It’s good to talk to you all again. I skipped last week’s blog entry because my family and I were vacating. If you were at church for the last message of “Couch vs. Cross” you understand what I mean about “vacating.” We traveled South and East to Charleston, South Carolina. We actually stayed outside of the city on an island called the Isle of Palms and in the resort community, “Wild Dunes.” We love Savannah and Charleston was always brought up in conversations as the sister city of Savannah. So from Monday afternoon until Saturday morning were out of Town. How was it, you ask? Thanks for asking. It was for the most part “just awright dawg.” We arrived the same time a tropical depression settled only a few miles off the Atlantic coast. It was the coldest week in May that anyone could remember. Those offering that tidbit of history would add, “but it supposed to get warm and sunny by the weekend”; not very encouraging words for those of us leaving that very weekend. Anyone who has had the misfortune of being with me when there is nothing to do is grimacing right now. I get bored quickly. When I get bored I also get cranky. When I get cranky I either become sullen and depressed or loud and critical. As the wind blew torrents of rain just outside our patio my temperament swung almost as rapidly as the palm trees. I paused to thank the dear Lord that I was me and not someone imprisoned in the condo with me.
This brings me to the topic at hand. I am basically an unhappy person. It’s partly because I am so goal driven that if I am not competing at something I’m miserable. That corresponds to my primary personality type, the powerful choleric. Choleric people are goal driven and competitive. They are often happiest when working. They vacation poorly; except when there is much activity and opportunities for golf, volleyball, croquet or badminton. In such athletic pastimes there are sufficient opportunities for fist pumps and victory laps.
I am secondarily a melancholy personality. This person is also very goal driven, but is negative to boot. We, of the melancholy type, are more than a little annoyed when things don’t go according to plan. (I can tell right now many of you are dropping to your knees and praying for my family and staff before proceeding any further.) So with nothing to do and all my plans dashed against the rocks it was the perfect storm.
For me to be happy I need to be busy. You have time to relax when you die is my philosophy. When I was a much younger man successive strings of projects and activities were my bread and butter. In college I was a full time student, a congressional intern and I worked second shift, full time, before going home to study. I did not tire and I was very happy. Now turn the clock ahead a few decades. My mind still wants to stay busy, but my body is crying for rest. As Jesus put it in the Garden of Gethsemane, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Which brings me to another source of frustration. Age. I hate getting older. Why? Because it is something I can’t control. Remember I am a choleric personality and we want to control everything. It annoys me not to be able to do the things as quickly and effortlessly as I once did.
So, I get to the office after Memorial Day and everyone asks how the vacation went. Without going into details I told them about the weather and the lengthy confinement to the room. Most dropped their head and moved away swiftly before anyone got hurt. One person, however, had the brashness to say, “The Lord must have known your body needed rest and otherwise you would never have gotten any.” Don’t you just hate it when someone plays the God card when you want to be miserable? I thought about it and you know they were right. There’s no way I would have rested that much if it were up to me. I would have filled every moment from daylight til dark with activity. I would have come home exhausted. The effect would not have been immediate, but soon I would be tired, cranky, and miserable. I would have not only been mentally fatigued but physically as well. The Lord certainly knows best. So thanks Lord for the rest, whether I wanted it or not. Thanks to all of you for your prayers as you asked God to provide rest for me and my family. Unfortunately you ticked a lot of other people off all over the Eastern seaboard who just wanted to get some sun.
Still sulking but rested, Ken