My wife (still fun to write!) and I just put up a Christmas tree together for the first time—our Christmas tree. I don't get overly excited about these sorts of things, and frankly I find myself disgusted by much of what passes for "Christmas" tradition: I'd rather focus on Christ's advent into this world. And, as my family can attest, trees and ornaments really haven't done much for me the past few years. Even so, I deeply enjoyed spending the time with my wife and the tree, covered in ornaments, looks rather lovely.
Circumstances do seem, as they say, to conspire against us sometimes. The very moments when we find ourselves rejoicing in a success, it's wiped away before our eyes. We are tempted to rage at God, and sometimes, like the Psalmist, we do rage at Him. In those moments, I return to an unshakeable confidence that the last few years have birthed in me. No matter how little I see God's sovereign goodness in the moment, I know in the depths of my soul that He is in control of every circumstance, and He is good.
Language is a funny thing. As I wrote a few weeks ago, there is both power in simplicity and beauty in sprawling language. As much as some of my friends may protest, Dostoevsky remains one of the greatest authors ever to live—because of, and not in spite of, his wordiness. In layering word upon word, phrase upon phrase, he built up scenes and sometimes entire days of narrative in ways that resonate deeply with me whenever I read his works. More, he does so in a way that fewer words could not accomplish.
I reflected yesterday, in a moment of dreadful irony, that it's a terrible thing to be forced to study interesting topics for work. I find it even more dreadful that my pay is contingent on learning and applying intriguing ideas. I mean, really! It's quite an affront to my general sensibilities: work ought to be dull, boring, and and unexceptional in every way. The notion that it could be interesting has never crossed my mind, and I'm not sure whether to be frightened or infuriated by the concept. Perhaps meditating on the tastiness of chocolate chip cookies will help.
And now, for a bunch of random—wait, make that miscellaneous, as none of this is actually random—things to fill up the end of the post. First, my mom has written more blog posts in the last week than in the preceding 17 months. I find that impressive, most impressive—but I'll end the Darth Vader imitation now. Second, I cannot remember what the second miscellany was to be. Third, I remembered: because it's been so long, she's still pointing to my old blog. Fourth, there's something mildly amusing about critiquing brevity in writing in posts designed to practice just that...