The Spur

"Do you know where I am?"

"Where am I going now?"

I've been hearing these similar questions lately, asked with the same heart-wrenching look of confusion and a trace of fear. I've seen and heard people say these things before. I've seen them enter into the disturbing realm of dementia and thought, how sad when the elderly so often seem to revert to a child-like dependence.

I made an exciting discovery yesterday. I got so excited about it I called my husband into the office so I could show him. He smiled indulgently but looked like he thought I was overreacting just a bit. I've been critiquing and editing manuscripts for writers for some time. I would usually do the edits on a hard copy of the manuscript, then transfer them onto the computer and send the finished product to the writer. The task was laborious since it is important for the writer to see the changes I make and in some cases, understand my reasoning. I used the highlight feature as well as the font colour feature on the computer, making the changes as I went, then highlighting and putting comments in red. This required continually clicking buttons and using the mouse.

The games are over. The winners have gone home with their medals, the losers with their shattered dreams. Watching the Olympics, I was impressed when the underdogs won and thrilled when Canadians did well, but there was something that impressed me more than the exciting wins. I was impressed with how so many of the young men and women responded to their failures.

The waitress placed a large bowl of salad in the middle of the table and handed plates all round. Spence and I chatted with our friends for another few moments, while the waitress poured tall glasses of water, then we bowed our heads, closed our eyes and thanked God for the food we were about to eat and the friendship we could enjoy. It was a common blessing, something that is as ordinary to Christians as breathing. As we dished up the salad, our friend Bob said, "We should have prayed like they do in China." My first thought was, how could it be so different? Then Bob explained.

Teachers hear all kinds of excuses. Like this one -

"You cannot hold me responsible for knowing the material on this test, as I was sleeping during all of your lectures. As you did not wake me up, I assumed that you sympathized with my tiredness and were excusing me from the information being covered. Not needing to know the information, I assumed that I would not have to take a test on it. You might have made some kind of mistake in handing me this test, since I don't have to take it, so I am just writing this to remind you."