05 February 2007

Thawing Out the Frozen Heart

Wowee is it cold!  Sub zero ain’t just a refrigerator.  4 below at dawn.  Roared up to 10 by 11, when I was driving back from the gym.

Cancelled work today, for the whole office.  Ice and snow are now glued to the roads by the cold, I slid merrily along several streets last night delivering number two son to Super Bowl party with friend and back again.  My colleagues come from towns ten and twenty miles away, and there being no major event to monitor, it was easy to let it go.  That’s why I went to the gym late today.

Have not gotten as much done as I wanted, but laziness and crankiness about the cold conspire to take my endeavor away.  That and little chores like repairing the toilet paper roller in the boy’s bathroom (for the third time!) and redressing a very leaky radiator in the kitchen.  

That was no fun, as it spewed water all over the floor.  Quickly closed it, but in this weather we need heat there, so a phone call to the repairman was in order.  He called back and helped me diagnose that my boiler was overfull.  So down to the basement I go and drain most of 20 gallons, with a half gallon bucket, so it took me a while.  All I all, it seems to have worked though.  

I had hoped to edit some sermons for publication, though I mostly wonder if they are worth reading.  I think preaching is a performance art.  Reading a sermon is like reading a play.   You get a lot from it but not the whole thing.  

I have yet to get to the shower today, which makes me ripe company even for myself.  

Honestly, the charms of winter are ever more elusive.  But I have said that before.  That has not stopped me, however, from hosting an event here yesterday and one again tonight.  Somewhere in the middle of it I passed officially from 53 to 54.  Egad.  My lovely choir sand to me during worship yesterday and it was very sweet.  

Have just finished Garry Wills book, What Paul Meant.  Not as fulsome or thorough as Bruce Chilton’s Rabbi Paul.  I am chastened in that reading by the precociously gifted Sam Harris about whom I preached yesterday at someone’s request.  Man, I wish I had his combination of reasoning power and passion.  But as I said yesterday, his indictments are more powerful than his solutions.  

I am disposed toward the latter, seeking to find a truly potent liberal religious vision that can move people.  In fact, I have a good idea what it is, which I am laying out on my third blog.  But in this I am frustrated as what I sense inwardly and very clearly I fear I cannot express adequately.  My sense of personal and professionally inadequacy is very high right now.  I read about colleagues who are writing books, making speeches, making a mark and I find myself stumbling and struggling and feeling very thick tongued and inept.  

Forgive me for displaying all this.  Blogs, however, give permission for the equivocal and uncertain that those who lead in public cannot express in public.  Somehow there is a weird privacy to this very public venue.  By comparison, to seem unsure in public is to seem indecisive and that is precisely what leaders cannot be.  How odd, that we want our leaders to be more human, less pompous and more authentic.  To do that must include faults and frailties along with gifts and strengths.  But when leaders reveal those faults and frailties those they lead often recoil or begin to question the leader’s capacity.  

I need to take a shower now.  Guests are coming later.  At least the radiator is not leaking.  It is a good day after all.

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