31 January 2010


ERROR: timeout

each print job a unique piece
of correspondence,
informing welathy businessmen
and penniless widows alike
of "important information
regarding your life insurance policy" --
beneficiary designations,
policy changes,
requests Not In Good Order --
a trove of life-or-death information

frozen in a digital limbo,


too many, too fast,
print device not ready:
error printouts
instead of carefully crafted letters,
the opposite of useful on this busiest day
of the tax season,
when recently bereaved lovers

and cranky old retirees
queue up telephonically,
dozens deep,

for policy information
and claim forms,
a day when it is all you can do
to hit "print" between calls.


and now, all those hurried "prints"
add up to something
whose sum is less than nothing,
a timeout
on a day when there simply is

no more time

07 January 2010

What Have I Done?

You can't see this, O my faithful reader(s), but I have been reasonably busy since last you heard from me. In the waning months of 2009, I:

* Read some books
* Felt my little baby trying to kick his/her way out of my wife's womb
* Worked like a madman
* Sang some songs
* Got to see Andrew Peterson and the wonderful musicians who were with him on the Lamb of God tour
* Dealt daily with my fleshly desires and sinful tendencies
* Led a kids' club for church
* Met some wonderful new friends
* Enjoyed some wonderful old ones
* Had an unforgettable campout with men from my small group
* Got stuck in a snowy parking lot
* Wrassled with my pride
* Spent almost a week living with my in-laws because of inclement weather and holidays
* Broke my lawnmower, but right before it snowed, so it's ok
* Started writing a novel
* Struggled writing a novel
* Stopped writing a novel
* Applied for some new jobs
* Didn't get them
* Was very ok with that -- the process taught me how great my current job is
* And a host of other things

Life, in other words, has been proceeding apace. I get up in the morning, run if I'm not too sleepy (in other words, run VERY occasionally), grab a string cheese for breakfast, go to work, drink some coffee, do my best to be productive and competent for about nine hours, go home, have dinner, do stuff with my wife or friends or brothers and sisters from church, maybe play a game or watch an episode of Numb3rs or The Office, read a little bit, pray, and sleep.

Today at lunch, I was talking with the 1:00 p.m. lunch crew about LeBron James, the 25-year-old phenom who plays for the Cavs and whose monster ego nearly matches his impressive feats on the hardwood. During the course of the conversation, I mentioned that nothing could compel me to trade places with him.

I have a rewarding job, enough money to meet my obligations, a beautiful wife, an energetic baby on the way, a very satisfying relationship with God, many friends, a great family, and, in general, an exceptionally nice life. Things happen to remind me of my proper place in the universe and to make me very glad that I'm in it.

Why on earth would I want to trade this for the pressure-filled, performance-demanding life of a superstar who makes too much money, is surrounded by hangers-on, and has entirely too high an opinion of himself? If anything, I pity the man. He's never known a moment of normalcy, and he's been pushed to do too much, too early.

My friends at lunch think I'm crazy. "I'd take his life in a heartbeat," one of them told me. "I could sure find a way to use that money, and who wouldn't want to be famous and amazingly good at sports like that?"

Me, that's who. I guess when you're satisfied with what you have, it's hard to imagine wanting to move.