Thursday, April 02, 2009

Thoughts on retreat (en route actually)

I pulled out of the parking lot in Sunnyvale at 2:30pm Wednesday, and experienced traffic congestion without even having to wait 'til Friday. Or even having to wait 'til 3:00! Well, it wasn't quite as bad as 4pm Friday; I was on 152E within an hour. The hills were a beautiful green -- I think I came this way last July, and they looked quite different then. The 152E flyover at 156 is now complete -- also much different from last July when we had the stop-and-go while a CHPer directed traffic there. Not fun with the 5-speed (I don't remember if I was driving at that point, or the younger teen). This flyover is really really nice, and I'm sure many lives will be saved.

I stopped at Casa de Fruta briefly and had a brief telephone chat with the ex-teenager. Was it really over two decades ago that we brought her home from the hospital? It seems like just the other day. Within an hour I was driving past a small park that rekindled a memory for me. We had been on our way to Sequoia, and she was a toddler I think. She could not stand being in the car, and she emphatically let us know about it! We stopped at a park -- maybe this very same one? -- so she could run around a little.

I thought about the joy Carol and I have received from our children and this phrase came to mind: "We are the luckiest creatures in the universe!"

From Fresno to San Luis Obispo

I turned on the radio, thinking "I'm not on retreat yet." I heard some nice songs on a station doing their pledge drive (sounded like "K-dove" but don't know exactly....) and part of a sermon. Those got me thinking about my own sins: pride and selfishness.

In my heart I sometimes think of myself as superior, which is dumb. There's a verse... 1 Corinthians 4:7 "For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?" So I've been successful in life... maybe 90% has to do with being in the right place at the right time -- starting with being born where and when I was, living in the school district I lived in so I got those teachers... Another 9% comes from that 90% -- opportunities to learn, great parents and teachers, mentors and managers, friends and connections. The last 1% has to do with other gifts I've been given: genes (oh, a repeat of some other part), a way with numbers and code. Maybe it's not 90/9/1 but everything I have is actually received; I'm not self-sufficient like God is; there really is nothing I have that I haven't received.

And selfishness. Why don't I ever confront anyone? Why don't I tell more people about the possibilities of a joy-filled life with Jesus? Why do I care more about my own comfort than I do about whether my friends spend their lives pursuing vanity or misery?

May the Lord speak to me in the next few days, and may I listen well to him.

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