Old Man Playing Basketball
Stutter-step, punk bites
Open lane, glory awaits
Dribble ball off knee
I had to get out of bed at 5:00 am, dig out my gym gear in the dark so as not to wake Missus Fender Bunny, trudge down the long and steep driveway covered with a fresh 9 inches of snow under what I was certain was the hostile stare of a gang of juvenile mountain lions eager to prove their cat macho by taking down an old man for breakfast, dig the car out of the snow, scrape the ice off the windshield, and drive icy roads to get to the Y by 6:00 am. But the reward was recognizing, over the course of a few games, some of the guys who used to play ball with me back in the day and, once I walked out of the gym, taking in the glorious view of the Front Range, covered in snow under a bright blue early morning sky.
I didn’t have my camera with me, so I grabbed a picture I took in April a few years ago. It’s not of the entire front range, but it’ll give you an idea.
I live in paradise, and in every single one of its moments the world is just right. It it does not seem so, it’s only because I have temporarily lost the ability to recognize how right it is. Or that I’m unwilling to let go of what used to be right and accept what is right now.
I have been operating under the assumption that life would be good and I would be happy once I got a raise, once my wife stopped smoking, once Spring arrived, and once politicians stopped lying. I also thought it was my responsibility to identify all the things that were wrong, and that if I missed one, I was being irresponsible. Lacking in watchfulness. Unprepared. When you take on the responsibility of enumerating everything that’s wrong with the world, you soon end up with a new companion: the delusion that you know how to set it right.
I wish I’d learned that sooner, LOL, but as it turns out, I learned it at just the right time.
This way of thinking applies to some situations. Obviously not to others. The trick is to know which. More on that later …
On the afternoon of Dec 2nd I ran a portion of the Section 16 trail as an unsolicited service to the runners who will participate in the Dec 6th Bristol Run. My report:
5. The trail included multiple curves, some of which presented me with an opportunity to make a decision as to whether a branch to the left or a branch to the right would was more likely to lead me to my ultimate destination. I explored those opportunities assiduously, concluding that sometimes the left branch offered a greater probability of success, while sometimes that opportune result was better proffered by the right branch. A complete accounting of each decision is beyond the scope of this report.
The trail is indeed where it was purported to be, and as far as I was able to ascertain given my unplanned explorations of its side branches, continues to proceed in the direction someone utilizing its surface would expect. In my professional opinion based on a thorough study of North American plate tectonics, it is safe to assume that it will remain in that approximate location through Dec 6.
“Spirituality According to Paul,” by Rodney Reeves, is a good book if you’re interested in what Christianity probably is instead of what some people make it out to be. A couple of excerpts:
It is astonishing to me how quickly we offer our judgments about the misery of others. … Whether we admit it or not, most of us look callously upon the suffering of the masses because we think “they’re getting what they deserve.” God’s judgment always seems to fall on others, never on us. We simply add up the equation of cause and effect, figuring that someone must have done something very wrong to get such a bad result. But this equation is where Christians are very inconsistent. We don’t say that about Jesus. “He was innocent,” we say. “He didn’t deserve the cruelty of the cross,” we insist.
Rodney Reeves, page 27
Here’s another one:
American politics cannot contain Christian faith. For example, politics makes enemies; Christians love enemies. Americans are taught to preserve national and personal interests at all costs. Paul taught his converts to prefer the interests of others. American consumerism is built on the idea that we should always want more. Paul was content with more or less.
Rodney Reeves, page 31
I would add few more contradictions between our politics and our proffered faith, but this blog is about Rodney Reeve’s book, not my opinions.
I first moved to Colorado in 1975 courtesy of the US Air Force. I fell in love with the snow, became a ski bum, and considered my barracks at Lowry AFB my domicile, and A-Basin my home. I was on the mountain as early in the season as possible, and as late into June as they’d let me.
I only discovered the spectacular beauty of a Colorado Summer when I returned in 1992. The shot above, taken from our peeling, chipping, badly-in-need of repair deck, is a closeup of the bottom of an afternoon thunderstorm to the East of us. Below is a picture of a second thunderstorm building to the North later that afternoon.
And here is what it looks like when it’s directly overhead.