Yesterday I mentioned that summer had all but come to an end for me. I have to say that this morning was a nice coda to that. I’ve got my twice-yearly dental visits sets for January and July to line up with the school calendar. One of my favorite things to do is to leave the dentist and walk through some of the county and state office building locations . . . lots of grassy areas and tall trees and interesting architecture . . . until I get back into downtown. This morning’s dentist visit went smoothly, temperature check and all. And then the walk into downtown was gorgeous . . . still early enough in the day to enjoy some cool breeze. Walked a couple of errands (including a visit to the post office). From there I made my way to a friend’s office. We walked down to Aloha Tower to eat at the Old Spaghetti Factory, only my second time their since they moved from their Ward location. It was nice seeing a little more bustle in downtown. Most people are still grabbing take-out for lunch. My friend and I had a full table for eight to ourselves at the Factory. Then it was back up into the valley for an afternoon of work.\
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Yesterday I briefly revisited an Andy Crouch piece from March concerning the winter, blizzard, ice age nature of our current moment. Today I found myself thinking about one other slightly older piece, the one from Faith and Leadership about what our institutions teach us to love. It’s the part about institutions taking an audit of their key events and practices. The pertinent quote:
Ideally, what has to happen is you have to find a way to hit the pause button, try to gain some distance on an institution and its rhythms and practices, and then look at the things you do and ask, “What are they doing to us?”
That mostly looks like trying to take the things that are familiar and taken for granted in your institution and then asking, “What are these practices teaching us to love on an affective level, even if our message might be saying something else on an intellectual level?”
And I remember someone on Twitter suggesting that maybe this time of Covidtide was an example of that “pause button.” Smith responded that it’s hard to have a pause button when you are trying to take care of so many things in such a trying time. Now whatever pause button might have been there is effectively gone. The tape continues rolling, the story trundles on, the seeds we’ve sown over the last four months are about to bear an interesting kind of fruit.
Which isn’t to say that things won’t be different. It is to acknowledge that we are all still in the “patching up the unsound vessel” activity more than we are about founding a better boat with a truer, deeper design. But maybe some hints of the better can show up.
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I mentioned on Sunday that there were three really good Sunday strips to share this week. Sunday saw a classic Calvin and Hobbes strip. Here’s the classic Peanuts strip from Sunday. It’s a fun play on Sally’s panic . . . particularly as she misreads what’s going on at a golf match on television. Sometimes existentialism creeps in, while other times it announces itself like a screaming child.
Snoopy, of course, knows his Scripture.
(image from gocomics.com)