Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Recap of Adventure Days 13 & 14

I have to say, sometimes keeping track of what day is what is a challenge! Oh well, I’ll keep trying to keep up.

Day 13 was a pretty average day, nothing too exciting going on. I went into work for my fifth day in a row (this is good stuff for a relief worker!). Nothing too out of the ordinary from that, but I did get a couple of good ‘funnies’ to share:

I was standing a couple of feet into Guy’s bedroom to say goodnight and stuff when he came (sort of charging) at me with his arms wide open – he wanted a hug. As I mentioned before there are policies and stuff on that kind of thing so we have to really watch stuff. Besides that I will remind you that I’m not a hugely affectionate person (physically). So I took several steps back. He quickly takes the hint and says: “Why don’t you want a hug?”
I say: “Remember, I’m not that into hugs.”
He asks: “How do you love your husband then?”
I say: “I cook for him.”
He looks confused and says: “That’s not loving.”
I say: “It is in my house.”

Another time through out the night when I was apparently being ‘too curious’, Guy reminds me of the ‘curiosity killed the cat’ saying and says: “You should be careful Eva, about being so curious. God’s not always going to save you!”

Day 14 – Did not hold all that much excitement in it. However I did complete one of my items on the list and pursued another one.

I finished up my 7 days of no t.v. (or other stuff like it). I sort of cheated though. Sunday morning (that day) I woke up and plunked down on the couch and turned the t.v. on, without any regard for my resolve. I didn’t give two hoots about 7 days of whatever. The funny thing was I didn’t even care about what I was watching. Since it was Sunday morning there were loads of televangelists on t.v. or speakers of sorts. I suppose in my mind I wasn’t breaking any commitments since I wasn’t actually enjoying what was on t.v.

I kind of think that mentality is funny. I seem to carry that around a lot with me on this 40 day adventure. If it’s not something I care about or feel in my heart drawn to do, then it doesn’t really matter if I do it and break my own rules. I wonder why I do that? It has actually caused me to totally ‘cheat’ on myself several times.

For example Friday night Wally and I went to a movie together (we do this maybe once every year or two) – um, hello, did we have to do this on my week off of media? To go along with that we also bought some snacks for the movie (Swedish berries and a huge Twix bar – did someone forget the other rule?). We did have a giant ‘reasoning’ discussion before and I honestly don’t feel I was doing it out of an internal need for it. It really just seemed wrong to do this ‘special event’ without doing it right – with snacks. That was all well and good until the next day when Wally and I were out for a nice hot beverage (to a place we’d been to before) and I was longing desperately for a baked good (like pleading for some rationale). I didn’t get one, but I did get a larger size drink to make up for it. There’s something wrong with the ‘spirit’ of that activity I think.

Later we decided to go out for lunch and indeed picked a new restaurant and I indeed picked something new to me. It was all good and we definitely felt the spirit of adventure (slight though it was). Then in the evening we had a craving to try something new (at a restaurant that of course I’d been to). It was an ice cream shake type thing. We went and tried and it really is only occurring to me now how ‘off base’ it was for us to convince ourselves this was within the ‘rules’ to do.

Let me address two things with all of these breaking of the rules. First, we don’t normally go out that often (we’re super frugal) but I had my first day off in a while and it was the most we’d seen each other in a week so outings like these seem to be how we roll. The second thing is that I sound wrapped up in my ‘rules’, yet totally unwrapped at the same time.

Here’s the deal: as I write about my ‘adventure’ I’m realizing that putting things to do in the ‘negative’ like: don’t watch t.v. for 7 days, and don’t eat blah, blah, blah, (and though I didn’t put it this way in the list) don’t go to any restaurants that aren’t new to you, we tend to look for ways around them or are naturally pulled to go against them. Even when they are worded positively, if we are not truly desiring something different we are going to find a way around it. Don’t get me wrong I really do want to change and try new things but some days are definitely easier to be in that frame of mind than others.

Even though perfection is far from me at this point I am learning more about myself and those around me by doing this experiment. I’m learning about resolve, motives, commitment, how difficult and even sometimes impossible it is to be ‘perfect’ all the time and always abide by whatever rules are laid down. I am understanding so much more about my faith (that sounds weird I know) but I’m talking more about the foundation of my Christian faith, about how following rules is just not how Jesus rolled. He was so much more about living by the Spirit and many times that meant breaking the rules. This is where things get tough though. On our own we can never really know when to ‘break the rules’, our natural desires are going to always justify the things we want. To really know when it’s better for us to ‘break the rules’ we need to truly seek direction – and that’s not easy, at all.

The world, and the religious system, is all about rules and following things by a line. There are laws to protect us, there are scientific rules by which the physical world lives, we hear all about what the moral way to do things is, but what about when those laws cannot be followed, understood or upheld? Sometimes we stick to them anyway, even if it hurts others or ourselves. Other times we do away with the whole system and live by our own school of thought. But every so often we actually stop and think about whatever it is we are struggling through and we look deeper, we ask questions we were always too afraid to ask and we leave ourselves open to debate. Do we always get the answers? No. Do we always need the answers? I don’t think so. Does it always matter if we go through this process only to find out we made the wrong decision - we trusted too much, we didn’t feel enough or we just made a stupid choice? No, and to be honest I don’t know that I really believe in the idea of making a mistake IF we learn something in the process and become better for it.

With all of that being said, I’m continuing my journey and perhaps at some point may try to truly follow the rules by the strictest of standard and write about it, but for now I’m going to continue to teach myself how to keep my resolve (re-reading them has been a big help) without constantly going from one extreme to another. We’ll see how that goes!

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