suit but he was nicely dressed and had just gotten off work…much like me. He articulates well and has an intelligent disposition. He was likely a book worm in school and leaned on his academics for what little confidence he needed. So I combine some visual factors here with intuition.

Lacks confidence – This was the most easily identifiable attribute. He hung his head, made very little eye contact with anyone, walked with feet pointing outward (like Charlie Chaplin), had his slacks bunched up, and very nervously signed the sheet up front.

Surrounded by dominant people – People like SC lost their confidence somewhere and it is usually from being dominated. As such, they despise their situation to some degree but feel the most comfortable around domineering personalities. Plus his phone call to his wife was executed more as though he needed to check-in and avoid getting in trouble rather than just calling to say "hi, I'm getting my hair cut."

Cannot make a decision – Confident people make decisions. Timid people fear them. Plus his call to his wife made it clear who made choices in their relationship.

Wife and mom don’t get along – Pretty easy deduction since many moms-in law and daughters-in-law have problems. Add to the fire that they are both domineering and you have a recipe for fighting.

Job description – Intuition got the best of me here but the other factors lead me to believe he is beaten down at work too. He prides himself on his education and work but is likely passed over for promotions when younger, more confident candidates vie for the same positions. His dependability and loyalty are likely what give him any job security, plus he is probably very good at what he does. I chose accounting because his personality exudes that he is a loner (doesn’t like interaction with people) and detail oriented.

Who knows if ANY of this is accurate? I suspect that I have many details right but will never know for sure. So beware if you are ever walking in my general direction. I may have your life story unfold in my head before I even greet you with a hello. Maybe one day I can try an experiment with some of you to see how accurate my observations can be.

Monday, June 12, 2006

A Bad Day

Charlie stood frozen at the edge. He looked down nervously to assess the reality of his decision. Five stories were much higher than he thought it would be. But this had to be done right. He had heard of people surviving falls from lower levels. The last thing Charlie needed to add to his depression was becoming debilitated from a failed attempt to ‘end it all.’

A thin man, with signs of a retreating hairline, Charles Mason Jones never imagined he would be in this situation. While he never stood out in a crowd, he was not the typical outcast either. His social skills were developed such that staying at home with a book or the latest Star Trek DVD was not all that life offered…though sometimes that is what he chose.

Another quick glance over the edge and Charlie began to quiver. His knees were weak and he began to second guess his fortitude for follow through. Too late, a crowd was beginning to gather.

“Damn, why couldn’t I have just made this a quick ordeal? I do NOT need a crowd!” he mumbles angrily under his breath.

It didn’t help that many of the crowd were his co-workers returning from lunch amongst them was Jeanie. A gust of wind sent Charlie’s tie into his face and he let out a small yelp…giving away his cowardly disposition. For a moment he retreated inward, reminding himself why this had to be done.

“I have nothing. I am nothing. Forty-two years of life and what do I have to show for it?” A divorce, a small apartment, a huge alimony payment, a beat up Toyota, and a mid-range salary at Home Shoppers Plus answering phones. If I have to talk to one more old lady about shipping cost or purchase minimums, it will be all too soon! I have to do this. What choice do I have now, anyway? I am already the office loser, especially with Jeanie. Going back inside now will just cause me to be more pathetic. And Lord knows, Butch would love to take this opportunity to “let me go”. Oh sure, he would come across like the guy that was just ‘helping me out’ by sending me somewhere. But he never liked me. Always thought he was THE MAN and knew that I was not impressed.”

Charlie had new resolve and a sense of calm. His muscles steadied, he inhaled deeply and closed his eyes.

“Mr. Jones?”

Charlie could not believe what he was hearing. Who the hell is interrupting me here…I am in a zone?, he thought to himself.

“Mr. Jones, let’s talk for a minute.”

Charlie realized that this voice was very close by and he had to open his eyes out of sheer curiosity. Turning his head just to the right, he caught the gaze of Lieutenant Garza with Chicago Police.

“Great.” exclaimed Charlie, realizing he had snapped out of his calm and concentrated state. Fear re-entered the equation as he managed to open his mouth, “this isn’t the best time for a chat, buddy.”

“You give me no choice Mr. Jones. From the looks of things, we may not be able to converse in the near future.”

