Sunday, May 16, 2010

She surprised me

My niece is completing her junior year in high school and she has a hard earned reputation as a hard worker. But I had no idea what a tough cookie she could be!

When I hired her to help me organize my livingroom, we agreed at a fee of $10/hour for 3 hours. In addition to helping me sort and file the paperwork that has taken over the house, I tasked her with keeping me focused. No matter what I told her, or how much I whined, I told her it was her job to remind me, "I need the money and you need organization."

I had no idea how seriously she would take it! Picking up an empty envelope, she asked me why I still had it. I pointed out to her that I needed it for the return address. "Get your address book and write it in there. I'll wait." She wasn't kidding. She handled me the same way when it came to an offer from Comcast I was "gonna" respond to. "Do it now, sign up now," she said, reasoning that then I could get rid of the flyer. Ouch! Over and over again, she challenged me and kicked my butt. We went from the paperwork to the books I've read to the mess that obscured my kitchen counters.

She reminded me of that ferocious little terrier, taking on the bigger dog.

I ended up with a big bag of paper in the recycle bin, two bags and a box for Goodwill, and so much more carpet than I remembered! I'm inspired to keep with the decluttering.

Interesting, not threatening

Christopher Hitchens is on CSpan, being interviewed by Salmon Rushdie, and he is talking about "the equal time demand" in schools receiving tax dollars, describing it as alternating "teaching science" with "teaching rubbish." He wonders why it can't be spun differently -- if churches want to retain their tax-free status, shouldn't they be required to teach Darwinism as well as creationism?

While I, unlike Hitchens, believe in God and Jesus completely, I find his conversation with Rushdie fascinating. I enjoy that in this country, we are free to believe as we wish, even if our beliefs don't fall within Judeo-Christian guidelines, we are free to express them. Listening to this is liberating and opening my mind to new ideas.

This introduction to new ideas, this explanation of how atheists and agnostics think -- and why they think this way -- cannot threaten my faith in God and Jesus. My faith is as much a part of me as my bone marrow.

I wonder about people who are so easily offended that Rushdie and Hitchens bother them, or that they believe Rushdie and Hitchens should be demonized. Do they not trust their Lord, or is it their forefathers who gave us freedom of speech or religion that they are second guessing?