“Crucifixion, seen from the Cross” by James Tissot
I don’t like milk, in fact it is my kryptonite. My wife knows this and when she wants to gross me out, she’ll leave a cup of milk on the table a bit too long and as the milk reaches room temperature my skin begins to crawl.
My hatred of milk started many moons ago when I was forced to dump out gallons of rotten milk down a slop drain at the grocery store I used to work at. I used to plug my nose as chunks of curdled and sour milk glugged out of the jug and headed down the drain. Needless to say this wasn’t my favorite job assignment.
One day I was pouring two gallons of sour whole milk down the drain when I noticed the drain not fully draining anymore. The curdled milk was starting to spread out across the floor. Hmmm I thought to myself must be something wrong with the drain and when a sour milk drain stops draining, the only thing to do is to continue pouring milk down in hopes that it will eventually start to work.
I poured the remaining milk down the drain and hoped it would unclog. Alas it did not and now I had a pool of sour milk spreading across the floor. Whoops better grab a mop. I headed over to grab a mop and in the process caught my manager’s eye.
“Hey Undem, something spill?” my manager said.
“Nope, just need to mop up some sour milk that won’t go down the drain,” I grabbed the mop bucket and made my way back to the drain.
“That thing stop working again eh? Well you best figure out how to get it cleaned out.” he said returning to his inventory report.
Oh crap, I need to clean out the milk drain. The thought of the milk drain made me throw up a little in my mouth. It was the probably the one job at the store I feared the most. I’d rather clean toilets or pick up cigarette butts with my bare hands than clean out the milk drain. That thing was absolutely disgusting, but there was work to do. I rolled up the sleeves on my white dress shirt and hung my tie up in the break room.
Thankfully, I don’t remember much about cleaning out the drain. My brain has blocked most of the images out of my head in an attempt at self preservation. All i do remember is that it was probably the most disgusting thing I have ever done in my life and it has since soured me on my desire to drink milk.
Recently I thought I would make an attempt at drinking milk again. So one evening I poured myself a nice talk glass of Kryptonite and took a small sip, and by small I mean a very small sip. The milk made its way across my taste buds, who in turn lit up like a Christmas tree alerting my brain that milk had breached the system defenses and evasive actions where needed. That one small sip was all I needed to confirm to myself that I still hated milk.
The next day i decided to try milk again, this time I would try while on my lunch break at work. I figured since I was no longer at home and in a new environment that maybe, just maybe milk would taste better. One tiny sip later and it was confirmed that I hated milk while at work too. It doesn’t matter where I am I don’t like milk.
As I ponder my recent milk experiment and it’s bearing on my life I can’t help but call to mind part of the Lord’s prayer, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. We all struggle at one time or another in our lives with God’s will. We fail to do what He asks of us or simply don’t like what He wants for us to do. Truth of the matter is if we don’t like God’s will here on earth, we aren’t going to like it heaven, just like if I found out if I don’ t like milk at home I’m not going to like it at work
If we truly desire heaven we must first learn how to do God’s will here on earth. I just hope God doesn’t desire me to like milk that may be kind of hard for me to swallow.
Today is the feast day of Saint Francis de Sales, patron saint of Catholic publishers and writers. Since he is one of my favorite saint’s I’d like to share a brief bit of his writing. I’ll admit his writing are a little easier to read than some of mine.
Check back next week for the next installments of “Forgive me Father” I should have a bunch of chapter ready to go, been a tab bit busy as of late. God Bless
From the Introduction to the Devout Life by Saint Francis de Sales, bishop
Devotion must be practiced in different ways
When God the Creator made all things, he commanded the plants to bring forth fruit each according to its own kind; he has likewise commanded Christians, who are the living plants of his Church, to bring forth the fruits of devotion, each one in accord with his character, his station and his calling.
