Category Archives: Philosophy

Life’s Not Fair

How many times did you hear that phrase as a kid? Awww, that’s not fair! Well, life’s not fair, you’ll have to get over it. Ever catch yourself saying it? Sure you do… If you know me you may know that I’ve been planning a trip to Peru with my wife and 20+ folks from our church. We will depart Friday 12/26, take a limo/bus to Chicago, fly to Miami then after a layover take the red-eye to Lima, Peru. Another layover to freshen up a bit and a local flight from Lima to Piura where we’ll be picked up by volunteers with pick up trucks and taken to Santisimo Sacramento, our “sister parish” and return to the frigid midwest a week later.

You’re right, this isn’t going to be your ordinary winter vacation. It will be warm and should be sunny. Piura is a desert area, with daytime highs around 95F and overnight lows around 70F. With the current Milwaukee temperatures, Piura weather sounds rather wonderful. So, what will we do in a desert? Anything the pastor needs us to do. Feed the hungry. Clothe the poor. Distribute supplies, gifts, visit an orphanage, help build new thatched roofs for some of the “houses”, meet the families we support, go to church, visit, pray.

If you’ve seen me recently, you may have noticed I’m walking with more of a limp than usual. Early this month, I had two days of flu-like symptoms that turned out to be the onset of a nasty infection – cellulitis – in my left leg. I’ve been on a program of injected and oral antibiotics to kill the infection, a diuretic (sp?) to help reduce the swelling, culturel to combat one of the side effects of the antibiotics and a steady diet of Alleve to help with the pain, itching and swelling.

Last Thursday I saw the doctor again and there was good news “I think we’ve killed the infection” and bad news “like a war, after you’ve killed the enemy, there’s a lot of cleanup and rebuilding to do”. My leg has a number of open sores that need to heal and the real bad news is that I can’t go to Peru due to fears that the sores will get infected with no decent treatment options available.

Did I mention we’ve been planning this trip for a year? Paid for it months ago? This was my Birthday and Christmas present to Teresa, and her Birthday and Christmas present to me. Now I’ll be staying home. That’s not fair!

Well Steve, life’s not fair, deal with it. Fortunately American Airlines will let us change my ticket to our 14 year old son. Lan Peru is not so accommodating. They’ll let me use my Lima – Piura – Lima ticket some other time in the next six months and we had to buy a ticket for Matt. Ouch.

Matt was really looking forward to staying with some friends from his Scout troop. We think he’s really looking forward to Peru now. I asked him if he’d take my camera to take pictures for me. Wow…

Obviously God has some reason that Matt has to get to Peru or that I have to stay here. I wonder what’s in the plan? I wonder if we’ll recognize it when we see it? Will it be fair?

45 days

A few days ago, the TV networks were awash with the “100 Days Until The End of Analog TV” message. Unless you’ve been living in a desert, you know that the FCC has decided that the current broadcast frequency spectrum is valuable and wants to make money by auctioning it to someone other than the current users – television stations. Before they can do that, they need to kick the TV stations to a new portion of spectrum and everyone is using it as an excuse to transition from analog to digital broadcast signals.

According to the informational commercials, unless you dear TV watcher take action by switching to cable, satellite or internet TV delivery, or buying a digital set top converter and new amplified antenna, you will have nothing but flickering static to view on February 17, 2009. With all the fuss being made, this must be a significant transition. I wouldn’t know…I’ve been a cable, then satellite and now internet based TV viewer – for those few shows I watch each week – for many years, over 20.

Here’s my very own infomercial. In just 45 days, I will travel with my wife and 21 friends from St. Anthony on the Lake Parish in Pewaukee, WI to Piura, Peru. There we will meet the families we help to support throughout the year. We will celebrate their joys, share their sorrows, pray with them, sing with them, deliver food and clothing to their homes, take many pictures and strengthen the bond of Christian love that already binds us. We’ll learn more about their culture and share a little bit of ours.

I’ve been on mission trips before, although never one this far from home, and I know they are life changing transitional events. Somehow I think the Peru transition is going to be much more impactful on my life than the digital TV transition.

What transitions are you working on?