Trick or Treat?

Having opted for a jaw with a dear friend while I was stretching my back, and deciding to get some Bible study in before heading out, I leave late for my constitutional walk this morning. Tending still in the direction of imagined ‘efficiency’, I assemble the garbage and opt to enjoy Former President Carter’s company on my iPod. Last walk I’d stopped off somewhere at the end of Chapter 1 in Our Endangered Moral Values, so I stop in the garage to retrieve it. I can’t unlock the car. The remote key or the actual one does nothing. Suspicion tells me I left the lights on but my conspiracy theorist wants to take me on a journey that begins with Big Brother turned it off because they haven’t yet logged your late payment and ends somewhere with me fantasizing about towing the car in and asking what it would cost me to break the lease agreement. Will continue after class. This blog was intended to be about having patience and not just the appearance of it.

After class I lost access to the server where class notes are stored. Today, someone came to fix it. I’ll paste the notes I took and maybe / maybe not come back to add to the discussion.

What do YOU want?

  • I want to be successful to be able to live on my own, to be able to pay bills on my own, be able to accomplish my goals in life and be the best I can be.
  • I want to be happy. To be able to do, have, and give what I want. It includes a lot of stuff, it can include being successful, a good son, husband, student, and to accomplish every goal I have.
  • I want to be financially stable. In more control of my spending habits and learn more about how to establish a financial base within the stock market and be able to build my foundation as an individual.
  • I want to be successful in what I do and have a good career, to be proud of what I’m doing in life, helping others. I want to wake up one day and not be negative and not wish I would have done this or that, forget about the past and just keep on going with what I’m doing today not focusing on what I didn’t do. I struggle with that a lot. I go to the past and beat myself up for something I didn’t do.
  • I want to be successful, not like rich and stuff, but get by and not have to struggle but I want to struggle to learn, to prove people wrong who think down on me.
  • I want to leave an impact on the world. I want to be someone that changed a person or a group of people, like their views on life, positively. I’n not talking about fame, but influence.
  • I want to be successful like rich and look back and see what I accomplished and prove to others who said I couldn’t but did, not to take the easy road but to take the hard road but because in the end it will be satisfying.

This is how we arrive at the freewriting topic for the day: What in your life is working toward that vision and what in your life is working against that vision?

This all came about as a result of my giving up. The best, most powerful classes always do. So, in surrender, I ask Jesus what He wanted, though I directed my attention to the students while doing so. Their answers are as follows:

I prefaced my question with something close to the following: I know that one way to cultivate patience is to suspend my will, get my mind off outcomes. The problem is I’m really just two years old: I want, I want, I want.

What I want for you is to know what you know and how to find out what you don’t and how to ask for help when you need it. Those are noble goals but for the next five minutes, I am going to suspend my wanting them and ask you, What do YOU want?


Three more students stroll in at this point I catch each of them up on the process of where we are in the learning cycle of the class and continue writing. It is 11:30 and the team that was scheduled to teach has only one, self-avowed unprepared person present. I propose freewriting until the partner arrives but getting even to that and through it has taken this much time.

Their answers in larger discussion give me ways to talk about creating effective thesis statements, interrogating your writing, polishing your thinking through writing and vice versa, loving the mind you were born with and giving it every advantage, not settling for the limits education would have you wear like a crown and so much more. In the end, giving up makes room for possibility. Parker Palmer would’ve been proud of me light and shadow sides did a mean cha-cha.

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