Извините, мой русский очень простой

In high school I took Russian when I probably should have been in shop class. The way my schedule tracked, I was constantly faced with the false dilemna of “working with my hands” or “working with my mind.” I wanted to be the first in my immediate family to go to college, so I did what the school counselors advised.

In undergrad, I double majored in Philosophy and English (with a concentration in Literature). Just the other night I was complaining to my wife that I probably should have chosen a concentration in writing – as if in those few minutes at the registrar’s desk I had utterly misjudged what I would be doing the rest of my life.

You could say mistakes were made. Or, another way of looking at all of that is to say that everything happened just as it should have, because I am where I am, I know what I know and I do what I do.

This morning I did some much-delayed workbench maintenance as the sun rose over the Eastern horizon. Then drove to my office and wrote a sermon. Just after finishing that sermon I wrote this blog post. Those things are never separate for me anymore. They are all a part of the same brush stroke. I cannot divide them. A flat bench. A settled mind. The spark of an idea. The fire of curiosity. The pleasure of rest.

On the other hand, I know that I cannot do all the things I would like to do, and do them as well as I would like to do them. My Russian, as you can see, is poor. I only stumble through a few words. My Greek is a little better, but it is not as good as my turning (which still needs some work). I’ve been thinking about all of the parts – which ones to embrace and which to release – and that is sometimes overwhelming.

But today, one project is finished and another waits. It’s also raining. Perhaps I’ll just take time to enjoy that. Maybe that is exactly where I need to be.



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Lee says:

    “I was complaining to my wife that I probably should have chosen a concentration in writing…” I’d have to disagree with you on that. I think your other courses more than made you capable of a very nice style of writing. Reading your blog is like listening to someone talking to a friend about something he is passionate and knowledgeable about. I can see where your blog and sermons are connected and one reflects on the other. Well done, friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. jaredtohlen says:

    Jim, I suppose I missed that you’re a minister. Very cool. Greats thoughts, per usual—would love to hear a sermon from you.

    I hopped from Art Education, to Studio Art, to Theology, then finally to Graphic Design and Mass Communications. I also ended up with a Biblical Studies minor and three credit hours shy of a Hebrew minor. I suppose I’m a pretty firm believer in “everything happened just as it should have.” As far as “knowing what I know and doing what I do”, adding woodworking to that this last year has been a new adventure that seems to fit quite snug.


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