Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Just Do What, Exactly?

Sometimes, when I’m in the car and I’m cold, I turn up the radio instead of the temperature. The blast of sound momentarily shocks my senses into momentary paralysis, and it takes a few seconds before I remember to turn down the radio and up the temperature. It is all very confusing.

What’s even more astonishing, is that I do this in many different scenarios. When I’m thirsty, I often eat, or I try to blow my nose. Or, more noticeably, when I’m bored, I think I’m sleepy. When I actually have free time, I sometimes do work instead of enjoy the time off.  And when I’m done cleaning all the dirty dishes, or wiping down the bathroom, I have the nerve to be surprised and feel betrayed. Now I don’t have time to read! What did you make me do that for?

It’s gotten to the point that free time baffles me a little. When presented with even a little free time, I have to question myself. Do I really want to read this book? Or do I really want to watch a movie? Or do I actually want to go for a run? Too much freedom is problematic.

I might actually have a problem.
It reminds me of the roundabout set of verses in Romans. Paul writes

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do… I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it."

My theory? It’s part of the human condition, this confusion of the senses. What I want to be doing right now is eating brownies with raisins in them and reading a novel. But what I really "want" to be doing is translating three pages of A Midsummer Night's Dream into twelve pages of prose. Guess which desire won out. (I’ll give you a hint: om nom nom)

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