(Hurricane Ian was gentle with us. Let us keep power but took away our internet for a time. Now I’m able to process and upload what I recorded during the long weekend.)
Chapter 26, “Snakes, cats–I know you hate them all,” is another one of my favorite chapters because it’s one I didn’t “write” as much as I “transcribed”.
This part of the story appeared in my head, as quickly as I could type it. About 85% of the chapter was a surprise to me, and why I realized early on I couldn’t really make a full outline of the books because I didn’t know what was coming until suddenly I was tapping out the words. This chapter helped me realize there was a LOT more story that would take place later, which I hadn’t even begun to imagine.
Fortunately, I didn’t need to. When it came to those chapters, they, too, were downloaded straight into my mind for me to copy. I’m just not this smart or insightful.
Here are two more chapters! Not having school today let me get a little work done. However, since we’re in the path of a little storm called Ian, due to come over us tonight, it might be a little while until I get another chapter uploaded. Maybe we’ll lose power and internet, or maybe we’ll just get tons of rain and it will be a big nothing burger, and I can get another chapter done tomorrow.
We are well prepared, so no worries there. (Plenty of flashlights, water, chocolate, Crumbl cookies, and Dr. Pepper.) I just don’t enjoy the suspense of waiting to see what’s next . . . (So I record chapters in my closet which contain suspense of what happens next.)
“Had she looked to the sky, just once, she would’ve noticed the signs. But she was like everyone else in Idumea, rushing around here and there, constantly inspecting this and that, but never looking up. It was as if there was a drum in the heart of the city, pounding the same rhythm over and over again in a quietly hypnotic way: diSTRACTion, diSTRACTion, diSTRACTion. And she had fallen under its effect in record time.”
I readily confess the biggest problem in my life is distraction–not paying attention to the issues and people and needs I’m supposed to.
But whenever I look up, I’m suddenly grounded again.
This chapter took a long time to record, and coincidentally on the same weekend as one session I chaperoned our high school’s homecoming dance.
Not the same. At all.
But sadly, still lots of believers of cleavage. (And the way teenage girls dance? I was worried about parts of anatomy escaping their flimsy coverings. Fortunately there were no disasters, but I have seen a couple in the past. I didn’t want to.)
Here’s the truth about life: nothing will ever change except we, as individuals, decide to change it.
Waiting for the government to make things right will never happen. (Governments are notorious for making things wrong in the first place.)
Waiting for someone else to step up and lead usually means we sit wasting time.
Waiting for someone to order you to do fix something only leaves us feeling resentful at being told what to do.
The ONLY thing that changes the world are individuals who decide, on their own (and inspired by Above, I believe) to do something for someone else.
Help that person who is suffering. Quietly donate more cash to that family or victim or grieving person than is comfortable for you, because they are in greater discomfort than you. Take the time to listen, to fix, to make, to love.
Stop thinking about yourself, and lose yourself in the service of others.
(Does anyone really believe any government can do any of that?)
“Giving a little to those in need engenders a sense of gratitude and loyalty; giving too much, however, creates a sense of entitlement.
And after that attitude has been placed, you have a spoiled child who throws a fit whenever he’s not given every last thing he wants. He’s no longer devoted to his benefactors, but he’ll quickly follow whoever promises to give him more.”
Ironically, I recorded this chapter the day the White House announced their plan to erase $10k of student loan debt for each “poor” person. (If they can actually do that remains to be seen.)
I will uncomfortably confess that complete erasure of student loan debt would be an enormous gift to me, personally.
For more than 20 years we’ve been paying pittance on a student loan, money going only to interest. What we started with in 1997 has now quadrupled. We owe hundreds of thousands because the US Govt. has charged us 8.25% interest, compounding every second.
And although we’re in Income Based Repayment, the fine print of it means we’re not going to see “forgiveness” for many, many years still. For a school teacher and her husband who is a manager of a small store, earning a combined income of barely $100k (for about twenty years we earned only $55,000), that spells continued financial disaster.
I wish could just pay the original debt; that, we’d have a chance at conquering.
Not the nearly $200,000 in interest that’s been tacked on to it. There’s definitely room to rethink and readjust a very damning system.
HOWEVER, I see a much more massive disaster for the entire country if all student loan debt was “wiped away,” meaning shoved off on to everyone else.
The insatiability of many citizens to be handed more and more “freebies” is astonishing. And this unconscionable overreach of unearned handouts will turn us all into immature children, and just as incapable of doing anything of good.
It’s going to lead to the downfall of this country.
(For interest, read Isaiah 19 and when he writes “Egypt” replace it with “America.”)