My Journey Along the Narrow Way

Archive for March, 2012

Rant #132345646…

Fair warning…this is about to be a rant.  It really wasn’t starting out that way but the more I’ve thought about these things the more I need to rant about it.

Over the past few months, after observing several things, I have come to the conclusion that our society is circling the drain when it comes to etiquette and just good common sense.  I first became aware of this trend when I was visiting the post office a month or so back and observed a woman of about 30 or so enter the post office in pajamas, fuzzy socks, and without the appropriate undergarments.  My first thought was what would someone have that was so important to get in the mail so quickly that they did not have time to dress appropriately to leave the house?  And the fact that all she did was drop the mail in the box inside the post office shows that it wasn’t that big of a rush as that doesn’t leave the building immediately.  For that matter, there is a mailbox outside of the post office that you can access from the car so why even get out of the car and walk inside in the first place?

Then, this past week, I witnessed three separate events that firmly convinced me that people just don’t know how to act:

* Incident #1 ~ On Monday, while sitting in the waiting room at a local orthopaedic group’s office with a patient, another patient, a lady of around 60ish years of age, walked from the restroom through the crowded waiting room, and passed gas quite loudly.  As you can imagine, this sent the entire waiting room into hysterical laughter.  She did not at any point look remotely embarrassed or upset about passing gas or even say, “Excuse me.”  She even had the nerve to look irritated that those around her were laughing.  Since when did it become acceptable to pass gas in public?  I would have thought that maybe it just “slipped out” except for the fact that she did not seem upset by the incident at all, save for the fact that people around her were laughing.

* Incident #2 ~ On Wednesday, while in the same orthopaedic group’s office waiting for another patient to arrive, I was sitting in an alcove in the treatment area working.  I began to hear someone hollering quite loudly in one of the exam rooms.  She got louder and louder screaming, “No, no, no, stop, no.”  I honestly thought someone was either having a baby (is this the maternity ward???) or dying.  When the doctor came out of the room he walked by me, looked at me, and said, “Ooops!”.  Apparently the woman was receiving an injection.  I’m sure the injection must have been painful but again when to it become acceptable to just scream at the top of your lungs in the middle of a doctor’s office.  It would be different if she was truly in severe pain; for example, if he had been setting her arm.  But this same middle-aged woman walked out fine and dandy from the room just a few seconds after the doctor.  She was still hollering that the doctor “had hurt her worse than he ever had before.”  Hollering!

* Incident #3 ~ On Friday, I was again in the orthopaedic group’s office waiting on another patient to come back.  As I walked back to the nurse’s station, I see that it is in complete chaos.  The doctor is ill and the nurse and tech are running around like crazy.  Then I hear it….another woman screaming and moaning loudly.  Apparently she had surgery on her hand or arm the previous day. And maybe she had some kind of psychosis from the anesthesia.  Maybe.  And if so, I’ll give her a pass, but for the next 45 minutes she screamed, she cried, she loudly moaned…all in the exam room.  She refused to be moved so that they could leave.  She was acting like a crazy person, or a drama queen, I’m not sure which.  And why all this commotion?  Because the doctor had unwrapped the bandage, looked (not touched, not took out sutures, just looked) at the incision, and then rebandaged it.  This woman’s husband was mortified and the entire staff was stressed.  They finally got the woman calmed down enough to attempt to take her to the car; however, as soon as they started the wheelchair rolling (she would not walk on her own), she began to loudly cry and scream for the doctor because she didn’t want him to think that “she was a jerk”.  Honestly, it was like watching a train wreck.  Again, I’ll give this one a little leeway because of being under the influence of some pain medication but really, when have our inhibitions become so lowered that we can act like a raving lunatic in public?

Yes, I realize that the three examples I give above are all women and the last two involve medical settings and procedures so we could possibly find a reasonable explanation.  But I have also, in just the past few months, been cussed at, yelled at, hung up on, and lied to or about by various patients (both men and women).  I can have a patient call to ask for help with something, bust it to get that done for the patient, call the patient to tell them it has been done and routinely get no thanks from the patient.  I just cannot imagine acting this way to someone who has just helped me.

