An Expensive Pickup

When finding how slick the streets were early this morning from the light sleet coming down, I was later hoping there weren’t any fender-benders reported. I’d say what was on on our streets was as close to being that deadly “black ice” which has caused many serious and sometimes deadly highway accidents over the years.

My first order of the morning was to get to my quiet corner for my Sunday morning contemplative prayer session which lasted a little longer due to more temporal “gunk” in need of getting washed away. After finishing up, I couldn’t help wondering why so very many in our society have grown impetuous when in conversation or leaving messages on answering machines. Most would immediately point the finger at our younger crowd, but in these recent years, I’ve been finding it prevalent in our older generation which troubles me. It appears all the more are living in the now to were forethought and afterthought no longer exists.

Just today, someone mentioned something about “knowing” a certain thing would happen with another, and placing the blame on that person, when in fact that so-called “knowing” was precipitated by the one calling it a premonition. Hmmm. So when you go about fulfilling a prophecy, I wouldn’t brand it as any sort of psychic “seeing” into the future. It’s very much like saying, “I know Tom isn’t going to like me anymore.”, and then set about doing everything to make Tom not like me. Unfortunately most don’t want to reel back and delve more deeply into the cause rather than spinning out of control over the affects. As we all know, you taunt an animal long enough, it will bite.

My next morning duty, was to drive over to St. Paul Lutheran Church here in Mason City and play their vintage pipe organ for their 9:00 a.m. Service. With their social distancing measures now in place, today was the first time they had a Service in their church in months. It was very much condensed to the point where there were only three hymns played and only one verse of each. I didn’t realize until right before they started that it was being captured live and later downloaded on Facebook. In spite of being flustered by a call on my cellphone, I’d say it went relatively well. I’ve always enjoyed hearing Matthew’s gospel regarding the Magi which was the one being read today.

I’m adding the Facebook link to today’s Service just so you all can see first-hand what their house of prayer looks like. I’ve recently shared with several people my thoughts about the “spirit” which lives within that house of worship. You can’t see it or touch it, but I’m convinced it’s very much there. The reverence it contains, always give me cause to bow before the carved cross hanging from its ceiling.


Posted by St. Paul Lutheran on Sunday, January 10, 2021

It makes me sad their membership is dropping, but I guess that’s what’s happening with a very many of the main-line congregations across our Country. I’m now beginning to wonder if more of our younger crowd would attend if there’d be someone who’s capable of getting them started with contemplative prayer because as I recently read, it’s not meant to sway people away from their churches, but rather teach them how to deepen their own spirituality. If I’m not mistaken, I think there’s at least one particular church here that has someone who’s helping them promote it.

Getting back to the organ at St. Paul, one of their members walked up afterwards with his young daughter who wanted to see me which I considered touching. I did apologize by saying, “I just have to get used to not having a song-leader up here in the gallery as almost always in years gone by, I’ve had either a male or female voice leading the congregation in song.” I’m still in disbelief how thankful their members are whenever I play for them. For sure, all the years I played at another church, I rarely if ever heard words of thanks given. Oh well, that’s just they way some are.

As it stands, I’ll be playing for them twice per month until notified otherwise which is just enough for me. I really don’t want to go back to being on the hook every Sunday like I was some years ago at another. I’m of the belief that when such weekly free-will duties are placed on a person, it no longer feels like a giving of time and talent, but rather just another job. I’m sure many of you have also allowed yourselves to be pulled too deeply into something of the like.

After I left their church, I headed to my office to pick up a key to a client’s apartment building, just so to let a plumber in to check on some plumbing issues they’re having. Unfortunately he didn’t have the necessary part, so I’ll be back over there again sometime tomorrow. It never ceases to amaze me when tenants don’t alert owners regarding issues they’re having until they land on a weekend. Oh well, it’s just another example of people not thinking forward.

When I again returned to office, I felt like taking a drive in the country just to get the “stink” of our City off me. I know it may sound crude, but for sure there are all the many who find the weakest of excuses to go for drives. When heading back, I ended up behind an older gentleman driving an expensive pickup truck with out-of-county plates, and thinking out-loud, I said, “Oh Mr. grain farmer, you must’ve been so sick of being cooped-up on your acreage on this winter Sunday with nothing to do, so you told the Mrs. you had to drive to Menard’s to pick up a few things. Yea right.” As chance would have it, he turned off in the direction of their store. Too funny.

Let’s hope this coming work week will be a quiet and un-eventful one, as last week’s vigilante storming of Capitol Hill was enough to last me for years to come.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Exaggerated sensitiveness is an expression of the feeling of inferiority.

Joe Chodur

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