May 16th, 2017

one of those days

Long, hard day

I either left my glasses in the cabin or I dropped them on the drive getting my stuff in the truck; however, they were my old glasses. My new glasses, which I got yesterday and hadn't started wearing yet, were still waiting in their case when I got home. So no harm, no foul, except my tired eyes are having a hard time adapting to the new lenses as I work on this computer.

I went over to Wilderstead for the day. I hadn't been over there in quite some time, and I was anxious to see how the holler had weathered the storms we had. My road seems to be eroding, but the cabin was in good shape, and everything else was as one might expect. I checked in with my neighbor who is supposed to come fetch my tractor and get it in shape to be used. He hasn't been able to get in his fields yet, but he's been too busy to work on my tractor. A tornado took the roof off his house a couple weeks ago and dropped it on his barn. *boggle*

Anyway, once on site, I got out my 22" string trimmer to mow trails. Getting it started after a year in storage was hard. Of course, if I'd remembered to prime the blasted thing before wearing myself out cranking it, that would have helped. It was still a bit slow, but some starter fluid fixed that in a hurry! I worked for an hour and the sun was burning down into the holler like a hammer striking an anvil. I decided to knock off and go to L'burg for some supplies.

When I got back, I finished mowing the trails, but by the time I got the mowing done, I was too bushed to drag everything back up the hill from the ford. I mean, seriously bushed, as in dizzy and weak. I was drinking water like crazy, but this was my first day of major activity this spring, and it was hard and hot. Eventually, I just roped the wagon and then the mower to the hitch of my truck and pulled them up the hill by backing up the road.

I rested and drank more water and slowly, slowly got everything put away. Got back home just after 9:00, twelve hours after leaving this morning. I brought back the string trimmer mower for our new rental house (we're responsible for mowing). I also brought back some decorative block, of which I have too much, to make a nice fire circle in the back yard for cooking out. But I was too tired to drop all that off on my way back. It'll have to wait until tomorrow.
how long

Stop the presses!

Enter RUMOUR, painted full of tongues.
-- Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part Two

Our United Methodist Church is being shaken by all kinds of things these days. We are heading for a showdown between the progressives and the orthodox, though those are not the only two parties involved, and the final recommendations of the Bishops' Commission on a Way Forward may please neither of them.

The Commission's report is a good way off. Next year, at least. Then there's a called General Conference in 2019. But some people can't wait to hear what will be offered up, or what will be done about it. Rumors are flying, and all kinds of crazy things are being attributed to people in the know. But there's nothing to know yet, and all the responsible participants are respecting their vows of confidentiality and not talking about it. So where is this coming from?

Nature abhors a vacuum, they say, and when there is nothing to report, some people get so uncomfortable that they have to fill the silence with something. Some of them are speaking from their fears. And some are speaking from their hopes. They are both being foolish. They need to learn to wait upon the Lord. Or at least, wait upon events. The future will get here in its own time, and neither our fears nor our hopes will make it better -- or cushion the shock, if that's what it turns out to be.

A third group, however, is not speaking from hopes or fears. They are trying to drive the narrative. They think that they can shape the way things turn out, pre-condition how people will receive the report of the Commission when it comes. They have a very specific way they want things to turn out, and they're trying out various word combinations to see what they can use to make whatever is revealed work to the advantage of what they want to come out of the process. They are not foolish, they are manipulative little squits.

Among the manipulative little squits are a lot of people who write for the official denominational press. It's their job to put lipstick on every pig, and make every narrative support their idea of what the future should be. They don't just report what's going on -- they can't, in fact, because they don't know -- but they are sure trying to pre-determine who the good guys and bad guys will be seen to be in the upcoming drama.

Now, I've been around a long time. I've seen disgraceful things done in the name of the church -- and I've seen God overturn all the nicely prepared apple carts. I'm not cynical, I'm experienced. I will not be rushed or panicked or flustered about this. My faith is not at risk. God is on the throne. We will all see what happens when it happens. Now is the time to pray -- and also to prepare. But not to listen to gossip. Not even hot-off-the-presses gossip.

Have you heard? It's in the stars:
Next July we collide with Mars!
What a swell party this is.

-- Cole Porter, High Society