Personally, I think this is just a sign of the decline in our society as a whole and in etiquette and common decency in particular.

Just go to this website – and you will see how truly low we have come.  It’s craziness and some days I am truly glad that my mother is not here to have to see this.  She would have been appalled.  She wouldn’t have thought of letting me in a public place without shoes on, much less without appropriate undergarments and dressed the way many people dress and let their children dress.

[On that note…what the heck is it with pants with JUICY written on the butt?  Really, people, it is NOT appropriate to let your 10-year-old walk around with a butt that says juicy?  Have you really thought through what you are conveying to the people who see this?]

If you have anything you have seen like the above, I would love to hear it.  I want to be sure it isn’t just me drawing the crazies out.  What do you think?

(all pictures from



Behold Our God…

Right Where I Am…

Lately I have been thinking about life and just how hard it seems most of the time.  It seems the longer I go along, the harder things become.  Now I finally understand why people long for the “good old days” because looking back it certainly seems like everything was much easier when I was younger.

But maybe it really wasn’t easy.  I don’t think it seemed easy at the time.  I think I just tend to forget the problems, frustrations, and day-to-day grind that was as much of the past as it is today.   If I really think hard I can remember my car not working, not having enough money to pay the bills, the baby crying all night and still having to get up and go to work in the morning.  I remember some days crying on the way to work because I didn’t want to drop off my baby at the sitter and then also remember almost feeling a giddy sense of freedom some mornings after dropping the same baby off.  I remember thinking that “someday” life would get easier.

I think this is a problem that a lot of us struggle with.  Not being really content where we are but always thinking if I was…richer, skinnier, stayed at home, more educated, better dressed…you name it…I would be happier and things would be easier.  But guess what?  Thinking like that we are never content.

I look back and realize I have wasted so much time not just living, being content, and enjoying this moment.  And there really are so much in this moment to enjoy.

Both my adult children live at home right now.  While this can certainly be a source of stress sometimes, this is also a blessing.  There will be a time…not too far in the future… where they will no longer live in our home.  That era of our life will be over forever.  I will miss them being here.  I need to enjoy the little moments while they are here.

My furniture has dog hair on it.  While this also can be a source of stress to me, I need to realize that my furniture has hair on it because I have three wonderful, loving, funny basset hounds that I love dearly.  There will come a time when each of them will leave us.  I will miss them terribly.  So what if there is shedded hair on the furniture.

I think that instead of looking back to what is gone (my babies are all grown up)…or looking forward to something new (grandbabies!)…I need to enjoy right where God has placed me at this moment in my life.  Is where I am really just happenstance or an accident?  No…it’s where I am meant to be right now for whatever purpose and plan God has for me.  And He would like for me to enjoy this time and experience for what it is, not what it could be, or what is missing.

I saw a sign that said, “Enjoy the little things because one day you will wake and realize those were the big things.”  I resolve to enjoy the little things and learn to be content right where I am.


The Warrior…

Once there was a warrior.  He was a mostly good warrior (or so he thought)…he tried to be kind to his fellow countrymen, he fought bravely.  He had a good reputation with everyone as one of the best warriors in the land, defending the land from enemies from every side.  Defeating them with a resounding blow and keeping the land safe for all.  He even had the respect of even the most war-hardened men who fought beside him, for he was brave, strong, and true.

One day the village was beset by a new kind of enemy.  This was no enemy like they had ever seen before.  This was not another wave of brave men in shiny armor sent by a greedy king to procure more land.  No, this was something altogether different.

At first, it was hard to see exactly what was coming against them.  It came in a blazing fire which left everything around it scorched and barren.  But finally some who dared to come within range began to see some of what attacked them.  It was massive, bigger than anything they had ever seen.  It was leathery and seemed to have some type of scales.  The eyes were massive and red.  And its mouth, full of razor-sharp teeth, dripped scalding fluid and breathed out fire.

