Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter… ©


I want to be able to reach it all, without getting up.

Getting up off the sofa is a chore. I have to hook a toe under the coffee table to get leverage. Thank goodness it is a nice heavy table my father made out of real wood, or my toe would tip everything on it off to the floor on the other side. Then I have to coordinate the toe lift with an elbow roll. Sometimes it takes two or three tries to get me off the sofa.

I try to put everything I need close by, all my books and magazines and newspapers and snacks and drinks. There is a table beside my sofa, and stuff piled on the back of the sofa, and stuff piled on the floor beside it. Still, it is impossible to have everything I need within reach.

So if something I want to read or eat or drink is out of reach, I read or eat or drink whatever I can reach.

It is not a bad approach to life: Do what you can reach.

It is hard, of course, to disagree with Robert Browning: “Ah, but a man’s reach must exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” I’ll bet Browning was not very old when he said that, though. When you get old enough, your reach and your grasp are pretty much the same.

I used to have a long reach. People asked me to get things off high shelves for them. Like civil rights, and forgiveness, and world peace, and better relationships, and freedom from addiction or abuse. I reached, and sometimes I was successful. Often, though, the reach exceeded my grasp.

A rotator cuff tear and consequent surgery have shortened my reach. I still try to grasp things on the high shelves, but I am more realistic about how far my arm will go. An end to world hunger is not within my reach, so I try for helping out on local hunger. 

We old people cannot reach everything we used to, and we cannot get up as easily to go to where the stuff is, either, but we can reach some stuff, and we can get up sometimes.

It’s not a bad approach to life: if you can’t reach the stuff you want, want the stuff you can reach.

John Robert McFarland

Yes, I know I promised to stop writing for a year while I try to be a real Christian instead of just a professional Xn. But this isn’t very professional, is it?

The “place of winter” mentioned in the title line is Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [The UP], where life is defined by winter even in the summer! [This phrase is explained in the post for March 20, 2014.]

I tweet as yooper1721.

Katie Kennedy is the rising star in YA lit. [She is also our daughter.] She is published by Bloomsbury, which also published lesser authors, like JK Rowling. Her new book, What Goes Up, comes out July 18. It’s published in paper, audio, and electronic, and available for pre-order even now, from B&N, Amazon, Powell’s, etc.

Speaking of writing, my most recent book, VETS, about four homeless and handicapped Iraqistan veterans, is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BOKO, etc. It’s published by Black Opal Books.

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