“Yeah, that’s kind of the point man. Can’t you let a guy have his last moments in peace?”

“I can do that…when the time is right. And that time is in the distant future, friend. Today is just a day that you failed to realize how many people care for you. Today is a day that things can begin to shape up and turn around.”

“Blah, blah, blah…what is on your script next? How many times did you have to practice this speech before leaving the notes at home?”

“Can I call you Charlie, Mr. Jones?”

“Sure, whatever. Might as well be on first name terms with the guy that is TRYING to talk some sense into me as though we’ve been friends for ten years.”

“There is no script Charlie. And yeah, this is my job. Does that make my little chat here any less sincere? I could be out writing parking tickets, you know? Save for the rare occasion that someone yells at me, it is much less stressful.”

“Meter Maid doesn’t seem to suit you.” Charlie admitted with a chuckle.

“See there? We can relax a minute and have a nice talk. Just know that you are in control and I am not going to do anything you don’t want me to do. If you think I suck at my job, then you can still ruin my day and get me fired by jumping a little later. Right now I need to tell you something…something VERY important.”

Charlie was beginning to regret this whole fiasco and felt that this guy might be on the level. He edged over a step towards Garza and said, “What? What’s so important?”

“I saved 15% on my car insurance by calling Geico. A fifteen minute call could save you that much or more. Get a free rate quote, view your account and pay online.”

I should submit this and get a job on the ad copy team, huh? Look for the commercials to air soon!

Special Note - My apologies to those that do not experience the sheer Joy of Geico Commercials. When they are not using their marketing genius to have a talking Gecko (get the play on words...Geico, Gecko) tell us why we need to switch over, they are often doing something much like what you see above. They begin a touching tale of woe or excitment, drawing you in. Once they have you teetering on the edge of suspense, the main character often breaks in and announces that they've saved 15% or more on car insurance. Those jerks! Toy with my emotions, will they?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Freedom of Religion

Christians understand this phrase. Our country was founded on it. And after a couple hundred years of Independence from England, we still have a latent feeling of gratitude passed down from our early ancestors. Plus we are now in a climate that is becoming less and less tolerant of us. Prayer is no longer allowed in school, God’s name is being taken off of buildings and out of our country’s pledge. You can hardly speak of your faith without reprimand or fear of punishment. Yet we cling to our foundation like a badge of honor and rightly so. Until we have Supreme Court Judges that no longer adhere to the very clear points of this freedom, we are relatively safe and can continue enjoying the freedom of Religious choice.

But what if someone’s Religion is different from yours? Do they or should they expect the same freedoms you do? The authors of our Constitution and Bill of Rights were arguably a Christian majority. So does that mean they were only out to protect us? Normally I have an opinion about these matters and I freely dole out my thoughts for your to chew on and digest. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a passionate viewpoint in this instance but I wanted to try something different. I want to hear from you.

A current news item describes a fallen U.S. soldier who happened to practice Wicca. His Widow is insisting on a Wicca symbol being placed on the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Wall. For those of you that are confused, Wicca is the practice of Witchcraft…a practice very much in opposition to Christianity. Our Bible even speaks of this practice as sin and warns us to avoid it. Add to this fact that the symbol in question is a pentacle which is very similar to a pentagram by my observations.

The U.S. Department of Veterans currently allows 38 other religious symbols to adorn gravesites and memorial walls. This includes the Christian cross and even a symbol for atheists but currently approval for this particular religion is still under debate.

I want to hear from anyone who wants to comment because we all have good viewpoints. However, I am interested in those of you that are American Christians. This group is the one that likely feels conflicted about this matter. On one hand we enjoy the very freedoms that this guy’s widow petitions for. On the other, we have pretty specific beliefs about witchcraft and therefore experience a moral dilemma.

What do you think?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Number of the Beast

It’s official. Today is the day of Satan. I was pretty skeptical at first but kept an open mind. The number 666 is after all, Biblical. So June 6, 2006 must carry with it some sort of evil plan, right? Well, it did and I am not happy about it. The Devil waited patiently for millennia to strike. He carefully conceived his evil plot and on this day of 2006, he leapt from the dark depths and swiped with his powerful talons…my air conditioner.

Yep. He broke my air conditioning unit on a day we are expecting temperatures in the high 90’s. I am without words. Damn Devil.

