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So, I thought I might give whatever reader base I have left a little glimpse into the mundane thought life of MVG. This is a good example of the kind of stuff I ponder throughout the day, particularly when I’m waiting for my roomate to get out of the shower so I can use it.

clock.jpgWhy is it that 12 o’clock noon is “p.m.” and 12 o’clock midnight is “a.m.”? It would seem to me that it should be the exact opposite. If 1-11 are all members of a.m., for example, why is it that 12 jumps to p.m.? It seems clear to me that 12 isn’t the beginning of anything new, but rather a continuation of the old, which would imply that 12 noon should remain with the a.m. crowd. Even though it is still the 12th hour of the day, if we call it p.m., in actuality it is the 1st hour of the afternoon, so it really should be called “0 noon” (unless we go by those misfits who use military time). So I propose that we start a revolution, that we rid ourselves of all our misleading and fact-distorting clocks and watches to replace them with timepieces that tell the truth. I propose one of two possibilities: 1 – we start calling 12 noon “a.m.” and 12 midnight “p.m.”, or 2 – we get rid of the number 12 on our clocks altogether and replace it with “0 hour” (“half past 0”, “0:15”, “I’ll meet you at 5 of 0”, etc). If you ask me, it is time for a change (get it?).

What does it say about me that I’m a more fruitful blogger during finals than any other time of the year? I’d like to say it’s because right now my mind is super fertile soil for knowledge and learning, but you’d probably all see right through that. The real factor, I think, is an unparalleled committment to avoiding the inevitable. It’s what allows me to squander 7.5 hours of potential study time in any given day. So this post is yet another attempt at convincing myself that AP213 doesn’t really exist, that the readings for Theology and Secular Psych were given in jest, and that two weeks from now all the professors will stand in front of us and yell, “GOTCHA!”

But anyway, I saw this news story on foxnews.com (see the story on its original page here), and have posted it below for your amusement –
Diana Duyser will never forget the day the Virgin Mary appeared before her on a grilled cheese sandwich … because she now has a tattoo of the scene. The Florida woman sold the sandwich in 2004 for $28,000, but on Friday, she had her Virgin Mary of the Grilled Cheese tattooed on her chest, WPLG-TV reports.

virgin-mary-grilled-cheese.gif“We all believe in certain things, OK, and this is what I believe in and this is what I want near and close to my heart and she’ll be there — forever,” Duyser told the station. The holy image appeared on a sandwich that Duyser whipped up nearly 13 years ago.

“It’s Publix bread and Land O’Lakes cheese — yellow, American — so you cook that without any butter or oil and that’s what happened,” she said. “I went to take a bite and she’s looking back at me.”

She kept it for a decade in a clear plastic box, where miraculously, it didn’t mold. Then, in 2004, she sold it in an eBay auction to a gambling Web site, Goldenpalace.com. The site paid for Duyser’s new $1,000 tattoo. They even trotted out the sandwich, in a bullet resistant box, to Miami Ink Tattoo Studio in South Beach, Fla.

Not everybody was so convinced that the still-mold-free image on the toasted bread was that of the Mother of God.

“I think it looks a little like Janet Jackson, a little like Michelle Pfieffer,” said Luis Hernandez, adding “I don’t see the Virgin Mary in there, no.”

Now certain grasps at faith I can at least comprehend. But why, WHY, do people find it so easy to believe in that which is exceedingly more absurd than the actual truth!? (and yes, I was intimating that the Truth can seem a little absurd sometimes!). Short answer would be that this kind of faith requires no personal responsibility, no change on the part of the individual. They can go on holding their grilled cheese close to their heart, getting grease stains all over their shirt in the name of God.  I mean, do we even know if Mary liked cheese???  Kudos, good saint, you have a greater “faith” than I!

WOW! I didn’t mean to delay this long in posting this 2nd part! Sorry ’bout that y’all. I actually wrote this a time ago, I don’t even remember what it says. I trust I still agree, but if it’s heresy, it’s just because of the errors of my youth…a month ago.

Due to the abnormally lengthy exegesis of the original post (at least abnormally lengthy for me!), I decided to split this into two; the first being the heady exegetical crap, and the second being my personal reflections on it. I do realize that I’ve titled this post “Me, Myself, and I-saiah 48″: scroll down to see the first post). So here’s where the Me part comes in.

This passage forces me to ask myself What happens when afflictions come? Do I remember that God has said, “Don’t be surprised when the fiery trial comes upon you, as if something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12)? Hmmm…now I don’t burn sacrifices to other gods or clothe myself in sackcloth or do any kind of strange dance rituals…at least not literally (my roommates might tell you I do dance, but there is nothing religious in this exercise…and nobody is supposed to see; I just can’t resist the hypnotic beats of Bananarama…and Mr. Mister…“κύριε ἐλέησον in the darkness of the niiiiight!”).

But I do find I seek solace in my gods and not in my God. I seek pleasure in the temporary things whether they be food, clothing, movies or anything from Target. I sacrifice money to these gods and I clothe myself in their ritualistic garb (Guess jeans, Polo shirt, etc.). I bitch and moan as if something indeed strange were happening to me, as if I were the only one in the world being afflicted (see my previous post “When the World Shrinks”), as if God had it in for me. In these moments I feel as if I’m being utterly destroyed, but of course I’m not: it’s this furnace of afflictions refining me. Then again, there is a sense of destruction involved in refining. Just as what is refined is never the same afterwards as it was before (having undergone a deconstruction-reconstruction), so it is with sanctification: it is progressive, and lessons build upon lessons, each time requiring that we must die to the self a little more. And I’m convinced that process never gets any less painful, although hopefully we grow in our peace and understanding of the pain.

So each time you go through a period like this, remember Isaiah 48: God is showing you something new, and He knows that you probably won’t understand the new things yet, or the means in which you must learn them…it is precisely that you don’t understand them that you have to go through refining. But don’t forget the prophecies of the past and how they worked out for your deliverance. Those past trials in and of themselves were blessings because through them God will remind you today or 30 years from now of who He is and what love He has for His children that He found it pleasing to enter into an everlasting covenant with us, that His anger might not burn against us.