Monday Morning Confessional

Monday Morning Confessional February 3, 2014

I confess that I worked most of the day on Saturday this week. It was just one of those weeks when sermon writing took more time. I confess that because of this, Monday Sabbath feels like it has some urgency, so this might be a lousy MMC.

I confess that yesterday was the final day of my church’s capital campaign. We hit 80% of our overall goal, and ended up with a mortgage we can manage for the coming years. I couldn’t be more grateful this morning.

I confess that there’s still an inch of ice on m driveway because the snow shovel I bought in 1998 when Kristin and I bought our first house was not quite up to the task. On the upside, I’ve been wanting to buy a square bladed scoop shovel for awhile, so this is my chance. The capital campaign is over, so I guess I’m back to senseless consumption.

I confess that I read last week that J.K. Rowling has admitted that she probably shouldn’t have had Ron and Hermione end up together in the end. Her explanation was that she wrote the story that way not because it made a ton of literary sense, but because it was her original vision for the plot. It was the fulfillment of an early wish she had. Rowling admitted that she knew she could have easily have changed it in order to make for a better plot. I think that the movie has more to do with this than the books. There wasn’t great chemistry between the actors who played Ron & Hermoine. It’s a relationship that reads much better than it writes. But honestly, I think the romantic portions of Rowling’s books have never been compelling. It’s the Voldemort/Potter/Dumbledore plot that we all love. I guess I wouldn’t have minded if Harry and Hermoine got together in the end if it weren’t for Ron. If you scratch the Ron/Hermoine marriage part of the plot, they should all three just stay friends. My real problem is that I think Harry should have become the Hogwarts Headmaster in the end. I confess that I feel the need to apologize for the serious Harry Potter digression.

I confess that for the first time in history, I won our family Super Bowl pool. I confess that I am still basking in the glow of my hard fought victory this morning. All through breakfast I had to fight the urge to yell scoreboard. I’m just kidding. I totally yelled scoreboard… okay I didn’t say say a single word. The truth is that as the game wore on, my competitive children were so distraught that I was in the lead, we never officially declared a winner. I never got the chance to be a poor loser and rub it in. I think what’s really important is that I know I won. Although now that I think about it, maybe that’s not really very important. In fact, maybe there is nothing important about this at all… actually I think that’s probably the truth. There is absolutely nothing important about my winning our family Super Bowl for the first time in history. Competition is always such a disappointment.

I confess that football season is over for yet another year. Strangely, I’m not as disappointed as I usually am. I think I’m starting to become disillusioned with the pervasive nature of competition in our culture. The Olympics are coming, which usually gets me pretty excited. Daytona is one three weeks away. But I’m getting less revved up about huge competitions. Maybe it’s the gloating?

I confess that I am in shock to hear of the death of the Marlboro Man last week at the age of 72. He died of lung disease related to smoking. I confess that I wish someone would have predicted this for us, you know? Somebody should warn people about the dangers of smoking. I mean, he is the third such Marlboro Man to die from smoking related disease. It’s almost like there is a pattern or something. Has anyone else noticed this? …seriously, nobody loves nicotine more than I do, but

I confess that I actually am quite saddened by the death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I have often said that he is perhaps the best male actor of my generation, and he was getting better with age. Heroin and its strange connection to Oxycontin is a pretty horrible thing. We tried to get tickets to see him in Death of a Salesman last time we were in NYC, but couldn’t make it happen. It would have been fun to see him live. His characters in The Big Lebowski and Charlie Wilson’s War are among my favorites. Sad to see him go so early, and for such a senseless reason.

I confess that I was killing time before the Super Bowl, channel surfing, and I learned an important lesson. Apparently, I cannot watch the last scene of Mr. Holland’s Opus without crying like a baby. I will be forever grateful for the many teachers who have built into my life. I’m sure that most of them have no idea how much of an impact they’ve made on me. I often think of several of the great ones (Susie Campion, Bill Glassman, Andy Deckert, Ken Miller, Eddie B. Creer Jr., Carol Brandert, Jerry Suttle, Gerry Polich, Steve McCormick, Andy Johnson, John Knight, Ron Benefiel, and Tom Noble… just to name a few). I wish every teacher could have a send-off like that. God kn0ws they deserve it.

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