The Cheez-Its Will Have to Wait

“G’night. Oh, wait! I just forwarded a voicemail down to your phone. It’s from a guy named W* down at the motel. He needs some kind of help.”

That’s the last thing I want to hear.

It’s late on a Sunday afternoon. I’m ready to go home after a long day of doing the usual Sunday things a minister not of the “Senior” designation does at the church.

I really don’t want to listen to that voicemail. I’m looking forward to…I don’t know what…probably sitting back in my chair and firing the remote at the television in search of…I don’t know what. It doesn’t matter. There’s a brand new box of Cheez-Its in the pantry!

“He sounded kind of distressed…”

Gee, thanks. Why did you feel it necessary to tweak me that bit of information?

I really don’t want to listen to that voicemail.

I turn left down the hall that leads toward home, my chair and the TV remote…and the Cheez-Its.

There’s a satisfying sh-THunk! as I hit the crash bar on the exit door and feel the cool freshness of late fall.

Dead stop. The battle is engaged.

Ahead lay the long anticipated short stroll home, the chair, the remote…and the Cheez-Its. Behind rises a light, flashing on my desk phone.

Voicemail waiting. Voicemail waiting. Voicemail waiting.

I wonder if there’s anything worth watching tonight.

A half a dozen steps forward. The hydraulic closer pulls the door shut with a firm click-THump.

I pull up short.

Man that breeze feels great. It’s a great night for a walk.

A half a dozen more steps.

Dead stop.

With a long, blowing exhale, I turn toward my office and that dreaded flashing light.


The Age of Jazz

Jazz is more meaningful to me now than I would have ever imagined it could be. I played in a jazz ensemble in high school. Still, I think jazz requires a certain maturity. That maturity need not be connected to chronological age but, in my case, age seems to be seasoning me.

My high school jazz ensemble years were salt and pepper years. Basic, fundamental seasoning to life. Now that as my hair has turned salt and pepper…mostly salt…the exposure through life and living to an ever growing rack of spices and herbs has molded a palate capable of appreciating more and more subtle variations.

Subtleties seem to be disappearing everywhere I look. It’s making me more and more hungry for attention to detail by artists in the kitchen, in the winery, in the distillery, in the recording studio, in books, articles, blogs and debate. An appreciation of that surprising little turn of flavor, that complex, evolving nose of a nice red wine, the movement of warmth and smoke over the regions of the tongue from a finely aged single malt. A flash of admiration, even jealousy, when reading a turn of phrase that paints as richly as a palette of the finest oils in the hand of van Gogh.

What have I missed in the last 50 years?

WordCloud: Texts Sung in Worship September 5, 2010

WordCloud: Texts Sung in Worship August 29, 2010

If you like hearing a jazz trio…

songs in a minor key

WordCloud: Texts Sung in Worship August 22, 2010

Pick of the Litter (8/20)

Timothy Dalrymple On the Dire Need for the Imitation of Christ …the American evangelical Church, in spite of all the good it still accomplishes, has lost its way. In the vision of Christian life that has been passed down the stream of generations, something essential seems to have been lost in the exchange. Call it a hunch, buried deep in the inner folds of the spirit within: that Christ calls us to something more than this.

George Washington’s 1790 letter to the Jews of Newport, Rhode Island. “To bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”

In this remarkable short talk, comic genius John Cleese explains what he has learned about the creative process.