Finally they realized…it was something they had all heard rumors of but never had seen…a dragon.  No one had ever dreamed they would see one.  No one had ever imagined it would be this massive.  No one knew what to do.

The brave warrior and all of his fellow warriors donned their finest armor.  The sharpened their swords and readied their weapons for battle.  And they left their women and children and they went to meet the beast.

The warrior was once again brave.  He fought long and hard but bit by bit he realized he was losing the battle.  He was strong but the beast just keep on coming.  Oh, it would back up sometimes, and even seem to leave, but it would just come right back again.

It sometimes seemed to the warrior that the harder he fought, the less ground he gained.  And sometimes he just wanted to quit fighting all together.  Maybe just give in to the dragon and be slain.  Or maybe just to join the dragon’s side.  Or maybe…better yet…just walk away, go somewhere safe, and just forget about the dragon, the village, everything.

Just when the warrior thought he could fight no more, when he was at his absolute end, he remembered….

There was one that he knew of, one, that in his battles and day to day live he had forgotten about.  He was there, the one.  Still in the room in the heart of the castle where he was kept by the village.  Secured away.  The village knew he was special, the one, but they also knew that if they let him out he would not be denied.  He would change everything about the life they lived in the village.  And that scared the villagers so they put him in the castle room.

Oh, they would visit with him for the one was kind and gentle. But just a moment with him and they could see, and even feel, the power that the one had just below the surface.

Once the warrior remembered the one in the heart of the castle, he knew what he must do.  He had to go get the one…to ask him to come.  Somehow the warrior knew he was the one who could save them all.

The warrior fought his way to the castle and raced up the steps.  He grabbed the key and flung open the door to the room at the heart of the castle.  And rushing in, he bowed before the one in the room, the one calmly and patiently waiting for him, and begged him to come defeat the dragon.

The one in the room stood immediately.  He asked the warrior why he had waited so long to come and get him.  He asked the warrior why no one remembered his promise to them…that he would always be there for them, their help for every trouble.  The one was sad that they had only remembered him in their deepest, darkest moment…but also glad that they had remembered him in their deepest, darkest moment.

He stood…opened his mouth and spoke one word…and the dragon was no more.


Lately I have been thinking a lot about sin.  Specifically, my sin…but also about everyone else’s sin as well.  What has really been on my mind is the struggle that goes on between our flesh and our spirit.

I think about the line in the song…”Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the one I love.”  What that tells me is that I am not the only one who feels this struggle intensely sometimes.

Read Paul and you definitely see that he constantly felt the tension of this struggle in his life:

“For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.”  Romans 7:15

For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” Galatians 5:17

Just like the warrior, I too am a warrior.  I war day and night against my flesh.  The flesh that the dragon controls…the flesh that used to control me.  It doesn’t control me anymore but sometimes that is hard to see.  Sometimes it seems like it still does.  But I fight it…struggling in my own power.  And like the warrior, I grow weary.  I want to give up.

Isn’t it sad that I let it get to that point?  Why don’t I go to the One?  The One patiently waiting for me in my heart?  Waiting for me to asked him to come and slay the beast that is my flesh…

Why do I insist on fighting the battle between flesh and spirit on my own.  Christ has lovingly and patiently told me time again through His word that He will save me from my sin, He will make me holy.

For again Paul says in Romans 7:24, “O wretched man that I am!  Who will deliver me from this body of death?”  And he answers in verse 25, “I thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!”


I am not skilled to understand.  What God has willed, what God has planned.  I only know at His right hand, stands One who is my Savior.

I take Him at His word and deed:  Christ died to save me this I read.  And in my heart I find a need, for Him to be my Savior.

That He would leave His place on high, and come for sinful man to die.  You count it strange, so once did I, before I knew my Savior.

Yes, living, dying; let me bring my strength, my solace from this Spring.  That He who lives to be my King, once died to be my Savior.

My Savior, My God
Aaron Shust