March One Week Update

I’m going to try and do weekly updates moving forward, even if they’re short. I don’t know if anyone will read them, but I want to be able to look back and see how I was doing on my challenges each month.

The good news is that I’m actively working on three out of four of my challenges this month, which is pretty good.

Creative Challenge

I’m still enjoying taking videos each day, and I’ve even started taking multiple videos as the mood strikes me. It’s fun being on the lookout for interesting scenes as I’m out and about, and for interesting ways to film those scenes. The video challenge has definitely been a success.

Spiritual Challenge

This has been really interesting, because for my spiritual challenge you might remember that I linked it to the Christian tradition of Lent, and I’m reading a devotional book called I Gave Up Worry For Lent. This is especially interesting because I’m reading a pre-COVID book in our current situation, where we’re still dealing with COVID and now the war of Russian aggression in Ukraine, and the first real possibility of nuclear war since the USSR collapsed.

If I ever needed to be able to get a handle on worry, it’s in the world in which we currently live.

And yet, as I read the book, it often just feels… trite. I hate to say that, because I don’t disagree with the writer in any fundamental way, but let me give an example from yesterday’s reading, the focus of which is that nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37).

Of course, as a Christian, I don’t disagree with this. But looking back at history, and looking at what is currently going on in Ukraine and other places where people are inflicting violence on other people, I wonder how I see a statement like that. I guess I would look at the destruction around me and accept it, and my faith would be strengthened, or what I was experiencing would make me reject it. Because if nothing is impossible with God and God is allowing all of this needless destruction, what does that say about God?

I guess that’s the age old question, isn’t it? How can a good God allow suffering?

Then I think about the Mr. Rogers quote, about “looking for the helpers”, and it reminds me that even in the face of tragedy we can see God’s goodness in the response of the people who help. (By the way, some would criticize this as a simplistic viewpoint in the face of tragedy, that Mr. Rogers was trying help preschoolers deal with tragedy, not adults. What do you think?)

It also seems to me that if what the Christian faith teaches about God is true when we’re not in a pandemic and we’re at peace, it would be true when we are in a pandemic and we’re at war. In fact, it seems that it would likely be even more true, if that’s possible.

Anyway, this is a blog post, not a treatise on religion or ethics. And I’m just thinking out loud.

Physical Challenge

For my physical challenge, I chose to take part in the 100 Miles in March challenge. I’ve been more active than I was last month (16 miles by March 8), but still not enough to reach 100 miles by the end of the month. And just a reminder that this is a fundraiser for mental health, so if you’d like to help encourage me to pick up the pace, I invite you to contribute on my Facebook fundraiser page!

Financial Challenge

To be honest, I forgot about this one. So, this weekly checkin is a reminder to go and look at the Trello template I downloaded, and start making that a daily thing. For today, I am to not eat out. This is a challenge, because I’m in a habit on Mondays and Wednesdays to grab a bite out on my way home from teaching English at the community college. But we do have plenty of food, so I’ll take that challenge today.

So, that’s my review of the month so far. I’ll be back in a week!


Author: thimblerigsark

Nate loves the life of the expat, having spent the last fifteen years living in Kazakhstan and China. In Kazakhstan, he founded the Kazakhstan English Language Theater, the first English language theater in Central Asia. Nate is also an educator, and has taught upper Elementary and theater in some pretty far-out international situations. He's the proud papa of three brilliant and beautiful children, and the husband of the lovely Koolyash. Nate is currently working on part II in the Thimblerig's Ark saga. Thimblerig's Ark was conceived while Nate sat in Tommy Condon's Irish Pub in Charleston, South Carolina, listening to the band play a song about why the unicorn missed out on Noah's Ark. Thimblerig's Ark looks at how the animals all made it there in the first place, focusing on a con-artist groundhog named Thimblerig.

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