Thursday, January 16, 2014

7 Quick Takes - Vol. 7 - Gospel, Endless Law, The Sky, Rapping, Praying, Phoning, and Disney-ing

As I mentioned last week, I’ve decided to theme the first three takes each week as follows: Catholic.  Lawyer.  Mama.  Catchy, right?  J  Here goes.

CATHOLIC take: One of the things I try to do on a daily basis is read the Gospel reading for the day.  I subscribe to Notre Dame’s Faith website (FaithND), and so I receive the daily Gospel readings and reflections (along with info on the saint for the day) in my email inbox each morning.  The reflections are short, so I can manage them along with the Gospel; and, since I can’t make it to mass each day, it’s a great way to stay in touch with the Church on weekdays.  Highly recommend! 

Anyway, last Wednesday, the Gospel Reading was Mark’s account of Jesus walking on water and then calming the storm.  A great read to follow up the Loaves and the Fishies.  The reflection on that day was written by Beth Barsotti, and it was so awesome.  It really helped me “get inside” the day’s Gospel.  I have to share a portion:
Imagine sitting in a boat being tossed around on the rough sea. Visualize the dark angry clouds above, feel the strong wind and spray hammering your face, your body thrashing from side to side with each movement of the sea. Your muscles tighten to keep you from falling out of the boat.

That description doesn’t seem too distant from my daily life. Multiple things might be rocking the boat in our lives: all the people who need us, our “to-do” list, the things that we “should” be doing vs. the things we want to do, expectations we put upon ourselves, or expectations that others have of us.

I tell myself, “Just get through this meeting, this day, this season, or this year—then life will calm down.” That has yet to happen.

Imagine being back in the boat. This time, as the waves crash around, Jesus walks beside you and hops in the boat. He says, “Do not be afraid.” You take a deep breath. As you release the breath you realize the wind has ceased and your boat has stopped rocking. The stress and chaos melt away. You are overcome with peace and calm.
Awesome, right?  Reminded me of the “Footprints” poem (which I also love), except with the Gospel reading as the inspiration.  Muy fab!

LAWYER take:  Lately, I feel like all I hear are complaints about litigation taking too long and costing too much.  Keep in mind that I handle complex commercial litigation, which typically does take a long time (3-5 years is not uncommon and it can go longer) and often will cost tens of thousands of dollars (or more).  So, yes, I get it.  That’s a long time and a lot of money.  Why so long and so much?  Many reasons.  But let’s start with the excessive amount of law and procedural requirements on the books: 

First, there are the actual statutes passed by both the federal government, your local state government, and also your county/city.  Those people are paid to make law, change law, write law. and so they do.  To the tune of thousands of pages every year.  Then, there are the U.S. Constitution and state constitutions.  Generally shorter (thank God!), but still long.  Example: A “print preview” of Florida’s Constitution shows that it is 95 pages long.  That’s insane!  And let’s not forget case law, which consists of case-specific interpretations of constitutions, statutes, regulations, and even other cases.  Every single case that goes up on appeal and results in a written opinion is legal precedent and will be binding on some jurisdiction somewhere.  Given that we live in a litigious society, the thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of pages of case law generated every year is mind-boggling.  Then, there is Administrative and Agency Law.  Gotta love government bureaucracy.  They make rules, rules, and more rules that fill pages, pages, and more pages and create compliance nightmares for everyone everywhere.  Fun times.  Finally, there are the procedural rules requirements, which are essentially rules about the rules.  They set for requirements for how lawsuits can progress, what documents can be filed in court, what types of tools can be used to investigate a case (i.e., discovery), what types of evidence, testimony, documents, etc., are admissible in court, and more.  These change constantly.  Additionally, individual courthouses and even individuals judges usually have their own rules, protocol, preferences, etc.  It’s endless.

In a complex case, with multiple causes of action (i.e., reasons or legal theories behind the lawsuit), is it any wonder that it’s expensive?  And time-consuming? 

MAMA take: Last Friday morning on the way to school, my preschooler asked me:

"Mama, why is the sky blue?"

Immediately, my mind raced to find an answer to his question.  I vaguely recalled something that I learned in middle school about gases in the ozone and reflections, but I couldn't quite pull up the correct scientific explanation from the dark recesses of my mind. I hemmed and hawed.  But it dawned on me:

"Because that's the way God designed it. He thought it was a pretty color that we would appreciate, so He made it that way,"

My preschooler nodded in understanding.  It was the perfect explanation, the only one he needed. And the reality is that it was the right answer. Regardless of what gases in the ozone and reflections cause the sky to be blue, those gases and reflections exist because of God.  He put them there. I need to remember that and try not to overthink next time.  God is the reason everything in our lives and our world is designed the way it is. It’s His way.  All the explanation needed. 

If/when (probably "when") I have another baby, I think my husband and I should star in our own rap video.  Like this one.

Of course, I had the same thought after seeing this video when we bought our Swagger Wagon over two years ago, but that still hasn't happened . . .

Always a good reminder:

In more worldy concerns, the ever-present battle to take back control of our lives from our phones continues to rage.  Some amazing insights in this article (such Truth!) and this Video.  Well worth the “share.”  Now, how to implement this in my own life . . . .

I know!  When in doubt (and when desiring to escape phone addiction), go to Disney World!  So we are!  Tomorrow!  For an overnight!  So excited!  Wheeeeeeee!!!!

Family Photo Taken at Disney Hollywood Studios in front of the Nativity in November 2013

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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