When I woke up this morning, I had a great deal to do before I got out the door. I did some reading, kept my duolingo streak going, read and gave a brief reply to a fairly ominous Facebook message promising future awkward conversations, and then at some length got ready for the drive to Hood River for services. When I finished getting ready and was on my way out the door, I realized that my roommate was not ready to go, so although we were a few minutes late getting out the door already, I warmed up the car and melted the ice on the windshield while waiting about ten minutes for him; I was not pleased at how long it took. I do not like having my time wasted. Given that I tend to give myself a lot to do, it requires a certain amount of precision to get everything done in the time available, and that encourages a certain degree of impatience. Perhaps it is a bit unfair to expect much from those whose batteries are running down and whose energy is decreasing, but it can be frustrating dealing with such frailty, especially given the fact that they are a lot harder to carry around than little children who can easily slow one down.
The drive to Hood River was a particularly stressful one. Looking at the state of the road, with plenty of snow on either side, it was pretty clear that conditions were just good enough to drive safely. Of course, nearly the entire way along I-84 there was a stiff but irregular headwind which made it particularly nerve-wracking to drive. Being a fairly nervy sort of person I figured the fastest way out of that mess was through, and so I drove 70-75 mph all the way up to Hood River and most of the way back too where the wind was almost as intense. I figure that if I’m going to be distressed with dealing with unpleasant driving conditions and trying to keep the car pointed straight ahead and staying in the lane that one should not subject oneself to it longer than one has to. And it worked out alright, so there’s that. After all, I didn’t get run into by a deer this time at least . I saw enough snow and parked on enough of it to realize that the roads had really been impassible much of the past month, at least for smallish cars like my own. Of course, my roommate had to mention how terrified he was the entire time from the pulpit when songleading, so that was less than enjoyable to hear.
Services in Hood River were, as they usually are, enjoyable and pleasant, even if there were very few of us there. I gave the same sermonette that I had given in Portland some weeks ago . A deacon gave his first ever sermon there as well, and the message was a good one even if it was a bit austere in terms of its structure, like those buildings that show their guts rather than hiding them behind drop ceilings. The message itself, though, about the larger subject of learning lessons from the mistakes of the Bible with a specific look at 1 Chronicles 19 and various mistakes there made regarding an incident of accused Israelite spycraft , was thoughtful and well spoken even if it seemed as if the speaker was trying a bit too hard to be a peace activist. There was a pot luck that I enjoyed, surprising one of the young ladies there with my appetite for chicken and spending a great deal of time talking which slowed my eating down. Of course, a few people decided to tease me about my fondness for feminine company, something which seems to draw far more interest than it should.
After the drive back to Portland, during which my roommate walked around and might have taken some pictures of a cold Multnomah Falls while I read in my car, I listened to the last part of services there outside of the hall so as to not distract anyone and slipped in the back to sing the last song. After that I was on the go again, with a capella choir practice where we are learning a challenging arrangement of the Lord’s Prayer, and where I had the chance to speak with the adult choir director and query her as to why I heard that she had been irritated by my absence from practice when I had e-mailed her last night through her mother that I would be absent due to my speaking commitment in Hood River. She claimed not to have been irritated and that she needed to cut out the middlewoman, so to speak, in her communications with others. I agreed. Immediately after that we had our speaker’s workshop where today’s messages in Portland were discussed and where three of us (myself included) shared outlines to messages and received critiques on them. Even if the subject matter of the one I was given was a bit morbid, I think it is a message that would be enjoyable to write it up and give it as a sermonette some time in Hood River, especially since I will likely be up there fairly often in the future.
By the end of the day, I was fairly exhausted, so much so that I fell asleep in bed with the computer on, laying on my books, and with the light on. That is never a particularly good sign, as it means that I am utterly and totally exhausted and unable to do the little rituals at the end of the day that help me wind down. To be sure, I am not as young as I once was, not like some of the little children I see who run around and waste so much of their energy doing things like kicking a toy car around on the floor or falling off of logs and scratching their faces up. It is a great shame that one does not have the energy one wants when one has some idea of what to do with it. I’m not sure what the reasons are for this. I do know, though, that it is a break when I can relax or read or chat with people who have no ulterior motives and who are honest in the way that they communicate. Why is good communication so hard to find, people who want to speak thoughtfully as well as listen, and people committed to the truth?
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