Monday, February 04, 2008

In Sickness and In Health

It's a balmy 32º (feels like 24º) according to MSN Weather, which usually means it is several degrees cooler at my house. Snow is falling again and beginning to stick to rooftops. I woke up this morning You know the feeling when you wonder, am I sick? Am I getting sick? But, despite feeling bad, since you aren't puking, and don't have mucus escaping through facial orifices, you go to work anyway, hoping you are simply being paranoid and that if not, that no one will catch something from you. Never mind that the office has been a breeding ground of germs from other sick people coming in and out, yours would no doubt be the toxic ones.

Anyway, I got up (late) and dragged my dressed and groomed but unfed self into work. I was pretty sure I should eat something so I stopped at a drive-through and picked up a grease sandwich. Got to work and upon opening the bag and feeling a protest in my gut decided that I wasn't quite ready to eat. The boss had brought in some lovelty pumpkin bread, but even that was giving me that airsick, carsick, seasick feeling. Not a good sign.

When do you give up? When do you decide not to be a trooper? I've never had much admiration for those folks who work through the flu, nasty horrid colds, intestinal bugs, etc., displaying their mettle but undermining my health and that of the others in the office. If you think you might be contagious, isn't it the kind thing, the loving thing, not to pass it along? Or do we so value that type-A driven person that we strive to keep on plugging no matter what?

By 9:30 I was pretty sure I was sick, and by 10 I had passed on my interviews, cleared my desk and tended the fires that needed tending and was on my way home. And here I've been, asleep for the last 5 hours, a sure sign of something not being right.

Where do you fall when it comes to the sometimes opposing responsibilities toward your job and to the health of your co-workers?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Which dog am I?

Something about my new dog, Bear, has been gnawing at me lately. Over time it has become apparent that this dog, a yellow lab mix does not seem to be developing any real kind of attachment to me, not in the same way as Barney, who had to be euthanized last summer. Barney adored me. He wanted to be with me all the time—not because I did anything for him in particular, but simply because he wanted to be with me. He loved being in my presence.

Bear wants something from me almost every minute I am with him. I can almost hear his thoughts:
Ball. Ball. Ball. Ball. Throw the ball. Where’s my
ball? Ball. The Ball. Want the ball. Throw the ball.
BALL! BALL! BALL! Get my ball. Throw my ball.
Ball. Ball. Ball. THE BALL! I WANT THE BALL!

I think he would go off with anyone without a backward glance if only they had a ball.

This has been a grave disappointment to me. I miss the adoration and love I got from my Barney. Bear is a good dog. There’s nothing really wrong with him, he’s not nervous or mean, is not a biter, doesn’t beg, doesn’t tear things up…he just doesn’t display the kind of affection for me that I long for.

As I’ve pondered this, I’ve wondered if that isn’t how we are with God. He longs for a friendship, for the loving adoration of his people, but so often we just want something from him. We don’t want to spend time in his presence because we love and adore him, because we worship him, but because he has the ball, whatever that looks like for us. Do we weary him with our impatient, whining requests for the object of our longing? Or does he provide us good things anyway, but have a sadness in his heart, a longing, for our adoration?

I’ve just been thinking….