I say that devotion must be practiced in different ways by the nobleman and by the working man, by the servant and by the prince, by the widow, by the unmarried girl and by the married woman. But even this distinction is not sufficient; for the practice of devotion must be adapted to the strength, to the occupation and to the duties of each one in particular.
Tell me, please, my Philothea, whether it is proper for a bishop to want to lead a solitary life like a Carthusian; or for married people to be no more concerned than a Capuchin about increasing their income; or for a working man to spend his whole day in church like a religious; or on the other hand for a religious to be constantly exposed like a bishop to all the events and circumstances that bear on the needs of our neighbor. Is not this sort of devotion ridiculous, unorganized and intolerable? Yet this absurd error occurs very frequently, but in no way does true devotion, my Philothea, destroy anything at all. On the contrary, it perfects and fulfills all things. In fact if it ever works against, or is inimical to, anyone’s legitimate station and calling, then it is very definitely false devotion.
The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them. True devotion does still better. Not only does it not injure any sort of calling or occupation, it even embellishes and enhances it.
Moreover, just as every sort of gem, cast in honey, becomes brighter and more sparkling, each according to its color, so each person becomes more acceptable and fitting in his own vocation when he sets his vocation in the context of devotion. Through devotion your family cares become more peaceful, mutual love between husband and wife becomes more sincere, the service we owe to the prince becomes more faithful, and our work, no matter what it is, becomes more pleasant and agreeable.
It is therefore an error and even a heresy to wish to exclude the exercise of devotion from military divisions, from the artisans’ shops, from the courts of princes, from family households. I acknowledge, my dear Philothea, that the type of devotion which is purely contemplative, monastic and religious can certainly not be exercised in these sorts of stations and occupations, but besides this threefold type of devotion, there are many others fit for perfecting those who live in a secular state.
Therefore, in whatever situations we happen to be, we can and we must aspire to the life of perfection.
We are now three weeks into the Year of Awesome and so far the year has been just that awesome. Even the weather has been awesome, but not in the traditional sense of the word, I mean awesome in the fact that I can now say I’ve survived a polar vortex, whatever that is. I just know they are awesome.
So in an effort to keep up with my year awesome, I decided it was time to see if my cycling skills were as awesome as I remembered them being. This year I’ve taken some time off the bike, not a lot mind you, but I’ve taken some time off. It’s been nice, I’ve used my extra time to take up knitting, (not really), basket making (not really,) and have donated some of my time to the rescue of dust bunnies from being killed by brooms (it’s a very worthy cause as brooms kill more dust bunnies in one year than any other cause).
What should my return to serious cycling look like? I thought as I looked upon my bike locked in to the clutches of a trainer. I fancy myself in pretty good shape so I decided take on one of the workouts I was doing while I was nearing peak form last season. I couldn’t have lost all that much fitness, I mean I’m walking a ton in my work for the dust bunnies and I have been riding at small amount. This has to account for something right?
The workout I chose to do was a Sufferfest video. I love these videos combinations of pro race footage, snarky onscreen comments, and good music make the hours fly by while on the trainer. Which for those who have ridden trainers know this is no small feat.
I was barely through the warm up when I realized the grave error in my ways. I mean I was still reading the workout instructions and my legs were already aching. Oh well I’m committed now soldier on there Danny Boy, Soldier on.
Before launching into the workout I had informed my wife and daughter that they might hear some “noises” coming from the trainer room. My daughter describes these “noises” as puking sounds and she’ll often ask how many times I threw up during a workout. While my family thinks these noises are of me vomiting, I like to think of the as grunts of awesomeness.
I was about 10 seconds in to the first interval when the first grunt of awesomeness exploded from my lips. I was gasping for air, legs burning, sweat running down my face and I’d only being riding for 10 minutes. I had another 52 minutes of this to endure….AWESOME!!
I stopped at minute 15 to adjust my bike’s seat. Comfort is key after all when suffering. I nearly bailed out at this point, but for some reason thoughts of my former glory forced me to once again throw my leg over the bar and climb aboard to resume the agony.
