Saturday, November 06, 2004

High school is a very important training ground for social skills. That is what they say. High school is where kids pretend to have grown up relationships. They make friends and break friends and form groups and have fights and find boyfriends/girlfriends and break up with them in dramatic scenes by the water fountain. High school is where you learn to accept or reject and then enforce your acceptance or lack thereoff on the other party. More specifically, this is where girls learn how to either tell guys to piss off, or give them their number, according to their aforementioned acceptance or rejection.

I went to high school, but I recieved no such training. Mostly because I was a dork (there are those who would reply that I am still a dork, and I will not argue with them) but also because I was a genius and thought these childish shadows of grown-up behavior were stupid, and that high school relationships were doomed to speedy failure and thus to be avoided. Mostly, I was just a dork. I had few friends and no boys wanted to go out with me. Thus, there are certain circumstances which I approach with absolutely no benefit of experience.

Since high school I have had a couple experiences with guys which only served to compound my bafflement. Boys are wierd, tricky, but fun to hang out with. Until they grow interested in more than hanging out, whereupon they become rupulsive.

Boys are generally easy to handle. They can be simply avoided or distracted when they start acting strangely. In this way I have successfully managed to remain baffled.

Let's just say that last couple days have only served to heighten my anxiety in the matter. Boys are good for a game of hackey sack, but little else. I hold this position until I can be convinced otherwise.

* Please recognize that this analysis refers only to boys I have met. By boys I refer to unmarried men. If you are a married man, or know me only through this medium, please recognize this post for what it is, irrelevant, subject to change, and not reflective of YOUR personal character.*

Monday, November 01, 2004

I went out for coffee with my dad the other night, since he was on his way home and passing through Regina as he always does. He's a truck driver, in case I haven't told you, and most frequently delivers furniture to the west coast. He does this every week, which is why when I was living here during bible school, I saw him more than I would have living in Steinbach or Winnipeg. Usually he comes through on Thursday or Friday. This week he was late.

I love my dad. I didn't always, but I do now. When I was growing up, he wasn't always around.... in fact, he usually wasn't. All I knew was he was often gone for many months at a time. It became normal for me. As I grew older, the only time I saw him was on visitation weekends.

So here I am, in Regina. I love my dad, but he had to call my mother to get my phone number. Why? I didn't think of him. Why not? Cuz I'm not used to thinking of him. It doesn't mean he's not important to me. It's just..... I don't need to talk every day to feel close.... I'm used to being apart. No news is good news. It's similar with my mom, even though she was with me all the time..... the only time we talk now is when she calls me, and that's simply because it doesn't occur to me to call her. Even my friends here in Regina. Most of them didn't know I was coming, and I hadn't spoken with them since my last visit. Most of them I haven't seen since the first day I moved here. I know they're here. Our paths will cross in their own time.

At house group on Friday night the topic came up of fatherhood..... how our relationships with our fathers affect the way we relate to people. I may have even addressed this topic before on this site, but I'm starting fresh now, aren't I?

Frequently, good Christian people will ask me "how I'm doing with God" and the question is often followed up by a reference to "spending my 'God-time'" every day and I used to feel like a failure when I looked back and realized that I hadn't spent any "God-time" in quite a while. Until recently when I realized that the reason I can feel close to God without actually sitting down with Him every day may have something to do with how I'm accustomed to dealing with my dad. I DO feel close to God. But my prayer life is skeletal.

That's not to say that a regular prayer life is not just as important for me as for anyone else. It's just to say that it will escape my attention for vast amounts of time, and it's not good, but there's a reason for it.

There are so many facets to father-child relationships, I don't know that there's anything in life not affected by it. Depending on who you are, and what your father was like, you either overcome or benefit from those things.

I think in a way I'm lucky.... that I'm not compelled by guilt to sit down with my bible every day.... because if guilt compelled me, I would have a totally separate issue to deal with. I am compelled by the desire to be close, the only problem being that I'm only compelled every now and then. That is to say, I should remind myself on a more frequent basis.

But I understand where I'm coming from. God understands even better than me. He's my REAL father, and He's been with me every day, and still is. I think too often we "religion-ize" things like "God-time." I mean, when isn't it "God-time?"

Even as I write this, sorting out my thoughts on the matter, asking myself about different things, I am dialoguing with God. He's the one that brings clarity and wisdom and understanding. He's the one that NEVER leaves.

Didn't you ever just enjoy someone's company, without ever saying a word? I have, on so many different occasions. Chimwemwe knows what I'm talking about.

God is with me all the time. But if I forget to call YOU, now you know why.
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