I’ve been listening to a lot more sermons than normal in recent days. (You have too, I hope.) That includes several friends of the East Hill church — Kris Emerson, Scott Taylor, and Bryant Bailles, among others. But as far as visuals go, watching men stand still and talk is not too engaging. So sometimes…
Do you ever text or Facebook message and wait around for an hour or two for a reply? I like to think of myself as being rather secure with myself, but I have to admit — that messes with my head. I’m not talking about waiting for their take on the meaning of life or the status of their dad’s cancer treatment, mind you. I’m talking about questions I have asked that require a yes/no answer. Of course, if I just got a yes or a no, I’d probably think that was rude. But at least I would have a reply. That’s something.
I finally convinced Tracie to take a drive past our first house during our latest trip to Texas. We were in the neighborhood, literally driving within a stone’s throw of it. Just a slight detour, and we could see what had become of the place since we sold it almost 20 years ago.
I expected it to be different. I did not expect it to be that different.
One of the first things you notice at Walt Disney World is the preponderance of “Mickey-shaped” items. From pencil tops to fireworks, everything seems to consist of two small circles sitting atop a larger circle. Sometimes, as with shrubbery, the shape is forced upon the item; those in charge simply alter it until it achieves the proper proportions. Sometimes, as with ice cream, the item is formed inside a mold. The latter of these can get downright creepy at times. Forcing a pumpkin to grow in a “Mickey” shape by placing it in a mold in its infancy is … weird. The desired effect is achieved, yes. But at some point a living organism has to be allowed to grow in its own direction. I don’t know. Maybe I’ve just seen one too many Mickeys over the last seven years.
Anyway, striking a balance between fostering growth and channeling that growth has been a bit of an obsession with me over the last 23 years.
Discipline fails oftentimes because the disciplinarians quit too early. Junior is grounded because of bad grades, then he goes and sulks in his room, determined to do even worse the next test just to spite Mom and Dad. Junior makes out on both fronts; he does do worse, and Mom and Dad get so frustrated that they quit grounding him because it “doesn’t work.”
It’s not supposed to work. Not like that, anyway.