Posts filed under ‘reflection’

blood drives, bbq, and team jacob

yesterday, the american red cross held a blood drive at my workplace. i used to think that the american red cross would be an awfully good cover for a secret group of vampires who masquerade as humanitarians as they live among us feeding off our donated bodily fluid. actually, i still think it is a good theory but the whole idea of vampirism has been tainted for me by twilight. in any event, i now routinely donate blood but not for the usual reason of saving lives.

first, giving blood is good preparation in the event you are injured and lose lots of blood. if i ever lose a pint of blood in a surprise bear attack or ninja ambush, my body will already be conditioned to function normally. which means i’ll properly soil my trousers.

next, it is fascinating that a part of me is now inside a plastic bag being stored in a freezer somewhere and even more fascinating that it might end up inside another person some day. even though red blood cells do not replicate and die fairly rapidly, there is a sense that donating blood immortalizes you in a way.

giving blood gives me an excuse to eat lots of meat in an effort to replenish iron. yesterday evening, i attended a terrific bbq dinner where i ate grilled chicken, a hamburger, steak, and a sausage. instead of shame, which would have been the normal reaction to such gluttony, i felt a deep satisfaction in the depths of my bones. perhaps the feeling was my marrow using the meat to make more blood.

lastly, every pint of blood donated undergoes numerous laboratory tests to screen out all sorts of horrible diseases in order to keep the blood supply safe. this occurs at no cost to you and the red cross will actually notify you if you test positive for anything. so a blood donation, at the very least, is a free blood test.

the red cross also interviews donors to disqualify people whose blood might be at higher risk of being infected. while this is a good practice to keep patients needing blood transfusions from being made more ill with donated blood, my donor interview yesterday made me realize just what a boring person i am. for example, i have not:

1) been to africa, south america, the UK, or eastern europe
2) had any tattoos
3) gotten any piercings
4) eaten any mad cow beef from the UK
5) exchanged sex for money
6) used any illicit intravenous drugs

so although i have many good reasons to donate blood, i hope that by the next blood drive, i can proudly answer that i am an interesting and adventurous person who has traveled to malaria-infested parts of the world and gotten tribal tattoos and piercings.

but my main point today is actually theological in nature. many people, when asked why they are not interested in donating blood, say that they don’t like needles, or the pain, or that they don’t weigh enough, or that they are training for a long distance race, or they are on team jacob. these are all valid reasons, don’t get me wrong, and hearing these reasons reminds me of jesus. jesus bore the cross, endured the pain, was worthy and selfless enough to not just donate, but give his blood, not that we could be cured of any earthly disease, but to cleanse our souls of the cosmic cancer that is sin.

and to back up my justification for eating meat after donating blood, one only has to look at luke 24:40-43, where after the resurrection, jesus appears to the disciples:

“When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.”

May 28, 2010 at 3:22 am Leave a comment

reading the paper can kill you

it is hard to enjoy anything currently. just this past weekend, i was at the pub enjoying a meal with a friend. as we shared in good conversation, little nagging thoughts occasionally popped into my head. just how quickly does second-hand smoke turn my lungs into tumorous blocks? is my burger cooked medium-rare infected with bacteria that will liquefy my intestines? have the land burning, communist agents working for the philadelphia parking authority towed away my car for an 30 second-expired meter?

i fully blame this prevalent worrywart-itis on the media. anytime you open up the paper or turn on the ten o’clock news, it is all doom and gloom. corrupt city governments are misappropriating funds, old men in suits on wall street are reducing your retirement funds to the value of last year’s laptop, and toxic cat litter is turning your kitty’s insides to concrete – the list goes on and on.

eventually, someone is going to find a connection between newspaper ink and skin cancer. and because we’re told that watching the television gives you glaucoma and turning on the car radio while driving means you’ll go through the pearly gates backwards and on fire, how will we ever learn about the dangers of newspaper reading? surely not through the interweb, which is filled only with pedophiles and terrorists.

as i write this, i am reading an article that documents how drinking, even in moderation, shrinks your brain. the pathetic scaremonger who performed this study clearly has nothing in life which makes him happy and is seeking revenge on the world by spreading his hate and misery. rest assured, drinking only affects your brain in the short term, and in that short term, alcohol is a magical and wonderful thing. benjamin franklin once said that “beer is living proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy.” in the long term, alcohol in all forms lowers the incident of heart disease and red wines are chock full of powerful antioxidants. so don’t worry about your brain’s cleverness and enjoy your glass of chablis, your ice cold martini, or your pint of lager.

unless youre drinking keystone light, in which case i might start believing that article.

