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Seeing it coming

Left my umbrella on the bus. Bummer. "Umbrella" is one of the only things for which I can remember the Japanese word.

One of the good things about being me (as well as one of the bad things about being me) is I usually see it coming. Example: last week I realized we didn't have any replacement staples for the saddle stitch finisher of our new copier. So I tried ordering online, only to find our copier wasn't listed under our account. Emailed and got that fixed, only to find that we still didn't have the ability to order supplies online. Emailed and got that fixed, then ordered them. Then saw the low toner light and realized we didn't have any replacement toner for the new copier, either. Ordered that yesterday. Today, 30 copies into our 240-copy bulletin print job: "Add Toner." So I take the cartridge out, shake it around in a toner dance (which becomes ever-more-complicated each time I have to repeat it), and keep it going until around 150: "Add Staples." Try to MacGyver staples from our old copier in there to no avail, break for lunch, and return to find the just-in-case staples have arrived. There were a few more increasingly violent toner dances before reaching 240, but the job got done.

Granted, that's not a very riveting story, it just illustrates the point—I usually see it coming. It's mostly intuitive rather than analytical, though from the outside it often appears to be the latter. That intuition is leaving me unsettled in other areas, but it's nothing that can be easily pinned down just yet. Sometimes waiting is part of the deal. But I feel it.

One of the points raised at an Art + Theology Symposium we sponsored a couple of weeks back comes into play well here. The person said that art is a response rather than just a reaction. My hope is that seeing it coming will make me better able to respond—thoughtfully, prayerfully, honestly, effectively, and in accord with my values—rather than just react to what comes my way.


What is that quote from Through the Looking Glass - 'it's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards'?

I remember things that haven't happened yet all the time. Usually little things like when a new load of tenders is about to land on my desk or when the buzzer on the oven is just about to go off.

It's one of those sometimes difficult gifts that can be either useless or terribly twisted unless intentionally put to the purposes of the Kingdom. Strange to just now be catching onto that fact in concrete, humbling ways, but I suppose it's never too late to learn.
I did that toner dance many, many times while on church staff. I do not miss it whatsoever.
Hopefully stocking the supply line will keep me from having to do it again. It's amazing how much more one can squeeze out of there, but since toner is included in our contract, I have a lot of trouble caring unless I have to.