Monday, October 16, 2017

Me and Moses


When I attended a Catholic university to get my BA many, many years ago, I was required to take twelve hours of religious studies.  I took several courses on the Bible, but I remember little of it outside of the more popular books.
Since then I have tried reading the Bible on my own on several occasions but somewhere between Judges and Ruth, I lose interest. After wandering around like Moses in the desert, lost and bewildered as to how to get this done, I joined a group last year committed to reading the Bible in 2017.   
The leader is a Facebook friend and fellow writing buddy, but my commitment is not as much to her or the group as it is to my own belief in God. If the Bible is the book of my faith, I should be able to proudly state I have read it cover to cover and am familiar with its contents.
Here I am ten months into 2017 and I have just now finished reading the Old Testament and have started into the New. Some OT books were lyrical and uplifting; others were drab and painful.  No matter how much I tried I had a difficult time reading them, much less gleaning a spiritual message from them. 
I am more familiar with the New Testament – Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, so the reading is easier so far. I have noticed a different tone as well. It will be interesting what my final assessment will be when I finish and look back at the total endeavor.
So far, I am surprised at situations in the OT that apply to modern times. We seem doomed to continuously repeat the same mistakes in our relationship with God, but I also see His unconditional and everlasting love, His promise of forgiveness and grace through the ages. 

Moses and I have a lot in common as our wandering ends. I see hope at the end of the journey as I seek God. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Feeding Frenzy on Facebook


8:15 AM: I find a happy photo with a meme and I post it on my feed.  I am the first to “like” it so that it will push to the top of the main FB feed my friends see. 
-       Like # 2
-       Like #3
-       Grumpy Face.  A link is attached.  There is NOTHING happy about last night’s catastrophe, controversy, corruption! (I do not respond.)
8:20 AM: I post a corny, non-political, joke.  I like puns.  I “like” it.
-       Like# 2, 3, 4, 5
-       A “friend” corrects an irksome, grammatical error as if I hadn’t noticed it also. (I do not acknowledge.  I refuse to be put on the defensive.)
8:25 AM: I try my luck with an uplifting quote, a familiar verse often used in literature and song. I “like” it.
-       Like #2
-       Scolded again.  This time for forcing a Bible verse on those who prefer I keep religious references to myself.  (I remind myself to do this again tomorrow.)
8:30 AM: I post a link on my feed, current news.  I share without a “like,” without a comment, without an emoji. 
-       An immediate slam, an accusation of being vile, complicit, divisive. (I delete this comment.  It is MY feed.  I unfriend this person, ban them from my posts.)
I log out.  I need a breather, a cup of coffee, breakfast.

1 PM: HoneyBunch and I return from running errands in town.  Lunch at a new place.  I tag the place, post a photo of my order, and a nice comment on the food and the service.  Again, I “like” my own comment to boost it on the main feed.
-       Some stranger (not on my friend list) contradicts my comments.  They found lipstick on their glass of ice tea, they had to swat at flies in the dining room, the server was rude. . ..
-       I delete their libelous comment.  Again, it is MY post, not theirs.
7 PM: I post a picture of the novel I just finished.  I congratulate and tag the author on a job well done. (I “like” my comment.)
-       Like #2, 3, 4
-       Comments of agreement. I interact with them and ask for other book suggestions.
-       One person talks about the slow pacing, the historical inconsistencies, the exorbitant price, best to buy it second hand. Author So and So did a better job on the same topic.
-       I consider deleting this comment, but when others come on and disagree with this person, I leave it at that.
7:15 PM: Wow! Look at this recipe. (Like.)
-       Like # 2. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
-       I can’t have sugar.  Can you post this recipe without sugar?
-       Is this gluten free?
-       It has chocolate.  I don’t eat chocolate that is not ethically harvested!
-       I comment that the recipe is not mine.  I just like  to look at doughnuts.
9 PM: I log out.  I know I should post consistently but I have had enough of “prime time” FB. (7 pm – 9 pm)
3 AM: Insomnia.  I scroll though FB, searching for posts I want to post on  my feed.  No one bothers me as I read and post. I ignore spam, click-bait, and anything  I dislike. I post something funny, and I “like” it.
-       Aw.  Are you up?  Insomnia?
-       Something bothering you?
-       Do you need a virtual hug? An emoji?  A gif?

I log out and go to bed.   

Monday, October 2, 2017

Legacy


Two people died last week.  They both lived long, full lives.  One was arrogant and infamous, thousands knew his name; the other was humble and well-loved by only a handful.
Both had families.  His was a product of a multitude of meaningless, hedonistic relationships; she dedicated herself to her husband of sixty years. While his heirs scramble over the remains of his crumbling empire, hers are assured of their inheritance as they stand on the solid foundation she left behind.  
He will be remembered for scandal and promiscuity. People either snicker or frown when his name is mentioned. His fame, money, and arrogance did not buy him immortality.
She will be remembered for love and integrity.  People either smile or feel sorrow at the mention of her name. She lived an exemplary life and that is her legacy, one for which her family and friends will long keep her memory.    
Two people died last week.  One lived his life as if there was no tomorrow; she lived hers knowing that there is.