It’s All A Showtime

The snow started later than predicted, but just kept a-coming down nearly the entire day, and you don’t need to knit your brow wondering what I was up, because you’d already surmised I would be out shoveling my brains out, but due to the cold, it was only in an on and off fashion. I’m sure to be back at it again tomorrow morning, and mostly due to what our snow plows had done in the night.

Once I was settled-in at office, I returned several emails, and then picked up the phone and called a friend of mine whom I’d not spoken with since before the first of the year. He’s not one who takes the initiative to call me, unless he’s not heard from me in well over a month, which has pretty much become the standard with a certain age group of people.

We had a good long chat which touched on various subjects, but what stood out from today’s conversation, was a glaring reminder that some people be they good or bad, are so stuck in the way in which they look at the world around them, it’s nearly impossible to change their outlooks, because I believe they must’ve been hard-coded from the time they came down their chutes. I couldn’t help teasing him when saying, “I used to think your bark was more penetrable until I suddenly realized you’re a prize specimen of petrified wood, so what appeared to be your outer later of bark, was nothing more than a cold piece of stone.” He got a good laugh out of it, but I’m sure he’ll be thinking about what I said. I did backtrack a bit when finally saying, “In spite of my failures with trying to get you to look at yourself and the world around you in a more positive light, I continue to see that little flicker of a flame within you, which gives me hope.” Yes, it was a good visit which should last us for another couple of weeks.

I didn’t want to go out shoveling until there was at least enough on the sidewalks to make it worthy, so I spent several hours cracking walnuts, which offered some really good time for an expanded session of personal reflection. While on the phone with my friend, I did mention how many quiet hours I’ve been spending with those nuts, and in spite of how tedious they can be, I’ve been able to do some really deep thinking about all the happening which had taken place this past decade, and now finally understanding it all more fully, because the missing pieces have been recalled and placed where they belong, so from here on out, if anyone should ask my opinion on it all, it’ll be a time-sequenced narrative containing no breaks or omissions. Am I thinking of writing a book about it? Absolutely not, because it would contain no plot, yet filled with beyond believable words and actions from many. Another reason it wouldn’t be a good read, is because there’d be no main characters, but rather a number of subs which appear for awhile, and then disappear, and then re-appearing once more without notice.

When I thought the snow had finally let up, I headed out to get my shoveling jobs completed before it got any colder. Oh my goodness. I couldn’t believe how being out in that wind for such short periods, would send me back inside to get my fingers thawed out. Over the course of the afternoon, I must’ve had to find a warming spot at least six times, but at least I managed to get it all done.

When I arrived back at office several hours later, I discovered my sidewalk was needing another going-over, so back out I went. I do try to keep that particular sidewalk even more clean, and only because the nightly patrons of that tavern two doors down, have a habit of compacting snow that’s in front of my office. I did notice today how much they prefer to throw snow-melt down instead of shoveling. Personally, I hate snow melt, only because I do believe it’s bad for our soil, as well as our streams and rivers. Yes, when our thaws arrive, all of those chemicals end up in our storm sewers, and subsequently the Winnebago River. Once all the shoveling was finished, I headed inside and made a deserving hot cup of tea which quickly warmed me up while reading today’s online news.

There was one long article which caught eye, which was all about the number of churches that’ve been closing their doors across our Nation, and by the sounds of it, it’s getting markedly worse since the pandemic arrived. According to the author, there’s not just one reason they’re closing, but a number of them which in the end, have a negative impact to where a given church closes. It spoke about how the moving away of children from home to go to college, and then taking jobs in other States, has been having a big impact on churches, because there’s no younger generation to speak of, to fill those empty pews created by members who’ve perished. I couldn’t have agreed more, because I’ve been seeing it a growing problem these past twenty years here in our City.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen a very many business people who’ve fallen away from their churches, and only because they’ve allowed themselves to become consumed by greed and self-interest, rather than taking an hour or two out of their Saturdays or Sundays, to come together with their familiars to give thanks. Of course I know several particular nameless men, who darken the doors of their churches, only to make the rest of the people in attendance believe they’re there to listen and learn, but unfortunately, it’s all a showtime containing no spiritual substance for them, which is why I’ve said in the past, “There are those who go to church for the wrong reasons, and others who have the right reasons to go, but lack initiative.” I can’t imagine what the percentages of regular church-goers in America will be, say ten years from now. It’s both troubling and saddening.

Unfortunately I had to make a quick stop at Fareway before heading home, and wouldn’t you know, I got button-holed by a guy who was trying to be funny, but very much not.

Tonight’s One-liner is: We are punished by our sins, not for them.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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