You are making a bigger difference than you think

I often feel powerless. Life throws situations at me that are bigger than I can handle.

I believe in the power of God to answer prayer. I also understand that he answers not always in the ways that I like nor within my timetable.

But that’s not the point of this post.

I want to encourage you to keep doing good things and to not give up.


During my bike ride to work, I cycle on this sidewalk. The sprinkler system puts a fine mist on the sidewalk (as well as on its intended target — the nearby grass). Notice that a very thin stripe of spray paint stopped the flow of water. Somehow, the sun warmed up the painted stripe and prevented water from crossing over.

We’re like that stripe on the sidewalk. We often feel that we have very little impact on everyday situations and the people who are part of our lives.

But you never know. You may be affecting the flow of water in their lives — not preventing it — but rather making it flow to better places.

So keep on doing good things.

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Going to extremes

mount cameron in colorado

We all need to push ourselves to extremes. It’s healthy and necessary to survive.

  • Moderation is key, of course. If you look at any professional sports player, you will see the results of pushing bodies to extremes: boxing can result in severe brain damage; ballet can result in crippled feet; football can produce the early onset of arthritis. But if artists and athletes didn’t go to extremes, it would be a seriously boring world.
  • Pushing our boundaries increases our capacity.
  • The intensity of life on the edge is usually more exciting than living in the center.
  • Extremes can help us appreciate a normal peaceful life. When I camped among the Maasai for six weeks in a remote part of Kenya, visiting the closest town to have a cold Coke made it the most delicious sugary beverage I’ve ever enjoyed. (We were camping without electricity and no stores of any kind within an hour’s journey.)
  • We need rest and contrast. If we live on the edge at all times, the extreme becomes the norm and it’s hard to do the life that most of us need to live… not everyone can be a Ferrari factory test driver.

 


I took the photo near the top of Mount Democrat, in Colorado. It was actually a very warm day — towards the end of the summit hike, we were in shorts and t-shirts. Everywhere the trail crossed over the snow, it was beaten down enough that crampons were not needed.

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My water, not our water

Sign describing well water is used for irrigation

During my bicycle ride to work, I pass by a large cemetery with vast green expanses of lawn spread out among scattered memorial benches. (They have a rule against vertical tombstones.)

And they use their own well water to keep the grass a healthy and tranquil green.

But isn’t that water drawn from the same aquifer that surrounding neighborhoods use?

Apparently, when you use your own well water, you can water at the peak of sunshine exposure, when evaporation is at its highest. And you can water however many days a week you like.

Even worse, one neighborhood I ride through irrigates grass along the edges of their roads seven days a week.

The rest of us in suburbia are limited by Denver water authorities to three days a week and no watering between 10 am and 6 pm.

I’m not jealous of this extravagant use of water. But I find it interesting that these rules apply to only one set of users.

Life is always like that — one set of rules for one group and another set for another group — unlimited access to resources for one group and very limited access for another group.

You and I need to just accept this and ride on.

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The best dishwashing gloves

Mamison Korean kitchen gloves

I never knew that the best dishwashing gloves are made in South Korea.

Somehow, I discovered that fact and bought a pair through Amazon Prime.

And they are amazing.

My skin is naturally dry, so if I wash dishes by hand, my hands quickly dry out. So I enjoy protecting them with a second skin of latex.

These gloves fit well and are not impossible to get off when finished using. The outer rubber-ish material is grippy enough that dishes won’t slip out of my hands very easily. (And I have broken a dish or two over the years!) They are much longer than typical gloves, so you can wash pots and pans in a deep sink.

I can’t give an endurance report yet, but they definitely seem to be stronger than the U.S. supermarket varieties that I’ve used in the past.

Shortly after I bought them, some friends visited whose grandparents are from South Korea. They confirmed the superior quality of Korean dishwashing gloves and mentioned that the extra protection provided by these amazing gloves is valuable when preparing spicy kimchi. (The powerful spices in some varieties of kimchi can eat away at skin but are relatively harmless to the stomach.)

A win for South Korea!

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