Ash Wednesday and then some

February 7, 2008 at 1:07 am (Day to Day)

I celebrated Ash Wednesday by being sick and sleeping most of the day after class let out. Sniffles aside, isn’t that the best way to start out the season that is meant to be about spiritual preparation for Easter? It is through the discipline of prayer, fasting, sacrifice, and meeting the needs of others that we prepare to remember Christ‘s sacrifice and our own baptism during Easter. I read a great Lenten sermon a few years ago by Pope Leo the Great (c. 5th century). I was having a hard time truly understanding the significance Lent as nothing more than a menial time of giving up something that has very little significance anyways. I was also having a hard time reconciling Lent in light of Matthew 6 (private fasting, prayer). This sermon helped me understand that Lent is spiritual preparation through physical suffering (mortification of the flesh). While there is a very wrong way to fast, as pointed out by Matthew 6 and Isaiah 58:3-4 —Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high.—but the right way to go through this period is to heed the words of Calvin, “The greater your weakness is in yourself, so much the more the Lord assists you.” and more importantly Christ himself in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branch, he who abides in me and I in him will bear much fruit. For apart from me, you are nothing.” Chant that over and over and see the effect it has on you, “Apart from Christ, I am nothing, apart from Christ, I am nothing, apart from Christ, I am nothing…”

My idea last year was to give up running. I know, “come on, Rob skillet, isn’t running physical TORTURE? Isn’t it a lost harder TO run than to give it up?” I abandoned the idea because I was running in the OKC Memorial Marathon, and training is bit important. I am entered again this year, but I am going to abandon my efforts and take the next forty days off in preparation for Easter. Running has become something I am just little bit psychologically addicted to: the endorphins, the overwhelming feeling of reaching a goal, the physical fitness, et al. It has become a second-nature habit. Work ran (get it, I’m punny…) late last night, and the first thing I did when I got home was take a quick three-mile run. I was sick and sore all over. my breathing sounded like the breathing of an asthmatic who has smoked since the second trimester. This is how most of my days end. The time gained from not running will be spent various ways, though I haven’t completely worked that detail out.

I learned something this week—girls are territorial. No, they don’t pee on you, but they do get jealous of each other even if they’re friends and you are just friends with both of them. I am no fan of this. I have not had girly problems in a very long time, and I haven’t had girly drama in an even longer time. So here’s the situation: Charissa and me, not a thing. We were never a thing, and other than the “what if” of just getting to know her, there was never much of a romantic attraction to her. Her attraction to me lasted longer than I knew, but if our talk a few weeks ago is any indication, that has passed. Charissa and I, friends, and that is it. She has been irritating to me lately, questioning if I like anybody. If I mention a girl, she inquires. It gets to the point of being ridiculous. The other day I mentioned a girl in my class in passing, and she asked. She is even more adamant with people she does know, namely our proud BSU big wig (no, not the other Rob) and president. They are both friends and get along great. It’s not that big of a deal, but the other day Jhenna and I were walking from Z-tree lunch back to the BSU when out of nowhere she hits me with, “Is our friendship better than your’s and Charissa’s?” That was a bombshell, and I sidestepped the question, responding with, “well, I’m different kinds of friends with different people; it’s usually based on a level of comfort. I am more comfortable with you than I am Charissa.” That halfway answered her question and placated the situation. The truth is, while I am more comfortable with Jhenna, I made a big effort last semester to get to know Charissa. If I had even the slightest problem, I would tell Charissa about it so she could feel “involved” in my life since that is what she wanted. Yes, a little bit sneaky and perhaps it even sounds calculated, but I didn’t get anything better out of it; it was for her sake. That question really bothered me, however, because it was something she had apparently thought about enough to ask. Out of all the girls I have told Charissa I don’t like, she specifically mentioned that Jhenna wouldn’t be good for me. She didn’t even ask if I liked Jhenna; she just let me know that she was bad for me.

The above paragraph was a tribute to the eighth grade. The thing is, I gave Jhenna a couple of mix CD’s and have been paying more attention to her than usual since this semester started. She is a friend; we do have done some non-BSU activities, and I think we actually “get” each other. I really don’t know how healthy relationships are supposed to work, so I am not looking for one. Maybe I am primed to very dramatic relationships and am conditioned to seek that out. In my social psychology class, I have learned the very practical heuristic of “Priming”— social situations that trigger memories, cause us to feel the same way as when the memory happened. I am having to consciously ignore my subconscious since my memory and feelings about relationships are a bit dramatic. Charissa and I haven’t been talking as much, but it has been very pleasant lately. I can safely go on Facebook again, and my phone isn’t filled with messages from her. In fact, she has verbally stated she has a crush on somebody else. Things are well, other than this slight nuisance.

I am having to change the spellings of peoples’ names for a two reasons: their protection (I have done this before) and mine from getting chewed out.



  1. Scott said,

    oh. a mystery. for me and tiff to solve.

    who is sarobga talking about?!

  2. Rob said,

    It’s mostly to fool google.

  3. tiff said,

    just what i was thinking…:)

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