Ok…now that I have that off my chest, lets examine this day or more importantly this number a bit better. I read an article yesterday that talked about it in pretty good, yet secular detail. One of the quotes from a minister of all people stated that he (Mr. Minister) did not understand why people get so wrapped up in this number.

Well, hey…I am not predicting today will be the end of all time or anything but come on? This number IS significant. It IS in the Bible in a very specific place – Revelations. You know the Book that talks about the 2nd coming, the destruction and tribulation of our world, the war to end all wars between good and evil? Maybe that is why folks are a little anxious, a little edgy, and cautiously observing the events of today. If my AC unit is any indicator, we are likely in for it!

The problem is that we don’t know the significance of the number or how it is applied. Any theories about it (and there are some very good ones out there) are just speculative at best. People have associated that number with the names of presidents (Dubya included), popes, and dictators for centuries. What I think is interesting is that Biblical calculations make the earths age to be more like 6000 years old, rather than millions of years old. So essentially we are not only looking at the sixth day of the sixth month but the sixth year of what might be argued, the sixth millennia. Granted, there is no Biblical reference to four 6’s, just three. So my speculation is just in fun. Some think that bar codes hold some value in the 666 scheme since that number is actually encoded in every bar. Even more think that the World Wide Web has a major role or just technology in general. In other words, the Anti-Christ is technology, not an actual person. I am in the camp that believes in an actual person, with an actual end of world scenario. Do I think that day is today? No.

Could we have something crazy happen today other than my air conditioning? Stay tuned. I am on the lookout.

Monday, June 05, 2006


This is not the first time it has happened. Unfortunately, it probably won’t be the last. I feel disconnected from God. I have felt this way for a while now and know better than to let it go on for too long. But I have a problem. In fact, I am prepared to call this problem my number one sin.

Disclaimer – I know sin is sin and there is no distinguishing in God’s mind.

The reason for the rank has nothing to do with the level of evil involved but rather the frequency. Of all my sins and transgressions, this is not the worst but the most frequent. Laziness. I am not talking about my obsessive need for a nap, though my wife would agree that I need to work on that too. I am talking about putting forth the necessary effort to keep in tune with God. To spend time in The Word. To communicate with Him on bended knee. The disconnect I feel has nothing to do with God and everything to do with me. After all, He did not go anywhere.

The only thing that has me rooted to the ground these days is my Christian morals and my continued involvement with the Christian community. Since having twins, church and the various groups we were involved with took a second chair to childcare, sleep, and convenience. When we do go to church with twin infants in tow, we spend the service in a glassed in “cry room”. As such, we sit with several other parents and infants. Even if you miraculously make it through a service without your children crying, needing food, or changing…inevitably someone else’s child will take the opportunity. So, of the 6 times we have been to church as parents, we have had very little of the message reach our ears, minds, or hearts.

When disconnected the changes are subtle at first. You bicker with your wife more often. Your frustration with commuters grows stronger. Soon your normal happy disposition is a constant irritation. Lines form on your face from scowling and grumbling under your breath about the idiot writing a check in the Express Checkout Lane. Before long, you are just an unhappy lump going through life. As I said, I identified the problem quite a while ago. I have just been too lazy to fix it.

Just as an idea, I suggested that we let My Wife’s parents watch the twins while we attend the 10:45 AM service. We are still hesitant to put them in childcare for fear of illness. We need to get over that but for now this was a solution worth pondering. MW agreed and her parents happily obliged too.

There was nothing incredibly special about the sermon, the music, or the events of that day. But I did feel this magnificent weight lift off of me. I felt like a parched traveler finally getting to a bottle of ice-cold water. I felt the laziness start to turn into energy and desire for more. I don’t often claim to receive messages from God. Even if you are lucky enough to be a true receiver of His communications, you can easily misinterpret or lead others astray if you are wrong. But a thought permeated my consciousness and I felt like it was God giving me some encouragement.

“Reconnect and I will do the rest.”

Part of my laziness is due to the misunderstanding that my Christian walk requires that I perform, that I act, that I do something…always going down the daily checklist. This thought made me happy because it implied rest. It implied a mutual relationship where my efforts were not paramount. He only needs me to reconnect. I think I can do that.