This workout features a 20 minute interval where that is does it’s best to mimic a hill climb. Now in the summer I love a good hill, they are some of my favorite things as a cyclist. Something about reaching me top makes me want to sing out like Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music. Simulated indoor hills, however, stink. You can climb and climb all day long and not end up at the top of the hill, No you end up exactly where you started. Not Awesome.
So I was about 4 minutes or so into my fake climb to nowhere when my water bottle escaped from my death clutch and landed just out of reach on the floor. Now I realize that during a race there is no stoping for a dropped bottle, but this wasn’t a race this was survival and survival dictates that one must be hydrated so I decided to retrieve the bottle as soon as the interval was over. An agonizing 16 minutes later my throat was as dry as the Sahara and I was grunting awesomeness every 2 seconds. I was miserable, but loving every second of it.
I got off the bike and headed out to fill up my bottle. When I reached the kitchen, my wife and daughter both looked at me with strange looks. I vaguely remember making conversation with them as I filled my bottle, but as it turns out instead of speaking intelligently I was merely mumbling and grunting loudly. Henceforth the strange looks and the cause of my daughter’s next three nights of nightmare.
I don’t remember the second half of the workout. All I remember is waking up on my bike as the credits rolled. My lungs were burning and my legs felt as it they had just seen a very large man with a hammer. A large smile spread across my face as I realized it was over.
It was in that moment I realized something very important. If I want to improve as a cyclist I have work to do and for me that’s AWESOME. Time to punch the clock.
Cold weather = editing weather. Chapter 8 now complete.
Here is Chapter 7 of Forgive Me Father. This one contains some great investment advice!
Enjoy and God Bless
Ahh New Years Day, my 245th favorite day of the year falling between March 15 and November 19. Simply Magical. This year to celebrate the arrival of my 245th favorite day of the year, I’ve decided to write a list of of the top 13.5 things I hope to accomplish in the upcoming year which I have dubbed the Year of AWESOME!!
Why 13.5 things? Well the answer is simple. I first took all the numbers in 2014 and added the together to get 7 then I multiplied by 4 to get 28 divided by pie (because it’s delicious) ending up with 8.917 since this a silly number I simply picked 13.5 out of a hat.
These resolutions/accomplishments appear in no particular order of accomplishment.
Number 13.5 Find a rock that looks like Abraham Lincoln.
I think it would be super neat to find a rock that looks like Lincoln. When I find this rock this year, I will build a special display case and proudly show my Lincoln rock to all those who visit my house.
Number 13. Wear this hat more.
Simply because it’s an awesome hat and it will look really good with a pair of mirrored sunglasses and a glass of lemonade.
Number 12. Run a 5k while wearing a cape.
Not enough people run wearing capes. Bonus, the flapping of the cape makes you appear faster
Number 11. Find out the true meaning of this saying.
Number 10: Plant a garden containing the following vegetables:
Carrots, heirloom tomatoes (so I can tell all my friends they are heirloom quality), peas, okra (cause I have no idea what it is), kale, and sweet corn.
Number 9: Spend more time dressed doing this:
Because coffee always tastes better while wearing spandex!!!
Number 8: Memorize the Nicene Creed
Number 7: Spend more time climbing hills on my bike.
Hills are awesome and when you get to the top you get go back down and climb it all over again.
Number 6: Build a bird house. They need shelter too.
Number 5: Figure out once and for all if soy sauce is effective at replacing lost sodium while racing.
Would finally allow me to use the stack of soy sauce packets living in my fridge.
Number 4: Dance more.
My current dancing style needs a little work. Although, my choice in dancing apparel is second to none.
Number 3: Eat more Raisin Bran
Number 2: Watch the sunrise while sitting on this seat.
Number 1: Work on becoming the person God desires me to be.
(This one may take a while)
(But don’t worry, I have help)