Saturday, August 11, 2012

Too Much Reliance on Technology, A Missed Mass, and A Question About My Tattoo

One lesson my boys learned today--don't always rely on technology.  We are on vacation in a city we've never been to before.  We tried to find Food Lion today to go grocery shopping (we are staying in a condo unit and prepare quite a bit of food for ourselves during the week) and we found one--but not the one that had originally been recommended to us.  How?  Relying on the maps app on my iPhone.  Now, we did benefit from finding an outlet mall and seeing nearly every business along the main strip in town, but we went a little out of our way compared with what we'd planned.  Then later we tried to go to mass.  First, we went to the old St. Bede's rather than the new one.  Then, we looked for the new one and missed it.  We relied a bit too much on the mapping technology when having an actual hard copy map and looking up where we were going in a phone book may have saved the day in both cases.

Since we missed the mass, we had a chance to make a slightly more elaborate dinner.  You can see what my 16 year old and I made together here.  He cooked the pork.  I chopped the pepper and carrot my from 12 year old's garden.  My 16 year old stir-fried the veggies and I added some parmesan.  The potato salad was store bought.  As we worked together and my 7 year old set the table and we all sat at the table together for dinner, I felt a sense of renewal.  We often eat together but with one person or another always getting up to get something.  This was a true sit down together dinner.  And the joy of cooking even extends to vacation.  It is a nice and inexpensive way to eat to save money to use on other things during vacation.

The missed mass led me to look up the readings.  I've been reading over the readings outside of mass anyway lately.  That doesn't make me better than anyone else.  It simply reflects my efforts to integrate my faith into the rest of my life.  It doesn't even mean I understand it any better than anyone else.  All it really means is that I take a bit more time to ponder about it and write about it.  It certainly doesn't mean that I have all the answers.  In fact, more often than not reading things over and over again means that I have more questions.

Still, when I read over today's readings, the Gospel is a continuation of the theme of Jesus as the bread of life whose sacrifice gives us the opportunity to have eternal life.  But what I find more interesting to observe this week is the first reading.  Interesting for two reasons.  First, it is a story of Elijah--1 Kings 19:4-8.  In this story, Elijah prays for death but interacts with an angel to prepare for a trip to Horeb. Elijah was given a hearth cake.  According to one website it is a cross between a cake and a biscuit.  Interesting--and another type of bread.  We now have (in the last three weeks) rolls, manna, and hearth cakes.

The other interesting thing is that after Elijah ate twice he walked for forty days and forty nights.  I never plan to walk or run that far.  I never plan to walk or run even 40 miles--26.2 is enough for me, thank you.  Although if we were in the metric system the marathon distance is not too much over 40 km.  So, it is, once again, a way in which God reaches out and speaks to me.  Even the 19:4-8 made me think of running.  As I have set a goal of breaking 20 minutes again in a 5K and 19:48 wouldn't be a bad thing to run.

Finally, I mentioned my tattoo in the title of this entry.  Someone asked about my tattoo today and commented favorably on it.  He said, as several others have, that I'll likely get more as they are addicting.  This gentleman indicated that he had 13 and that each tells a story.  My first tells a story.  I had a fledgling idea for a second that will also tell a story.  And it will begin with multiple breads.  Not necessarily the three breads from Bible stories of the past three weeks but definitely varieties of breads.  Once again, God communicating to me (although I am never sure exactly what is being said) in ways that are relevant and meaningful and touch my mind and spirit.  

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