‘Nother Nativity Joke

A small boy forgot his lines in the Sunday School music and drama presentation. His mother, sitting in the front row tried to prompt him, gesturing and forming the words silently with her lips, but it didn’t help. Her son’s memory was blank.

Finally she leaned forward and whispered the cue, “I am the light of the world.”

The child beamed with acknowledgment and in a loud, clear voice so that everyone in the congregation could hear said, “My Mommy is the light of the world.”

Grumpy old woman? I hope not.

I recently found out that my Wii-fit age is 5 years younger than my actual age and a whole ten years younger than David’s Wii-fit age.  Ha, ha! Ha ha! That makes me feel really smug. Sweet revenge for the fact that  his ‘Brain Training Age’ is alot younger than mine. But how old am I really?

Well I’m the same age as David (best beloved husband)… almost.  Conveniently, we were born on the same day in the same month. Unusually, we were also born in the same year. But here’s the thing: I am more than 24 hours older than him.

(If you can’t work out how that’s possible, drop back in a week’s time and I’ll have added the answer to the bottom of this post).

Sharing a birthday and being the same age does makes life simpler. No chance he’ll forget my birthday and it’s one thing less think about when the bank asks you all those security questions. Annoyingly though we are not ageing at the same rate, at least parts of us aren’t.  I can’t read a thing now without my reading glasses and even with reading glasses I still have to ask him to decipher the very small print on the back of food packets. Actually mostly I don’t bother asking him but now that he has realised I’m not reading the instructions his confidence in my cooking abilities has taken a dive. The happy side effect of this is that he now does more of the cooking than I do!  Yippee!  This is not my only ‘convenient’ ailment – my hoovering arm is also pretty dodgy and the sight of a tax return dramatically lowers my (already very low) mathematical ability.  Needless to say, I rely on him alot so perhaps I shouldn’t be so rude about his brain age.

Allegedly it was Bette Middler who said ‘Old age is not for cissies’. I’m not old yet but just the average helping of middle age aches and pains is teaching me that an uncomplaining, cheerful spirit might be the most essential characteristic for growing old gracefully. Lord, I’m going to need a lot of help with that!

I like the joke  about the good fairy.  A couple in their sixties reached their 40th wedding anniversary and a fairy comes along to grant them both a wish.

‘I’d like to go on a round the world cruise with my husband’, she said (generous, loving wife). Whoosh! The fairy waves her wand and there were the cruise tickets for two.

‘I’d like a wife thirty years younger than me’ said the husband (meanie).  Without a moment’s hesitation ‘Whoosh’ the fairy waves her wand and instantly the man is 90 years old.  You gotta love that fairy!

Today my good friend Ruthli reaches her half century. Happy Birthday Ruthli!  Over the years we have run together, skied together, flung ourselves down suicidal toboggan runs together and cycled half of England together. Heaven hold back the day we get old together – Ruthli would want to race me on our zimmer frames and she’d probably win!

P.S. The reason I am more than 24 hours older than David even though we share the same birthday is that I was born thousands of miles to the east, Indonesia to be precise. But you’d worked that out, hadn’t you?

The ‘God’ Particle

My alarm clock radio woke me this morning with the news that scientists would today be attempting to re-create conditions at the start of the universe. Hmm, human beings re-enacting the ‘big bang’? Sounds pretty dodgy to me, let’s hope they know what they are doing.  What if they end up with a whole new universe on their hands? Responsible procreation is usually called safe sex. I’m wondering if this is safe science? Apparently detractors have raised concerns that black holes could be created that would swallow us up. How ironic, to meet our end whilst investigating our beginning!

Researching this subject just out of interest I have learnt that a ‘new era in particle physics’ has dawned today in the Large Hadron Collider somewhere near Geneva. In a 17 mile underground tunnel beams of protons have been made to whizz around at incredibly high speeds in opposite directions. When these collide something known as an ‘event’ occurs. The word ‘event’ rather implies a uncertainty about what is actually happening. Anyway they are experiencing these ‘events’ at a rate of 40 per second which is apparently very good.

I should blinking hope so. With a price tag of $10 billion for this project these are pricey events to stage. Obviously finding to the so called ‘God particle’ doesn’t come cheap. This is a particle that will help scientists understand why matter has mass. Forgive my ignorance but it surprises me that we don’t already know why matter has mass. And if we don’t know something so fundamental, then what else don’t we know?

 It reminds me of a joke. Two biologists come to God and announce that they have discovered how life evolved on earth. They announce that they too can now create a human from the dust of the earth.

‘Very good’ said God, ‘why don’t you demonstrate this for me’

‘Okay’ they said ‘First we take the dust….’

‘Oh no, no, no’ said God ‘Go get your own dust!’

Jesus is Coming. Look Busy

The slogan above was on a greetings card bought me by a friend. Clearly it had amused her enough to buy it and it certainly amused me. I like anything that knocks our sense of self-importance for six.  And this slogan is clearly tapping into the guilty consciences of those driven by the protestant work ethic, the belief that come the end of the world things will obviously go much better for us if we have been industriously employed at some highly ethical world improving scheme. Woe betide the slacker found down the pub, the bingo or the loitering with intent in the shopping centre.  As for those floating about on a cruise ship…. 

The trouble is there are a couple of parables that Jesus told that do make us think that ‘busy equals good’. The rich fool who said to himself ‘Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry’ popped his clogs that very night (Luke 12:19) the servant who got tired of waiting for his master’s return and began to beat up the other servants he was meant to be caring for, came to a very nasty end.  (Luke 12:46) Then there were the 5 foolish virgins who didn’t keep their lamps topped up with oil and weren’t ready for the Bridegroom’s arrival.  So clearly being ready, waiting and expectant would be a very good thing.

But is that the same as being ‘busy’?  The problem I have is that sometimes some very  ‘busy’ people can be really quite obnoxious. You ask them casually how things are going and even though they give the impression of being clearly too busy to stop and talk to you they treat you to the full version of their weekly planner and you rather wish they hadn’t. ‘I’m very busy’ can sometimes be a short-hand for ‘I need you to know how very important I am, if I don’t keep on top of things the world might stop turning’.

Mea Culpa.  Forgive me. I’m sure there have been times when I may have given off such horrible ‘busy’ vibes. Which is why the card amused me. It pokes fun at the ridiculous notion that me, on my own, all by myself, might actually change the world.  Does that seem negative and defeatist? Am I just a lazy slacker?  I don’t think so. 

I’ve been mulling over the passage in John 15 about being a fruitful person. One very short phrase stands out to me at the moment: ‘Apart from me you can do nothing‘.  Nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. Nothing, in other words ‘no one thing’.  So that debunks the notion that Jesus has gone away and left me to attempt some great world changing task all by myself.   I am, of course, only meant to be busy getting connected to God. Once that connection is secure, a fruitful life is a promised inevitablity. You never see a fruit tree going red in the face trying to produce apples, it just sits there sucking up all the goodness from the soil and absorbing all the warmth from the sun and bingo! apples galore.

Someone once gave me a brilliant definition of prayer: prayer is just like sun-bathing. You bask in the sunshine and you are gently transformed (assuming full Factor 40 protection! Okay, the analogy isn’t perfect!) Anyway prayer (son-bathing?)  is meant to be putting yourself in God’s presence and letting him do the transforming.  The simplest prayer may be ‘What shall we do today, God?’