Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I'm thinking this morning about luxuries... (and I'd better think fast because the morning's almost over.)

My mentor called me last night and said "If you want to take a rest day tomorrow, do it. I'll take your doorbell in the afternoon and our admin assistant can do it in the morning." "What about the grocery shopping?" I asked. "I'll pick up the groceries while I'm out in the morning." "You sure?" "Yes, take the day off."

Luxury. For the tired, sleeping in is an appreciated luxury. I heard the doorbell at 6:45 and rolled over. I had dreams; most have slipped my mind by now, but I dreamed a lot. They say the sleep-deprived can last three times longer than the dream-deprived before they start to get psychotic. I believe it. I slept until 10:30... unheard of in my usual desire to make the "day off" count. Now I'm sipping a cup of freshly brewed coffee, another luxury. With flavored creamer... another luxury left behind as a surprise before that sister went off for her long retreat.

The thing about luxuries is they can't be constant, or they aren't luxuries anymore. We start to expect them, begin to think we need them, when in fact, we don't need half the stuff we think we do.

Years ago I knew a man who used to say "It only costs a little more to fly first class." It was his motto for the troop of insurance salesmen, a motivational tool to get them out on the streets to sell more policies. The truth now, of course, is it costs a whole lot more to fly first class, as Travelocity and Orbitz and all the other web services can prove.

I imagine if you've always flown first class, it's annoying to fly coach, but if you've always flown coach, it's a luxury to fly first class. Before the convent (BC) I had flown first class a few times, and was enthralled with each little detail that made the difference in how passengers were treated. The mixed nuts (Not just peanuts) were warm, and served in a porcelain dish. The alcohol was free, the silverware was metal, not plastic, and you had a choice of entree. They gave you hot facecloths to wash up at the end of the trip. I was delighted with each new offering, and took full advantage of every one, from the Mimosa to the ice cream sundae. Nowadays we know we're lucky to get a bag of pretzels... Travel amenities have changed. We find the old luxuries were not necessities after all. It was all perspective.

Perspective has to do with our mindset, our mood at the time, our prejudices and our opinions. It can be subjective and biased or it can be a deep perception of things in their actual interrelations and importance. Jesus' perspective changed the hearts of the people he encountered. They either followed him or wanted to kill him.

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