Greetings to all of my readers on this, the eve of Michaela’s return to the US for a month and the Penultimate evening before my departure for Venice & the start of my European tour. I take the opportunity now to say “Hi” because I don’t know how much access I will have to the internet during my travels. I will, however, try & post when I can & if I get a chance I may even do some group emails. In the mean time, this is probably going to be a very long email, partly to make up for the fact that I may not make it to the computer as much as I would like & also because I haven’t written anything major in a while. I’ll try to link everything in with my impending travel anyway.
This evening I am just a little worried because I started to come down with a sore throat & my glands are feeling a little swollen. I am hoping that it is just that I am very tired & stuff & not a beginning sign of Glandular Fever (Mono). That certainly would be a major spanner in my travel works.
I was putting my Salomon sneakers today when I broke one of the laces. It would be OK, except they are more of a cord with a tightener than normal laces, so they are fairly impossible to replace. As it turned out, I was wearing down the sole severely on my left foot (my good leg) so they would have needed replacing soon anyway. A good excuse to have some new shoes to travel with!
On one of my last days at work, I was doing a “floor walk” and got thinking about an old Don Carson sermon I had heard at SMBC. In particular, I got thinking about one metaphor he used & how it extrapolates to life. Here is my thoughts on it.
Modern society really is geared toward a fast food attitude towards things. I am not just thinking food, though we have a great example there. If we are not eating at the burger joints, our home food, even healthy food is becoming “fast” food. Pasta, stir frys, chicken, or roasts, everything is geared toward instant gratification.
It is a phenomenon that we see perpetuated in the television world. Shows become less about dept of character & more about amusing sound-bytes. 5 second catch phrases keep us amused so that we can continue to watch without ever really having to engage out minds.
Basically we are geared toward a “quick digestion’ society. We want to swallow what we see with the minimum of chewing, then we want to digest it with as little effort as possible so that we can excrete most of what we’ve heard from out minds without really having to incorporate anything challenging.
The challenge that Don laid down (in his case referring to our approach to the scriptures) is to approach the world as a cow does grass. This sounds a little gross, but think about it. The cow has 4 stomachs. When it finds a tasy morsel it rips it out of the ground & starts to chew. Having broken it down as much as it can at once, it swallows it down & lets it digest a little before bringing it back up again & starting the rumination. At least 4 times this happens as every valuable morsel is extracted from what the cow has swallowed.
I want to swallow in everything I see over the next month & really try to digest it. It is too easy to see the world, appreciate the beauty, but never really engage your surroundings. I want to ruminate over everything that I see, so that I might appreciate the wonder of God’s creation & also the great opportunity I have to see so much of it.
Here’s to chewing the metaphorical cud in the month of December. Especially since this involved Christmas & family for most of you, I encourage you to do so too.
At present my infatuation is sucking up as much culture as possible. For some strange reasons this most often seems to relate back to beers. Tonight I found a 4-pack on sale of some traditional Scottish ales, so I will spend the next couple of nights enjoying Heather ale, Elderberry Ale, Spruce Ale and a Gooseberry Ale. I will continue this beer appreciation throughout Europe, having already quizzed as many people as possible at work. I may have to extend my research though, cause I know I will have to try some Limoncello in Italy & some good Polish Vodka. Maybe this topic should have been made “Distillation”?
I am looking forward to some adventures in travel. I have booked accommodation & stuff in places where I know I am only there for a night or two (for example, I will be in Berlin for only 48 hours), but where I have a longer period of time, I have opted for only booking the first couple of nights, allowing me to move as freely as I choose. After the first three nights in Venice, who knows? I could end up in Milan, or I am even considering Monaco!
OFF TO SEE TOO MANY NATIONS
That’s it. I am off to enjoy Europe. As I said at the beginning. I will try & keep everyone in touch with what’s happening, so keep checking in on me. Rest assured I will be having fun & I hope & pray that you are too!