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August 15, 1998
a year ago

Cool, Busy Saturday

The past three weeks, nearly, have all been hot and bright and sunny. Last night was nice and lazy, as predicted. We stood outside for much of the twilight, talking about beer brewing, the history of our Land Rovers, the history of the house, and stuff like that that Dan was interested in hearing from and about us. That was good. As we stood there, the wind started to blow, sounding the wind chimes, and the clear, clear sky started to show cloud cover. John and I agreed that it really felt like it was going to rain, so he put the Stoat into the one horse barn, while I made dinner. Well, kinda.

I ordered a pretty simple pepperoni and onion pizza from Tony Maroni's, one of the better pizza delivery places around here. They have a good crust, a better than bland sauce, nice cheeses, and really, really nicely savory pepperoni. John thanked me for doing the cooking, said it wasn't quite as good as when I cook, but the money for effort thing was a good tradeoff.

When we woke this morning, it was to the sound of rain. Steady, slow, constant rain. It was sooooooo nice to have that sound again, and the scent of water in the air.

I'm presently procrastinating as I have to write a sharing thing for tomorrow. Today was mostly taken up by food. Food for the work party at church, as in the morning of a Saturday a month, a bunch of volunteers go around the church grounds and make things better. Sometimes it's a part of the church, sometimes it's garden work, sometimes it's picking pine cones off the parking lot. All kinds of small things that the building and grounds need to look nice. And someone brings them all lunch. This time it was the Diaconate Board's turn to do the lunch duty and I got to bring sandwiches.

Being a complete yuppie, I had little to no sandwich makings at home, so ran to the grocery store, bought sandwich makings and then went to the church to cut tomatoes, lay out pre-sliced meats and cheeses and set out breads I bought right then. All ultra-fresh. There were only eight other people. So I had more than enough, but they liked it all well enough. Ate about half of what I brought, so I improvised ways to carry things home, and then visited Trader Joe's and the grocery store again on the way home to get stuff for our week.

Lots of stuff.

So it was well past 2 by the time I actually made it home. It hadn't rained at all while I was out, and while it was still overcast and cool out, it wasn't wet. It was nice. I'd had a sandwich with everyone else, so had no problems with hunger. But I had no real plans, either, though John and I had been invited to a Choir picnic, I really didn't feel like doing it as I was still grumpy in general, and John really wanted to work on patio things. I still had to get everything ready for tomorrow, and of the food I'd gotten, I'd gotten stuff to make a spinach and stuffing chicken ballentine for Sunday, probably, and enough stuff to do a wild mushroom and scallop lasagna with scampi on the side. The grocery store had a special on black tiger prawns and I couldn't pass them up.

I have to admit that I was feeling bad enough that I really, really didn't want to be doing deacon stuff, too. Really, really self-centered at the moment, and I don't like the feeling, much, but there really is something tugging hard at me to take care of me, first, or something is going to just explode. I'm not sure what, and I really, really don't want to know.

Yeah, lots of 'really' in that paragraph, so I might be trying to convince myself of something. So I keep double guessing myself.

Anyway, while I was gone, Johanna, an old friend of mine from Callahan's called. John answered the phone and she had the evening free, so he invited her over for dinner. That'll be good. It just really means I have to get my deacon's sharing done, and it's on discipline. Hebrews 12: 1-13, about how God disciplines His folks the way a good father disciplines loving children, sets rules and guides in the same ways because He loves them. Which... uhm... okay, I may be too literal here, but if all people are God's children then why are the kids without parents or earthly discipline not getting it instantly from God? That's like way too literal, likely. I mean, I don't see that discipline happening. Especially to folks that do really awful things in the name of God and the Church.

Where are those bolts of lightning when you really need 'em?

Uhm. Yeah. I think this is what I meant about being in 'that kind of mood'. Not useful or survivable in some states. Some of them right near here.

Anyway. It's a lot more plausible to take it metaphorically, but then I'm just running into this head-on. Feynmen did this excellent treatise about the difference between science and religion. That as a scientist one learns about uncertainties, about the probabilities and what cannot be known. With religion, people go to them for absolutes, for black and white answers that can always be answered and are answered for them with absolute authority. With religion, the Truth is the Truth, and doubt is a fault, a flaw. With science the truth is always under attack, always tempered some doubt, an open possibility that something we have not yet observed may change what was once thought true.

I hadn't ever thought of it that way. But then I've never been able to accept the Truth without Doubt that most religions have tried to shove into me. Everything, for me, can be questioned. Must be questioned, or how else can it be shown as valid? My only survivable option I've taken, which is to get into a religious environment that accepts doubt as a part of faith.

So. It seems I have a fundamental flaw with this religion thing; and now that I have some idea what it is, I have no idea what I'm going to do about it, as I'll likely just keep agonizing.

I think what I'm actually going to say will be more along the lines of discipline being hard work, and not always fun, but nearly always rewarding in a fulfilling kind of way in the long run. That 'discipline' is a dirty word for most software folks, that they are in it for the creativity, for the fun of being able to change everything with a killer week's work and they end up with code they'll just rewrite if they want to change it again later. But that discipline is what makes large projects possible. Like sticking to designing before coding, making it possible not only to write the code in a day, but further changes can be slipped in in a matter of hours, not another week's worth of coding frenzy. Also that reality and God and the ways things are set up does reward discipline in the long run, staying within some strictures and even some written down laws; but like the Bible, these strictures and recommendations or even handed down commandments need to be looked at to make them relate to what is actually being done.

Hey. Software and Religion.

Yeesh, who else woulda thunk it?

Eh. Best crack the whip and use some of that discipline stuff and get the thing written.

See ya.

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