In A Movable Feast, Ernest Hemingway’s brilliant memoir of his years in Paris as part of the “lost generation,” the author makes an astounding statement. Actually, the entire account is full of astounding statements because it is, after all, Hemingway.
At one point, he is held captive by F. Scott Fitzgerald, whom he refers to simply as “Scott.” I say captured because Mr. Fitzgerald (which is how I refer to him) was apparently a hypochondriac and subjected Hemingway to all manner of silly requests and feigned emergencies. At one point, the author says,
“I was getting tired of the literary life, if this was the literary life that I was leading, and already I missed not working and I felt the death loneliness that comes at the end of every day that is wasted in your life.”
Of course you know better. You’ve read all the books. You’ve taken the courses. You’ve been involved in failed project after failed project.At a deep level you know that when your project is hopelessly behind, adding staff will not help. In fact, it will probably hasten its demise.You also know that it doesn’t matter. As a manager, you can’t watch your project crash and burn and do absolutely nothing about it. You have to do something, even if it’s wrong. And it usually is.
I remember well the day I found out. It was a Monday in April. Or was it a Tuesday in May? No matter. I’ll never forget it. The year was 1976 and I was attending an Air Force technical school in Biloxi, Mississippi and my graduation date was looming. Graduation dates always loom. They never approach, they never draw nigh, they don’t even sneak up on you—they always loom.
I have regrets. Lot’s of them. I would love to go back and change stuff. Lots of stuff. Every sinful action. Every stupid decision. Every insensitive comment. I regret them all.
Whenever I read or hear a celebrity say “I have no regrets,” I cry “Balderdash!” I probably use another word, but why add to my list of regrets?
As a follower of Jesus Christ, I never tire of hearing the story of the resurrection. It’s the story of my salvation. Without the resurrection I have no hope and my life has no meaning. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:17-19 that “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.”
When I was in growing up in the western part of Hobart, Indiana, I didn’t have many friends. There were a couple of kids I more or less hung out with, but my only real friend at that time was my brother Artie. It’s odd how you never think of your brother in those terms when you’re growing up, but we were together all the time, having fun, being silly, wholly dedicated to driving our parents insane.
There’s a new auto maker in town and it’s taking the country by storm. LMW (Lemming Motor Works), whose namesake is the legendary suicidal rodent, is poised to introduce a complete line of cars this fall that should give the Big Three automakers (Hyundai, Honda, and Toyota) a real run for their money and hopefully, for them at least, with lots of your money. LMW has been laboring for the last five years, has run through millions of dollars of venture capital, and twice before suffered through abortive attempts to roll out an economical line of automobiles, only to be plagued by poor design, even poorer workmanship, and devastatingly bad financial decisions. At one point this analyst even suggested that the car maker might be intentionally self-destructive.
I purchased Ragman and other cries of faith a few years ago. At the time I was searching for good, Christian authors not named Lewis, and happened upon a review of a book written by Walt Wangerin, Jr. Wangerin is a Lutheran pastor presently teaching at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana. For many years, though, he pastored an inner city church in Evansville, Indiana.
Wangerin sounded like just what I was looking for, so I ordered Ragman and read the title story, which also happened to be the first piece in the collection.
I didn’t like it. It’s a short allegory about Christ’s substitutionary atonement, and I didn’t like it. As an allegory I thought it was too heavy handed and clumsy. It was obvious. Maybe even a bit corny. So I put the book away, sorely disappointed.
In the late 1980’s when our family was living in New Mexico, I spent a lot of time in Colorado, either at Space Command Headquarters in Colorado Springs, or at the IBM facility in Longmont, which was just down the road from Boulder.
It was at this time that I learned what wonderful vehicles rental cars are. You can do things in a rental car that you wouldn’t dream of doing in your car. I’m not sure exactly what makes them different, but it is a fact.