Ponderings with Doug – May 3, 2019

Nick Saban had hip-replacement surgery last month after Alabama’s spring game. The hip bothered him for a while. He said he didn’t want to coach for one more year he wanted to coach for many more years. He needed to address the hip issue so he could keep doing what he loved.
Saban had complete hip replacement on Tuesday.

He was back in his office on Thursday.

He took one day off. He said that one day off drove him crazy. He didn’t understand how people could sit around and do nothing. He had to get back to what he loved doing. He did. He also took one day off.

My bride had cancer surgery on a Monday. She was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday. On Thursday, I drove her to Gibsland so she could go to the office. That one-day home drove her crazy. She can’t sit around and do nothing. She needed to get back to what she loved doing. She took one day off.

I love writing these articles. I’m humbled that you read them.

Preachers are our own worst critics. We critique sermons while we are preaching them. I preach three times on Sunday morning. By the late service I have mastered the message of the day. I have also changed the message so drastically that often people hearing it in the early service don’t recognize it in the late service. I have an opportunity to get it right. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don’t. I do have the internal quarterback clock, that if I see three people snoozing, I go straight to the benediction.

These little writing ditties have eaten my lunch of late. I have become predictable. You know what I am going to write before I do. Sometimes my editorial filter has missed things I should have caught. I have a zillion zingers that I have not used and still could. But who has been helped by a zinger or a gotcha? I admit I have soul-wasting-salvation-threatening weariness of the people in this town who are not held to the same standards as the rest of us. Denial and deflection are coping strategies in Natchitoches. See, my editorial filter should have caught those comments.

I am not a great coach or a sainted spouse, but I am going to take my own “day off” from writing. When I am boring myself writing, you must be practicing patient endurance reading. I’m like Richard Nixon after the California gubernatorial race in the early 60’s when he told the press, “You won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore.” Or like Douglas MacArthur as he left the Philippines, “I shall return.”

Nixon lied and came back into politics. MacArthur kept his word and returned to the Philippines. I am giving up publication deadlines for this summer. I will return when I can write something funny, illustrative or thoughtful. I’m taking a “day off” as it were. I have not been replaced or told to take a hike. I have quality control issues with the product I am producing.

The great theologian Steve Winwood sang, “When even you don’t quite believe you. . . that’s when nothing can deceive you.”

Some weeks, these articles consume several hours from rough draft until I hit the send button. I am going to give that time back to someone I love. Richard Rohr, in his book Falling Upward, writes, “It seems in the spiritual world, we do not really find something until we first lose it, ignore it, miss it, long for it, choose it, and personally find it again—but now on a new level.”

I long for more time alone with God and giving something up will allow me that time again.

Have a great summer! I’ll be back in the Fall.

For those who believe that everything is a conspiracy, the hidden meaning of this article is clearly stated in the first paragraph.

9 thoughts on “Ponderings with Doug – May 3, 2019

  1. I love your articles and have always, always, always admired your dedication. It is very hard having a fresh perspective every week by Thursday night at 10:00. You are my “writing hero” in many respects. I, like the others, will be waiting for the Fall! Enjoy your time off and know that you are needed to come back!

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, your time, and your talents with NPJ readership. You have a special gift for writing, but that gift is time consuming, no doubt. As Douglas Adams said, “I love deadlines. I like the wooshing sound they make as they fly by.”. It’s time for you to get your “woosh”. Wishing you and your family well.

  3. I’ve always looked forward to your writing. I am pondering right now, will you truly last til the Fall?? I don’t think you will be able to stay away. Lol. Enjoy in whatever you decide. I’ll be waiting.

  4. Not held to the same standards as the rest of us?? You need look no further than your own congregation to observe that in action,

  5. Glad to see you’re listening to your heart. I’m looking forward to fall and new inspiration from you.

  6. Enjoy your time with God and your family this summer! Will look forward to pondering in the fall when you return to writing again.

  7. Thank you for your inspirations of the past. Enjoy your time off. I hope that you find rest, rejuvenation, and the time with God that you are seeking. I look forward to what will come in the Fall.

Comments are closed.