This week came in like a lamb and is leaving like a lion. Early on, we had very comfortable temperatures which allowed the luxury of eating lunch on the back porch, but now the air is cold, and the wind is furious. We’ve had yet another round of rises and falls, low pressure and high pressure trading places like it’s a square dance. This is the season of the sinus headache and the uncertain morning wardrobe. By Christmas, we don’t really know if we’ll be in shorts or sweaters. Maybe both.
We had visitors from Englewood Baptist Church out of Jackson who have decided they want to do a men’s retreat in the fall. A representative has come out to check out the lodging and meeting spaces to be sure there is the right amount of space and to plan for their programming. Dian has been the tour guide on these visits, and this week, our Englewood emissary came early in the week on one of the nice days. As Dian drove him around, she was able to keep the car windows rolled down (try that today). After they finished checking out the Alford Recreation Center, they discovered that there was someone in the car. A small bird had gotten in, and they had to shoo it out.
This week, Gary and Vickie have had lots of appointments and engagements that have required them to leave the office for a little while during the days. They have just taken off for their tour of family visits for the holidays. The camp dogs, Lily and Jock, have grown quite attached to them, and they have a strange and normally annoying habit of howling like a wolf at the full moon, whenever Gary and Vickie’s vehicle gets out of sight. It is a lonely, deep moan, full of longing, sadness, and melodrama. Often, someone will step out of the office to tell them to cut it out, and they stop then lay down, probably lost in thoughts of how much they miss their master.
It’s an interesting thing to me to think about what is going on inside animal’s heads–especially when they interact with humans. Sometimes you think that they know exactly what you’re thinking. Sometimes it seems like they are more intuitive than we are. I guess, in many ways they are. They tend to pick up on our moods, see better than us, and smell way better than us too. And, it seems like we often can’t get them to do what we want them to even when we think we can outsmart them, without a whole lot of work.
The buzz this week has also been about the end of the Mayan calendar which is going on as I write this post. We’ve all tossed doomsday scenarios around in the office. We’ve talked about putting our difficult work off until after the 21st, because you sure wouldn’t want to spend all day working on something drudgerous just to have the world end and your last thought be about how you could have just skipped it anyway, because what’s going to happen–who cares if you get fired the day the world ends? All the joking aside, you can tell that we are sort of curious to see if something is going to happen. We don’t want to be suckered into thinking something will happen that doesn’t, but we also don’t want to the dummies who laughed at Noah while he was building the ark.
I remember, back when I was in 7th or 8th grade, some scientist had predicted that an earthquake would occur on the New Madrid Fault line. He had predicted it down to the day. This fault line is the site of the worst earthquake recorded an the Eastern side of the continent. It is due to happen again any time. In our classrooms, we practiced earthquake drills. People stocked up on bottled water and non-perishable foods. A lot of kids were held out of school on the day the earthquake was supposed to happen. As, I’m sure you already know, nothing happened, and nothing has happened in the 20 or so years since then. I remember the headline in the newspaper read, “…the day the Earth stood still.” We are still due for that earthquake, but we learned a valuable lesson that day. People are bad at predicting stuff.
What’s worse, too, is the frenzy that can get stirred up over humble declarations. Maybe that scientist didn’t mean for his prediction to reach the masses and cause earthquake hysteria. Who knows who that Mayan, thousands of years ago, stopped the calendar. From the more reasonable sources I’ve heard who have talked about this say that the prominent points in the Mayan calendar are not necessarily predicting apocalyptic catastrophes. They saw it as a new era. The beginning of something new and big. When we hear that, we immediately think that meteors are going to rain down from the sky or a virus will spread creating a zombie uprising, just like the movie we watched for Halloween scary movie night. But, as I said before, look at the record. We aren’t good at predicting things. If you think I’m wrong, go to ESPN and see what the “sports experts” say about the NFL schedule this weekend. See how good they are at choosing the winners.
Or go even farther back to the story we are just about to celebrate. Read all the prophesies from Isaiah and the other prophets. Forget for a moment and imagine what you would think they were talking about if you didn’t have the luxury of knowing what happens later in scripture. The people of Israel expected a great warrior like David to come in and be king over them. They expected prosperity and freedom from larger, outside nations. They wanted someone strong who would lead them in battle; who would kick the Romans out; get rid of all the Roman taxes; someone who would bring God back into the Temple where he belonged to rule over the Israelites and punish the Gentiles.
On the day the prophesies were fulfilled, only a handful of people even noticed. Outside of some shepherds, some astronomers, an innkeeper, a jealous king, and a poor, traveling couple, it probably seemed like a very normal day to everyone else in the world. But, it was a day we still celebrate 2,000 years later. And, it didn’t happen the way we thought it would at all. Jesus didn’t slay the Romans. The Temple fell just after Jesus’ time on Earth, and it has not been rebuilt. The word of the one God spread throughout the world, not just to the Israelites. Rather than a powerful warrior, the revolution was one of peace and love that has the power to change lives in a completely different way. I bet no one saw that coming. So, even if today is the day the Mayans pointed out–one that will usher in a completely new era, I doubt we will even notice. It will probably not be the thing we think it is. In this time of Advent, keep yourself looking for the truth. It will change you in ways you can’t even imagine.
We at Lakeshore sincerely wish you all a Merry Christmas. This Week at Lakeshore will be taking some time off for the holidays, but I’ve been told it will return next year. Hope you get what you need this Christmas.