Monday, March 21, 2005

a hot summer day

I’ve avoided blogging for a while, much to the chagrin of some of my readers. When you don’t remember anything good to write about, it’s just best not to post. Today I remembered a good story however, so it’s time to share.

It was a hot summer day, back in the mid-80s and I was riding my bike up and down the street. Many kids are allowed to ride their bike in the street, however, I was not one of them. I was chastened to the sidewalk, on which I was allowed to ride, as long as I could see my house and was on the same side of the street. I agree, my parents didn’t let me do anything cool, but I was the first child and that usually means you have to experience the extreme boundaries of parents and carve the path for the next kids. Anyway, so there I was riding up and down the street.

Now my street happened to be situated on a small hill. I would pump up it and then coast on the way down. Just to give you an idea of how pathetic we’re talking, I would ride to the far edge of my neighbor’s driveway turn around and coast to two houses down.

It was a hot, extremely hot day and I was burning up. I luckily was wearing my Cincinnati Reds ball cap (go Reds!) which was providing some shade for my head but not a whole lot. I began to get this killer headache. I found that if I would close my eyes, it would somewhat go away. Then I had the idea of a lifetime, I decided to ride down the hill with my eyes closed. I had peddled up the hill with my eyes closed for Pete’s sake! Down the hill I went, picking up speed, more and more as I continued down the street. Then I heard a, “BAM!” which was shortly followed by a weightless feeling as I for an instant began to float off by bike. Was I flying? Was I somehow magically transported to another time and place?!?!?! And then, my face came to rest on its final destination, the neighbor’s car. Now, I knew at this point that I had made a miscalculation. I had forgotten that the neighbor parked their yellow compact car slightly out past the sidewalk.

You can’t really cry when you have made a complete fool out of yourself and no one seems to be around, even if you are seven. I mean, what if someone heard you cry and then came out to see what happened, only to find that you’ve smashed yourself into a parked car?!?!?! I did what any self-respecting seven year old would do, I fled the scene, bike and all and decided I was done riding for the day.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

kentucky roadkill, it comes in many flavors, but everyone prefers skunk!

I can't seem to see enough skunks on the side of the road on the way to church. Granted, it is about the only time I leave Wilmore when the light of day is shinning. I gotta say, you would expect to see a possum, or a deer or something, but all that I ever see are skunks and lots of them. I'm not sure if skunks are the only thing wild animals won't eat, and I use the term 'wild animals' loosely, you could include some of the wilder Kentucky folk animals, or even my friend Andi, although I don't think she'd touch roadkill with a ten foot pole much less take it off the side of the road and eat it. One thing I am sure of though, unlike my old home of Dayton, we don't have any squirrels around here. Then again, when I lived in Dayton, I only knew one guy who would dare eat them. I'm thinking that a good friday night adventure would be to drive around and collect roadkill into my buddies pickup and dump a big pile of them somewhere, or maybe that's just gross.

Friday, March 04, 2005

“Bring it” got brought it

I signed up to play the assassin game one or two weeks ago, I can’t remember which, time doesn’t seem to move linearly anymore, it’s more like some morphic oozing wormhole thing. Anyway, I signed up but instead of just writing my name, Ben Douglass, I had to be me, you know a little arrogant, a little spicy, so I put, Ben “Bring it” Douglass down. So from that point forward people who signed up on the sheet in the student center would walk by and say things like, “What’s up ‘Bring it’ Ben Douglass?” I would laugh and we would do the dumb college thing and slap five or hit the rock or something. Well the game commenced on Monday night at 6pm. I survived the night handily and was surviving the morning without much trouble.

Then I went to chapel. The speaker was probably the most untrained and painful to hear speaker I’ve heard in a long time. First, he liked to say things like, “You know” and “Right” more times than he actually filled his talk with meaningful words that make up real sentences. Second, instead of following a logical progression, he just rambled about whatever seemed to be on his mind. Third, he didn’t help us tie his personal experiences or someone’s experiences in depth to a small passage. In fact, he didn’t meditate on a passage of Scripture (a pet-peeve of mine). I’m not talking about reading a chapter, I mean I enjoy it when they really explain a few verses. Wait, I’m way off topic…. So he did have good content, he just didn’t know how to present it, I wish he would have asked someone for help. The content was good in a bad way. He shared with us about how where he works people are being mutilated by their government, how people are being used and destroyed, how vilely sinful the world really is. When you live in a great country like we do, and really it is great compared to the atrocities that are happening across this world, you tend to forget how bad life is elsewhere and how little Christians here are doing anything about it. So I’m walking out of chapel very sober. I forget about the dumb game. Inside I’m just mulling over the pain and the suffering and talking it over with my friend. I’m within five feet of the door I need to get in before I am safe in the game. I’m standing there waiting for the crowds to enter into the next building and then it happens.

Mark, my assassin comes out of the building, I’m not really paying attention to him, and shoots me. Instantly I’m transported back to Lexington, KY. Yeah, I’m playing some dumb game with a whole bunch of people in a peaceful area. It made me frustrated on many levels. I don’t know what I’m suppose to do to help as a guy who feels called to be here, now. My professor said something interesting in the class following lunch, he said, “The ministry of Jesus Christ is directed primarily to the Father, not to the needs of the world.” Very profound. I know God is concerned about his creation, his people, his loved ones. However, our ministry is to be directed primarily to the Father. He’ll point us where we need to go.

I totally missed the point I was going for. Here it is: I got shot. The real first day of the game. Like a sucka, I was taken out. I think it was because I wrote Ben “Bring it” Douglass instead of Ben Douglass. God wins again! One of these days, I'm not going to talk trash. I'll probably be dead... but it'll happen. I said "Bring it", Oh how He brought it.