It's been the coldest weekend in a while in this part of the world with temperatures in LaCrosse dipping close to -20 Fahrenheit. It looks like we're getting real winter back and even as I type away the temperature is sipping back below zero again.

I admit I'm kind of a fanatic about caring for my car. I wash it, alot, and keep everything in the best possible form. But in times like this it can mean the difference between being stopped on the side of the road hoping for help to arrive before frostbite or making it home safe and warm. It's amazing what just a slight drop of temperature can do to the various pieces of metal, plastic, glass, cloth, and rubber that make up a car. It's also amazing at how well it will respond with just a little bit of care.

I'm also feeling a bit better. The headaches I wrote about earlier, thanks to the chiropractor and some exercises / cold packs / aspirin are not as frequent and I'm starting to get over being dizzy all the time. I have an appointment with the chiropractor tomorrow and I'll be seeing an MD early next week. I still don't feel up to snuff and the truth is at least part of it has to do with just being flat our exhausted. Another part is weaning myself off a medication I was taking. I loved how it helped me but I couldn't take the side affects. It's so hard to find a medication that does good without making you pay for it somewhere else and it seems that often you to negotiate how much good is balanced by the negative.

The one thing about this time of feeling unwell is that I've been trying to pray more. Being ill makes me think about things and that usually draws my mind to God. I try to pray more, I need to, and I've become aware, again, of how this body is wearing out over time no matter how well I care for it. I work among older people and as I get older I get more of a taste of what they must go through as age takes its toll. Being ill reminds me that I won't be living forever, at least not in this present form, and even as my head sometimes aches and I feel like I've just gotten off a carnival ride other things have become more precious.

I feel, too, an urgency of time. Some of this, of course, is pride, my thinking that what I do and who I am is so important that time has to accommodate it all. But most of it, I think, is about my being a person of the horizon. I hate to sleep because I think of the things I'll miss and I don't like the thought of one day dying because even with all its struggles there is still a sweetness about life and the potential of discovery that fascinates me. I think about the places I've not gone and dream remaining to come true and a certain sadness sets in.

As messed up as life can be sometimes I have come, over the years, to understand that it is still a gift of God and something to be enjoyed whenever possible. All of the good things in life are a foretaste of even better things to come and sometimes I drive and see great beauty in nature and think of what it will one day be like when it is finally freed from its mortality. I think about that for me as well. I'm a messed up sinner, I've done some terrible things and a whole lot of tiny terrible things as it were, and I hate everything I've done wrong even when I find myself doing it again and again. I just pray that God will have mercy on me at some future time and see that inside of this messy broken frame there is a heart that, however imperfectly , still desires Him.

One day I will have to stand before Christ and it will be a painful exposure at times, to see my life recalled in detail beyond my imagination and there will be times when I will be deeply ashamed. There will be only one thing to say "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner..." But I believe it will be enough, not because of me, but because of Him. Even now it is often the only prayer I can say in my weakness and I trust that God, the lover of mankind, will be able to fill in the details in ways only He knows.

It's still cold outside and the snow is falling. There's a cat on my bed and even though its early I feel like I need to read a little and get some sleep. Imagine that! There will be enough things to do tomorrow and God will be there when I wake up to face the new day.

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