November 16, 2008 at 10:14 pm Leave a comment

the answer

as i floated in the purgatory between sleep and conscious this morning, i had a dream that i was on the verge of a great discovery. it was a feeling of excitement as one reads the ending paragraphs of a gripping mystery novel, or hearing the punchline of a joke. but just as i was about to be enlightened, my alarm clock goes off, ending my dream and sending me pummeling into an abyss of ignorance once more.

i have never woken up more frustrated and i don’t even know the question to the answer i was so close to learning.

November 13, 2008 at 1:54 pm Leave a comment

planning

how much do you plan?

personally, i hate planning. attempting to anticipate the events of the future seems a bit futile to me, even bordering on hubris, and we all know what happened to icarus. ive heard it said that there’s no use in building the biggest boat when you can’t raise the tide, and that’s so true, it hurts.

but how about my decision making? don’t all my decisions point in a certain direction that i want to take my life in? for example, the choices i make at work affect my positive or negative standing at work, which determine which city i live in. and if i continue to live in philadelphia, there’s a very good chance that i’m committing to a grisly death by stray bullet fire or stab wounds. wait, now i’m confused about the chain of events that has led to me being killed to death.

no matter, because what i’ve learned remains the same. the harder you try to grip the control joystick of life, the more you realize that nearly everything is out of your control. when you, my faithful readers, learn this, you will look down and realize that what you thought was the control joystick of life is actually a slimy, wet, trout. and the harder you grip it, the more it will squirm out of your hands.

so man the rudders, but have faith in the current.

November 19, 2007 at 8:12 pm Leave a comment

david crowder band rocks

“Ever faithful
Ever true
You I know
You never let go

In joy and pain
In sun and rain
You’re the same
Oh, You never let go”

the david crowder band concert was pretty rockingly awesome. my ears are still bleeding from it but never have blood from my eustachian tubes felt so sweet.

interestingly, the song that meant the most to me was a song on his newest album that i wasn’t too crazy about, never let go. the lyrics above smacked me in the groin and face simultaneously.

like a mac truck hitting a startled deer.

November 9, 2007 at 4:24 am 3 comments

Metaphor

I recently talked to a good friend about what it means to reconcile a relationship. This question struck me as odd because I couldn’t quite put it into words. Anyway, I came up with the following.

Relational reconciliation is a balancing of two sides. When a relationship is reconciled, you and the other person have set a distance that will separate you from them, and reason why the distance was established as such is known to both people.

When you and your best mate have an argument over which is a better car, the Ferrari F430 or the Porsche 911 Turbo, reconciliation is pretty straight forward and easy: the Ferrari is better if you’re a drug dealer or a footballer, the 911 is better if you need a place to have a mid-life crisis. Both parties realize that the argument is a rather small gap to bridge and the distance between you and him remains small and doesn’t change much.

When you and your girl friend of a few years break up, a huge rift opens up. It is so large that you cannot see the other side and if you were to try to cross the chasm without some sort of bridge, you would impale yourself on the jagged rocks below. So reconciliation is deciding what sort of bridge will be built, how far it will span, and whether the chasm can be shortened.Just like building a bridge, this requires hard work, sweat, blood, and engineers. Because people are lazy and engineers in general have poor people skills and make poor company (just kidding guys, haha), reconciliation of this sort of more uncommon.

My metaphor only goes this far.

August 23, 2007 at 2:16 am Leave a comment

commute

Sometimes on my commute to work, I like to shut off my radio and just listen.

The gentle hum of my car’s engine, my tires on the rough Philadelphian back roads, horns from road raged drivers, and the occasional bird chirping. I am just another anonymous car flowing in a river of sheet metal, glass, and rubber. My destination is unknown to all around me but I drive purposefully, avoiding potholes and timing my braking and throttle to coincide with traffic light patterns. My knowledge that God knows where I am headed comforts me.

To Him, I’m not just another gray car on the road.

July 26, 2007 at 8:07 pm Leave a comment


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