Walking on the Best Surface


Before my wife started having severe arthritis in one knee, we used to walk outside in the neighborhood whenever weather permitted and we had sufficient daylight. That allowed us to walk our miniature dachshund, Happy. Believe it or not, those short little legs did a great job of doing a full two-mile walk!

Unfortunately, I also have a problem that can make walking uncomfortable at times–never so extreme that I can’t walk, but bad enough to be conscious of while walking. And that slows me down. It’s been more of a issue since they paved our street a few years ago. The surface is hard, and each time I put my foot down I can feel the pain.

I do a lot of my walking at the mall now. Even though there’s concrete underneath, at least the top surface is covered with tile. Just a slight improvement over the street when it comes to reducing the pain. But even that slight improvement allows me to walk a little faster, and that’s good.

We recently joined the Y so my wife can swim. I go with her, not to swim–I’ve never learned how–but to walk. Our Y has a wonderful walking/running track overlooking the gym area. Sixteen times around equals a mile, and that eliminates a lot of guesswork regarding how fast I’m going.

 

 

The best feature of the Y’s walking track is the floor. It’s not spongy, but it’s definitely a body-friendly semi-soft material. Walking on it, I can do my two miles in thirty minutes without any problems. And without my pain being more than barely noticeable. Whoever designed the Y’s walking track to provide the safest and most pleasant walking surface knew what they were doing.

However, I know of one place that will provide even better walking facilities. and that’s Heaven.

The idea of streets of gold–that’s how the Bible describes Heaven as having–might not sound very appealing to walkers. After all, gold may be a very soft metal–especially pure gold–but would it be more comfortable to walk or run on than the Y?

I can’t answer that question from personal experience. But since the Bible assures us that Heaven is a perfect place– free from sin, pain, and all types of unpleasantness–I’m not worried about those golden streets. Since I won’t be bothered by my pain there, what difference will it make?

I’ll be too absolutely thrilled about Heaven’s perfection to even remember my former pain.

Do you have something you especially look forward to in Heaven’s perfectness? How about sharing a comment?

I’ll be back again next Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

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Guest Post: Art and Perfection

Anyone who’s failed to read the comments my good friend and former English student, Tom Donaghy, leaves on the various of my posts has missed some thought-provoking responses. He had this to say about my recent post, “Frustrated Perfectionist.” (I omitted his compliment. *G*). Take it away, Tom…

As for me, art and perfection are galaxies away from each other. Art is an objective pursuit, Art defies being classified as perfect or imperfect. Art: music, literature, painting, sculpting and other expressions of our soul are not easily fitted into a box to be given an exact score or number. Children’s art is an example. As crude as it may seem to adults, it is certainly beautiful and satisfying to the children who did it and the parents of those kids.

I find it hard to revisit a work after I have finished it. The moment something comes to me, with all its grammatical errors, obscurities and conundrums of thought, I rush to push it out. I work with it and wiggle the words around, the thoughts, and when it seems finished – that is it. I go back to stuff I’ve written years ago and try to twiddle with it and it is basically a complete rewrite, a completely different work. Best left alone.

I don’t get down on myself if the thing I wrote doesn’t seem to measure up to my opinion of good. There are great moments and others not so outstanding. Some of the things I have felt most strongly about others have sniffed at. I think this is because beauty is in the eye of the decider. This is why art is objective. I really do not think the Mona Lisa is the greatest painting of all time. Lots of other people more educated than I think it is.

In the past, I was very jealous of my work and guarded my writings from most eyes for fear of being misunderstood. It hurt to hear someone say in a blasé tone that a poem I felt strongly about was ”ok”. If I had to explain it then it felt even worse.

Art is such a personal endeavor. There are folks who have the right touch and make a gazillion dollars from their work. Others struggle mightily and get nowhere. It’s a tough nut. Best do art for the pleasure of creating rather than try to make a living at it.

~*~

Thank you, Tom. Comments, anyone?

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

~*~

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

The Perfect Perfectionist

If you didn’t read my blog post this past Sunday, let me say it was about my being a “frustrated perfectionist” in so many important areas of my life. Even though I do my best, I always feel I should’ve been able to do better.

