Friday, December 9, 2011

fifteen minutes

Because I am behind in my writing I thought I would come up to Starbuck's, sit down, and write. Unfortunatly I spent the majority of the time reading about Robert Benson on his website, so I only have fifteen minutes left until the store closes. I'm going to write for those fifteen minutes and see what happens, let me know what you think.

Right after I wrote the last blog post I went to a used book store (Steel's Used Christian Book, in Northtowne) in the hopes of finding a copy of C.S. Lewis' "Space Trilogy." I found all three (two matching, one not) in addition to a book by Frederick Buechner, "Now and Then." I read "Telling Secrets" for my Spiritual Formation class at Belmont, so I thought I would give him a second thought. Glad I did.

In "Now and Then" Buechner attempts to tell the story of his life, or the second part at least. He writes about his time in New York at Union, in Exeter as the head of the fledgling Religion department, and Vermont as writer, husband, and father. He does a fantastic job of communicating what his life was actually like, breezing over the fun times and spending pages on the nothing time. It seems that life is like that some times: the places and times we want to last forever zip by, and the hard times drag.

The quote that struck me most was on page eighty-two: "I felt like a rat in a trap, and the trap I was in was myself and the new life I had chosen." I'm certian that if you are a regular reader of this little blog you'll understand why I liked that post. Some background for Buechner: he had just quit a job in New Hampshire that he was good at, that he enjoyed. He had grown a department that didn't exist into on that was on par with the English and History schools. He was connected to friends, he had a family. And yet he felt the need to move on to something more, something different. The parallel was too obvious for me.

"A rat in a trap, and the trap I was in was myself and the new life I had chosen." So what I do I do to get out of that trap? No clue. None whatsoever. But, you know, I'm ok with that right now. Life isn't how I thought it would be, but as I read on Benson's site:

"We tend to think the happy people are grateful because they got what they like. In reality the grateful people are happy because they like what they got." - David Steindl-Rast

So I'm working on being happy with what I have. Smelly sandwich-hands and all.

Look at that, four minutes to spare.


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