Sunday, February 21, 2010

Doubt not, fear not

We got to church this morning, a few minutes late, and Cooper walked right up to the front of the chapel and sat down in the second row. GeekBoy and I sat next to him, and as I opened up the hymnal, I looked up to determine what page number I needed to be on and realized that my university president was sitting on the dais. Nothing makes you realize how unkempt your kid's hair looks like than having your boss's boss's boss's boss sitting in front of you.

One of the interesting things about working at a church university is that the university president is also an ecclesiastical leader. He presides over a huge area - somewhat like what I imagine a Catholic cardinal to be, though I have no idea how accurate that is. Having these two aspects of my life - work and faith - interact in this way is challenging at times. The political science part of my brain and the faithful part of my brain have very interesting conversations about belief and bureaucracy and obedience and oppression. The Mormon part of me and the Marxist part of me don't get along really well. I constantly am discursively creating and recreating my role as an academic of faith.

That said, I love my university president. He really preaches with the Spirit, and I find that he focuses deeply on the responsibilities we have to bring ourselves in line with the teachings of Christ, and doesn't shy away from the difficulty and necessity of exact obedience. Along with the constant call for self improvement, he also focuses on our call to reach out to others in charity, and our responsibility to care for the poor, needy and oppressed.

Every time he talks, I learn something new. Today's talk was on the story of Christ calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee. This is a story that I have read more times than I can easily count, and yet today I learned a new perspective on the story. As the disciples come to Christ in fear and wake them, Christ calms the storm, and then asks them why they were afraid. In the KJV, the words are "Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?" The point that was emphasized today was that Christ is actually in the boat with the disciples as they were going through this storm. Even though they were skilled sailors who had probably spent their life on this body of water, this storm was so extraordinary that they were afraid, because they forgot who was in the boat with them. It demonstrated a lack of understanding of who Christ is, which you see in the next line, "What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" They are afraid because they don't know who Christ is. As we know Christ, we fear less. It doesn't protect us from the storms, but He is with us in our trials, and we do not need to be afraid.

Monday, February 15, 2010

What are we going to do tonight, Brain?

Same thing we do every night, Pinky! Try to take over the WORLD!

That's what I'm feeling like right now, like I'm planning to take over the world. I have a multi-step plan. One that involves much potential awesomeness for all. First step in my plan of awesomeness: Choose where to go for our ten year anniversary this fall.

1. Small-ship expedition style cruise in Alaska.
2. Four days at the Utah Shakespeare Festival - plays by night, national park exploring by day.
3. Four days in Chicago. Cubs games, Rick Bayless's cooking, art museums, fancy hotel.

Anyone have opinions? Or additional suggestions?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Where I spent my morning

Cooper had his tonsils out this morning. We had to be at the hospital at 5:30 this morning. He's a great little patient.

Recovering from anesthesia.

Feeling better and listening to his favorite show on the speaker built into the television remote.

We've spent the afternoon at home. Other than being a bit more cranky than normal and with a bit less energy, it's been a fairly normal afternoon. Cooper passed over the jello, pudding and yogurt in the fridge in favor of grilled chicken and chocolate cake for lunch. He had macaroni and cheese for dinner. He's drinking a glass of water right now by way of medicine dropper because he finds it fascinating.

He's playing, he's laughing, he's dancing. We're so blessed for him to recover this quickly. There are times of crying and crankiness, but the pain so far has been manageable. The nurse who brought him back from post-op said he was the best kid he's ever taken care of. He didn't cry at all the entire time he was coming out from under anesthesia. When we left, the nurse who took care of him in the recovery room thanked us for sharing him with them today. He's an amazing kid.

It's times like this that I am even more grateful for the priesthood than normal. Our home teacher came over last night and helped GeekBoy give Cooper a blessing. Cooper was promised a complete and speedy recovery, an ability to understand the purpose of the pain and therefore tolerate it easier, and many physical blessings as a result of the operation. Everything that was promised in the blessing has been realized to the fullest.
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