Friday, August 10, 2012

7 quick Takes Friday, #9

1. Having read about the situation with many olive oils not actually being olive oil, or not being virgin olive oil (as the bottle states) or not being 100% olive oil, I decided to look into something other than European oil, and came up with this stuff:

... which I love! It has a nice grassy taste that I have never experienced in olive oil before. My wife, however, doesn't like it. So... I don't have to share!

2. Speaking of my wife, she really, really wanted this prayer book, put out by the Melkite Diocese of Newton...

...So, when I heard it was only $35, I decided to go ahead and order it for her. She's happy. I hope she likes it when it arrives.

3. We're planning on having a tag sale tomorrow. It might rain. The house has been in major disorder for weeks, while my wife seeks out and prepares stuff from our closets. We're hoping to make some money and attain some space in our house. It will be nice to have the piled up stuff gone.

4. For those of you who care, and who didn't see the post of a few days ago, I reached my low-carb way of eating goal. It took a year and a half, but I lost the 40 unnecessary pounds I had gained over the last 15 or so years. I owe it all to Reader's Digest, Gary Taubes,

and the interview with him about his book, Why We Get Fat. He also wrote the more technical, Good Calories, Bad Calories. I haven't read that.

5. Because of the possibility of rain, my wife is conflicted about having the tag sale tomorrow, but I think we should go for it. I think the chance is only 50% and she'll deeply regret it if she doesn't have it and it doesn't rain.

6. So, Today is the Feast of Saint Lawrence. For those of you who don't know, not only is he a martyr who laughed in the face of death, but he may have saved the stone cup used by Jesus at the last supper, which is now in Valencia Spain, in an ornate setting (which Jesus did NOT use.) You can read this book all about it.

7. Now, get this. Some few hundred years ago, a deacon, I think it was, somehow dropped the Holy Grail and broke it! I was astounded to read that. It has been repaired, but I guess you can see the crack. The thing survived persecution and fire and multiple transfers for centuries, and then a deacon drops it! I don't know what happened to the deacon, but I do not think I would like to go down in history as the guy who broke the cup from Jesus' Last Supper!

On that happy note, have a wonderful weekend, and be sure to check out Jennifer's Quick Takes!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Goals and Death

Funny thing: About a year and a half ago, I set myself a goal to lose 45 pounds. On Saturday August 4th, I attained to that goal. And I'm pleased. And I can't say I've made this an enormous thing in my life. I have other goals too, such as to be more patient, kinder, more resigned to God's will in my life, etc.

But for some reason, I have begun thinking more of death, in relation to the accomplishment of my goal, in the sense that, it is nothing. I will die. I could die at any moment, or I could die many years from now.

I feel that I eat more rationally now, more in accord with how my body was designed, so even though I usually enjoy what I eat, I rarely eat food that could be considered inimical to good health (and therefore irrational.) I am not often eating food that contributes nothing to health and well-being, or may actually contribute to bad health. This is for me, a stewardship issue. I must not coddle my body, giving in to its every whim and desire, but I also must not harm my body.

So, objectively speaking, I have probably improved my health and extended my life: worthy accomplishments, but not the be-all and end-all of my existence. While this is worthy and good, what matters most is preparation for death and the judgment that will ensue.

God will not be pleased with me (nor will I be) if I have improved my body's health and extended my life by eating properly, while I have neglected other obligations, if I have failed morally, in justice, in charity, in humility, etc.

I am to die. It is good that I have reached my goal. It will be good to sustain my healthier way of eating. But I am to die, and I must not swerve from the goal of living in a morally "healthier" way, in charity, justice, resignation, and humility.

On another note, I have had very few long-term goals in my life, and there are very few short-term goals that I've attained to. I have aimed to repair our washer or drier or automobile at various times, and have succeeded. I have set out to write a novel and have done so. But in terms of long-term fairly important goals, there are few in my life that I have set, and few of those that I have attained. There are many major decisions I have made throughout my life, that I have unfortunately made without carefully discerning God's will.

In an earlier post, I wondered if it is useful to set goals, at least if they do not take into consideration God's will and plan for our lives.

Perhaps my new goal should be to more actively discern God's will and to work more assiduously to fulfill it.