“Why are you so stupid?”

This is a true story. I swear on the Bible.  As we start to think about a new school year, I feel the need to share something that happened last September when I opted to take on Cross Fit as a new form of exercise. These were my thoughts and actions on packed a work day last fall.

That’s it. I can’t take the constant rushing and trying to balance everything. Today, I am going to tell Father Kevin that I can’t lector at 8:00AM mass on Thursdays anymore. I got up at 4:30AM, greeted Tim, checked e-mail, read texts, loaded the dishwasher, and headed out the door at 5:20AM to meet Maggie and Teresa at the Y for our Thursday morning run. We had a great visit as we did our regular five-mile clockwork loop through Valparaiso, and our run ended with a spectacular sunrise. We paused to chat in the Y parking lot, and when I looked at my watch, I said, “I have to get going. I have mass this morning.”

Already feeling behind in my day at 6:45am, I jogged home, kissed Kevin hello, thanked him for the coffee, and raced up the stairs to shower. Everything was timed: five minute shower, re-brush teeth, dry hair, get dressed, zip downstairs, gather books and student essays, load car, and drive to church. I was all set . . .  unless I got stopped by the train at Beef Mart.  Knock, knock, knock. Oh no! “Hi Nancy, is Watson ready?” Jess of Reeves Royal Acres usually picks up Watson for pet camp – yes, it sound ridiculous – after I’ve left the house on Thursdays, our day of refuge from Watson’s boundless energy. . “Come on, Watson, time to go,” I try to calm Watson as he skyrockets to the ceiling with joy and whirring Reeves Day tail. Easy going Jess coos to Watson and snuggles him close to her body. Meanwhile, I silently rant, “I have to get going. Someone else is going to have to read for me at mass.” Jess says Watson’s treat stash at Reeves is low, and I shove the box of biscuits at her. I lock the door, sprint to the garage, make every light on Calumet Avenue and see the flashing yellow in front of the middle school. I brake to a crawling 20mph because of a previous traffic stop, look at the clock blinking 8:00AM and decide to tell Father Kevin that I can’t lector at mass anymore on Thursdays. With running long on Thursdays and teaching morning classes at VU, it’s just too stressful. I can’t make it on time. Besides, if I don’t read at mass, I can probably squeeze in a Cross Fit workout on Thursdays.

I slide into my chair at St. T’s, late as usual, but still in time to lector. I approach the lectern completely unprepared for the following scripture scolding: “A Reading from the Book of Galatians. . . Why are you so stupid? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh?”

I felt like God had hit me on the head with a frying pan. I quit Cross Fit, and I still read at 8:00am mass on Thursdays – when I don’t get stopped by the train.



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