You know what, though? Whatever talents I have came from God, and when it comes to creativity, He doesn’t make mistakes. He’s the ultimate perfectionist–the Perfect Perfectionist, you might say–and I can never match any of the things He’s made.

I wouldn’t begin to know how to create a universe. Not even to design one.

I used to marvel at what the biblical book of Genesis says about the days of creation and what God did on each of those days. Whether you believe those were twenty-four hour days or longer periods of time, God didn’t simply snap his fingers to make what He made each day.

He planned it out first. Don’t ask me how. I would have to be God to understand how He did it. If he hadn’t needed to plan everything, then He might’ve done everything–or could have, anyhow–in a single day. But not even the Perfect Perfectionist rushed the Creation process. He enjoyed designing and creating everything, just as we do when we do something that makes us feel satisfied.

God’s perfect planning and creativity resulted in the Garden of Eden and the first human beings–along with so much more. And He looked at it day by day and saw that it was good.

He’s so intelligent He knew He couldn’t force humanity to love Him–that wouldn’t be love. So He created free will, and Adam and Eve’s choice to use that freedom in a sinful way resulted in their expulsion from God’s perfect Garden–and in the introduction of sin into the world, not to mention death.

The biblical writer who said, “There’s nothing new under the sun,” had it right. When God created everything that we’re able to detect with one or more of our senses, He established patterns we follow throughout our lives. Not only does “every good and perfect gift come from above,” every good and godly idea does, too.

That’s why I tend to look at my newest novel or my latest song and think, “I didn’t write that. God did. I only succeeded at doing as good a job of putting it into human language as I depended on God’s leadership to do.”

Or as I’ve been known to say at times, “God wrote it. He did it perfectly. All of the mistakes and imperfections are mine.”

What about you? Do you believe mankind’s creativity is actually a reflection, as it were, of God’s creativity? Any other comments about this post?

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

~*~

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

Frustrated Perfectionist

For many years I’ve thought of myself as a perfectionist. A frustrated one.

But how can a person be a perfectionist without being frustrated? “Frustrated” almost seems to be redundant when used with “perfectionist.”

I’m reminded of that that every time I write a new song, make a new home recording, or write a new novel. God has given me the necessary talents to do those three things, and He’s helped me to grow in my ability to use those skills effectively.

Each of those activities requires constant practice, and I must not only accept the fact that improvement comes slowly, but that I will never be as good at any of those things as I would like to be.

What would it feel like to be the BEST–at anything? If I could just complete one project that didn’t leave me saying, “That’s the best I can do for now. I could keep working at it, but the additional changes and improvements would be minimal. Not worth the effort. Why should I settle for less than perfect, though? Don’t I don’t know how to do it better? How does it honor God to call it complete now?”

Whenever I read one of my old novels–published or unpublished–the imperfections that didn’t matter then wave a red flag in my face. As if saying, “How did you dare to think you were done with that?” When I listen to my home recordings of original songs, I almost invariably regret not having tried one last time to improve one part, usually the vocal.

Interestingly (to me, anyhow), I sometimes make minor changes to one of my songs years after I wrote it. Maybe I realize I changed the chord I used at a particular place. Other times I lower a note here or there because I can no longer hit the original note(s) (assuming I ever could).

And–this is a relatively new development–I’ve actually gone back and added refrains or bridges to several of my older songs.

Why did I do those things? Was it because my desire to be perfect–or to come closer to being perfect–took over?

I hope not. I hope it’s because my skills in a particular area have grown and I see those as places to apply them.

Will I ever outgrow being a frustrated perfectionist? Will I ever be fully satisfied with a project I call completed because I simply can’t do any better, no matter how much I want to?

I doubt it. But as long as God keeps helping me to sharpen my talents,  I can look forward to each new project and thank Him that it was better than the previous one. Maybe not in every way, but still somehow better.

What about you? Do you find it easy to let go of something you’ve done–maybe even a task at work–and put it behind you? Or do you keep looking for ways to improve it when quite possibly you don’t have the skills or the know-how to do better? How about leaving a comment?

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

~*~

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger