Saturday, August 18, 2012

I hate that I'm so connected, sometimes. I don't even need to log in to my e-mail anymore; it comes on my phone. Facebook, same thing. And if you know me, you know that I'm a people person. I draw strength and inspiration from people all the time. I hate being alone. Praying and writing are part of shaking off the lonely, as it were. But because I don't want to be an attention and emotion junkie, I recognize the goodness of quiet. I finished a book yesterday, and that was good. [But it was a very emotional book.--ed.] That it was. And I had to tell somebody about it right away.

I could go on one of those sanctimonious rants about how technology is pulling us away from God and each other, but I won't. Rather, I wonder what it means, our distractions. I think we are looking for God. And one of the troublesome aspects of the similitude between the Creator of all things and the good things He created is that it's pretty easy to confuse one for the other. After all, the goodness in things derives from their participation in God. I think. Anyway, there's still a huge tendency of creation-denial in the Christian world, in my view. If we can call something "imperfect" and "fallen" and "not the Kingdom," we can look down our noses at those who maybe are a little too passionate about one thing or the other, and the beauty of that is, we don't have to think too hard. Mark this down: Just because we distinguish the natural and supernatural doesn't mean we ignore one. I digress.

But I personally need to hit the reset button. I do not ultimately live for friendship, the love of a woman, or fortune, or self-image. May it be that any or all of those things show me who God is somehow, that He may be glorified. God of grace, be near to me to order my days, so that I may enjoy You, and the things You have created.

Friday, August 17, 2012

One of my friends was asked a question about his favorite baseball team, the Atlanta Braves. All these warm emotions came flooding back, as my affection for the Braves is not small. [Aren't you a die-hard Cardinals fan?--ed.] Yes. But the Braves of my youth in the '90s taught me to love the game more than my team, or at least to see baseball beauty unshaded by the passions of loyalty. [Wow. Pompous much?--ed.] If I write something pretty, I just gotta go with it.

As everyone probably knows, pitching is my favorite part of baseball. I used to pitch to my brother in the backyard; I'll take a 1-0 or 2-1 pitching duel over a home-run explosion any day. And my favorite pitcher by a long way is Greg Maddux. He always had that underdog thing about him, because I never saw him hit 90 MPH on the radar gun, and definitely not later. He surely is proud of the fact that he could out-think the hitters instead of overpower them. No one with 355 wins is actually an underdog, but you know what I mean. A hard fastball is like a SEAL team: it makes up for mistakes. A well-placed pitch, however, reveals greatness. Maddux was the crown jewel of those Braves pitching staffs until he returned to the Cubs in 2004. He needed those extra 5 seasons to get to 300 wins (to leave no Hall of Fame doubts in the minds of stupid baseball writers) but part of me dreams that he would have walked away in 2003. He was at his peak still, then. But aside from my Ric Bucher-like tendency to tell legends when to leave, let me be clear: I loved every second I watched him. I'd pay to watch him now, four years after he threw his last pitch. I'm still proud I traded Albert Pujols in fantasy baseball straight-up for him in 2002. He showed you that pride in being a pitcher that all the best ones have. He made it fun to watch the pitcher, to think like he thinks. He made it cool to like complete games again. And he's the prototype for guys like Halladay and Chris Carpenter, though they throw much harder. Even when he was bad, he was good. He lost some stamina and strikeout ability at the end, but he could still dominate on any given day.

I could tell you so many stories of games I watched where his legend grew in my mind. Not in the prime days, but long after. He was so great and proud to play the game. In my twenties, I followed every game as best I could. If you never saw him, you wouldn't get it. The numbers are epic, but they don't tell you the story. There is a romance to baseball that the numbers only hint at. There is a testimony that a game gives that a box score may not. This is why I appreciate sabermetrics in many respects, but my eyes show me the truth in baseball.

I'm saying that when I dream of Heaven, and pitching on the mound for the Cardinals there, I want to pitch like Maddux. If I have a son who wants to play, (and pitch) I'm going to show him how Maddux did it. If I can find my way to Cooperstown on his day soon, I'll go. And I'll cheer--and probably cry--because few did it better, and with so much class, as Gregory Alan Maddux.
O Jesus,
I need you to know
that I've forgiven and forgiving
the best way I know how.

The truth is,
I can't stay mad for long at all.
It's too hard.
So I was hurt and hurting,
But all I do now is cry and cry,
because I really don't know if it's gonna be OK.

Do they know that not a day has passed?
Do they know that my laughs are less deep,
the sun is less bright
because they are gone?

O Jesus,
take my tears.
I cannot pretend that I am fine,
and I can't change the past.

But I can't make it without You.
Just promise me
you'll take the tears away
One day.

[Written after meditation on the Gospel reading, Mt. 18:21-19:1, August 16, 2012.]

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I need to be praying, but I wanted to blog first. I've been on this Earth 32 years now. I know that's nothing, in the grand scheme. But to me, I feel like I haven't made my mark. You know? Maybe I pine for worldly success. I have Christ and His Church; what more could I want? [Heaven.--ed.] Good answer. Number one. Survey says, "Love!" "Family!" "Money I've actually earned!" [Did you just reference Family Feud?--ed.] Yep. [That Richard Dawson was a saucy one. If he even looked at my wife, I'd punch him in the face.--ed.] I know, right? He was awesome on Match Game before we were born. [He was the smartest game show host ever.--ed.] Yeah. He made "The Running Man," no offense to Ahnold.

I should just probably worry about today, and not get too fixated on what people think is important or valuable. Sigh. I just don't feel useful.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I tried to pretend that I hated it. I've been on a Richard Marx kick for a week or more. "Hazard" might be my favorite. But there's this. And this might be everyone's favorite fornication theme song, but it's awesome. I love you, Angelia.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

5 Romney T-Shirt Slogans

5. Romney 2012. Because Supply And Demand Never Heard Of Hope And Change.

4. Romney 2012. Because Ann Romney Doesn't Mind If You Eat A Hamburger.

3. Romney 2012. Yeah, He's Boring. Look Where 'Exciting' Got Us.

2. Romney 2012. The Last Time Unemployment Was This High, No One Knew What 'Jumping The Shark' Meant.

1. Romney 2012. Because The Only One Who Should Be Unemployed Is Obama.

Monday, August 13, 2012

5 Thoughts For Today

5. We cannot let disorder--in life, music, or anything--be called, "creative." It's not. I can see that the spirit of this age is Chaos, and it masquerades as authenticity.

4. For the record, I'm still evangelical enough that criticizing Billy Graham in public just seems wrong. And any Catholics using the Church's teaching on Holy Orders (which I believe wholeheartedly) to make cheap jokes at his expense are four-fifths of the way to getting punched in the face.

3. I figured out something yesterday: It's not that I am willfully averse to making some sign of adoration toward Christ in the Eucharist; it's that I am desiring Him so much that I want to stop wasting time. I get totally lost in the Eucharistic liturgy, and I don't come out of it until the Mass is over. But I'll try to slow down.

2. Mittens and The Kid, 2012. Because They Suck Way Less Than The Other Guys. Tell me you wouldn't wear that on a T-shirt.

1. You preach Christ to a billion people in your lifetime, and then we'll talk about your credibility to make jokes, Sparky. Yes, I'm still mad.