Shall we call it a quiet day on Meadow Creek Circle South? It’s the Thursday before the start of Memorial Weekend. The boys are back from Las Vegas. It’s cold outside, and looks to possibly freeze tonight – on the Thursday night before Memorial Weekend. I’ll need to come up with something for supper tonight, so we don’t have to order in. I’ll need to water all the plants this afternoon, since even though we were promised some decent rain, nothing except a little atmospheric spitting has occurred. Laundry’s done. The arranging of the room has happened. Not even the news items are worth following on the three different sites I read, except that the fellow who wrote and illustrated “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” died yesterday at age 91. Frankly, that wasn’t one of either boys’ favorite books, but apparently the concept of a caterpillar looking for something to eat was somehow a masterpiece in children’s literature. Ok.
So – it’s pretty quiet today. The cell phone is plugged in and charging, the cats have already had their little tastes of cream cheese to start their day, and the trash is out to get picked up some time over the next hour or so. Like I said – pretty quiet, and on the surface, not much to write about.
Of course, if we go under the surface, a whole host of things are underway already this morning. For example, my stomach – and yours as well – has grown a new lining over the last 3-4 days. Already in your waking hours, you will have blinked 15-20 times per minute, and now that I have mentioned it, you can’t help but blink a bit more, just as if I tell you not to think about your breathing, you can’t help but move from automatic breathing to thinking about it. Also, somehow, someone counted that most humans have over 6000 separate thoughts per day. That’s 250 per hour, or four thoughts per minute. Of course, they aren’t all profound – it might be nothing more than, “Mmmm – popcorn!”
Even more, your entire body will replace its cells every 7-10 years. Some parts take much longer than others, but if you are, for instance, 60 years old, there is a good chance you have gone through an entire transformation at least 6 times in your life. And, to keep it real, you will shed 1 ½ pounds of dead skin cells per year.
Not much to write about? Well you see, for most of us, for most of our days, unless there is something to stimulate part of our brain, we end up moving through life pretty much on autopilot. We may respond to some things that happen, such as a sore knee, or yawning for some reason, but by and large, we have neither the capacity nor the interest to keep track of everything happening inside of us most all the time. Sure, we know when we are hungry, or sleepy, or have to go to the bathroom, but most all else is pretty accidental, which is how we have been created. I guess it’s a blessing not to have to track every slightest bit of what is happening, body-wise. I mean, how many times have you moved your legs, or flexed your toes since you started reading all of this? How many times are you doing it now?
So, instead, we are free to use some of those 6000 thoughts per day to think of things far more enjoyable and thought-full than, say, having to burp or scratch your back. Actually, we can become quite profound, although it seems pretty difficult to think of something that hasn’t been thought of before. More often, memories of the past spring up uninvited, or that song that you haven’t heard or thought of in years fills your mind – or you think about that person, or that pet, or that who-knows-what that simply emerges from a deep fold in the gray matter, and reminds you of what once was.
Yes – there is not much to write about today. Except, when we pay attention to our lives and to the world around us, we find that we are bobbing in an entire ocean of reality that can more than fill our day – and that’s not to say, either, that we have no idea what will transpire before this day is done. Stay awake – except for that delicious nap, if you can – and even more, stay aware. In the words of Aerosmith, “you don’t want to miss a thing…”
Word for the day: cacoethes. Pronounced ka-ko-EE-these. It comes, as it sounds, from two Greek words: kakos “bad” and ethos, “disposition.” Cacoethes is the uncontrollable urge to do something that is not advisable. Often, it’s tied with other Latin words, especially “cacoethes loquendi” – which is the compulsion to speak when it would be better to just not say anything, or the inner need to say just a bit too much more than appropriate. It happens when one gives themselves over to something other than self-control. It’s kind of like, “What a bad idea! When do we start?”
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.