Man de la Maza

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Awoken by Jesus

As I have cited earlier, I really need my sleep. The Empress and I have worked out a scenario whereby, we each get to do whatever the hell we want one weekend morning a week. (Being that there are two of us, the math works out rather nicely.) My morning is Saturday, and 9 times out of ten, you will find me sleeping in. Today as an added bonus, Dulcinea and the kids had gone shopping. A blissful empty quiet house.

Them: Knock,knock, knock!
Me: Wha ... RXN .... (snore)
Them: Knock,knock, knock! Ding! Dong!

I shamble out of bed and put on sweat pants and a T-shirt. I look approximatley like a piece of roadkill that a vulture would deem too unsavory to eat.

Me: May I help you?
Them: Hi, we're just dropping off information about out church if you don't attend a church already. I'm sorry. Did we wake you?

Many responses fly through my head. I'm just about to go with "No, I was busy sacrificing a goat to the Unholy One".I then recall that even though these people have woken me up and even though I did not invite them to my doorstep and even though I have had this conversation several times before, they believe they are here to prevent me from eternal damnation. This is a generous thing to do with your Saturdays, and such kindness should be treated with respect. I, for example, was obviously losing no sleep over their eternal souls. Thus, I suppose it is fair that I should lose some sleep from their concern about mine.

It is my practice to always talk to whomever comes to my door to save my soul. In fact, I usually invite them in and offer them a glass of water. (Used to offer them a soft drink, but I kinda freaked out some Mormons that way once.)

Me: Yes, but I needed to get up anyway. And yes, I attend the Quaker meeting ocassionally.

These people, however, woke me up. They get no water.

Them: Well great. Let me ask you this -- Are you sure that you are going to Heaven?
Me: No, I don't think any of us can be sure of that.
Them: Oh but you can. God has told us...

Pamphlets appear. She reads through some of the Bible's greatest hits. John 5:13, Romans 6:23, and the always popular Romans 10:13.

Me: Yes, but the Bible is a book. A book which has been translated many times.
Them: That's why we use only the King James version.
Me: Which was translated from ancient Greek.
Them: That's Right! I don't read Greek. Do you?
Me: And even that was someone writing down their revelations. We don't know anything about their experiences.
Them: Well that's why you have to have Faith!

I see Dulcinea pulling in with the children. She rolls her eyes as she has less patience with proseletizers than I. For their own safety, I wrap up our theological dialectic and send them on their way with my honest thanks.

I guess I want to reach out to these people because I see many of them as good-hearted folk who nonetheless accept everything they are told in Church. Spiritual life and worhip are good things, but I often see religion in my country being a weapon of cruelty. People accept beliefs wholesale because "That's what God says".

I don't think any us know what "God says" and the sooner we look at the issues as questions rather than answers the sooner we might make some progress. And who knows? Maybe we'll make it to Heaven one day.

New Knights

Welcome Fatboy and Margriet.

Fatboy comes from my old stomping grounds in Pennsylvania. I will be watching his blog with interest since he plans to follow the Don's Inferno program. I hope it makes a great program better.

Margriet and I share many interests besides chess -- singing in a chorus, philosophy and meditation. I hope I have not mistaken her desire to join our group, but as she cross linked all of us, I assume she desires to be a Knight de la Maza. (If not, just let me know).

Level 60 at 2.5 mintues per problem

Have you ever seen the movie "The Birds"? There's a scene where a woman walks into a room and birds start flying at her through a hole in the roof so fast that it makes me dizzy just thinking about it.

That's kinda what level 60 probs feel like in Circle 3.

139 days down, 16 to go
992 problems down, 47 to go in Circle Three
Level 10: 96%, 44 sec/prob
Level 20: 93%, 79 sec/prob
Level 30: 78%, 114 sec/prob
Level 40: 70%, 141 sec/prob
Level 50: 65%, 148 sec/prob


  • " I often see religion in my country being a weapon of cruelty." As a side note, my tournament game on Monday on the ICC is against a player who's handle is, and I'm not making this up....."Bible Believer." An intersting pick for a game that is essentially a microcosm for war. I can only hope his maker doesn't believe that much in him or his rating of 1537.

    By Blogger Pale Morning Dun - Errant Knight de la Maza, at 11:34 AM  

  • Sounds like you got a visit from a Bishop, pinning you in the door :-(.

    By Blogger King of the Spill, at 12:55 PM  

  • I've generally tended towards being a scientist more than a believer. However, I've gained more and more appreciation for Keirkegaard over the years -- his willingness to admit he does not know but his insistence that we must move forward nonetheless.

    Hopefully I won't paraphase him too badly (my apologies in advance to the "real" philosophers among us) ... Kierkegaard says that every individual stands over an abyss. It is draped with mist and fog such that there is no way to tell how far it is to the other side. One must choose to succumb to their fear and walk away (i.e. walk away from life) or preferably make a "leap of faith".

    By Blogger DG, at 2:35 PM  

  • If your car is running downhill you have to brake. No matter what you belief.

    By Blogger Temposchlucker, at 2:58 PM  

  • Hey, I'm a believer, and my handle is CelticDeath. aching anterior cingulate cortex....

    By Blogger CelticDeath, at 6:33 PM  

  • Hai Don and all fellow knights,
    I am honoured with your invitation.
    I've seen you put my name on the list (you forgot the R, it is maRgriet, and that is a dearest name to me)
    Since I am a knight now I will take a solemn oath (is this good English?) :
    "I will reach for the goal to gain 400 ratingpoints at least, therefore:
    I will practice as much as I can following the advice of Michael himself.
    I will visit my fellow knights blogs when I can because I know that supporting is essential for this."
    Guys, we are not allone anymore!
    I hope you all come to visit me sometimes, so I don't write my blogs for nothing.

    Now about your 'awakement by Jesus'
    In some Philosofy systems it is been said that for different people, the emotional human, the intellectual, and the Physical, there are different paths. For an emotional person is intellectual understanding not necessary, belief is all. For an intellectual person this is unbelievable. Sometimes we all forget the differences between human types.

    Further I hope you will excuse my English, it is not so well.

    By Blogger Margriet, at 6:42 PM  

  • Margriet,

    Please excuse my dropping the "r". I had it right in one place, I have corrected now in the other spots as well. Welcome aboard!

    By Blogger Don Q., at 7:29 PM  

  • Good thoughts. Visit me at

    By Blogger jeff dandel, at 7:31 PM  

  • I don't know. I think that you have been given multiple chances by, what it sounds like, God himself. If you dug a little bit in the bible, church, and religion, I think you would find it more than just being "awoken by Jesus". You did not specify whether your a believer or not. I think that God will give us all a chance to come to him. Your lucky, you have been given that chance several times.

    By Blogger Conservation Terms, at 8:04 PM  

  • Don,

    I agree that many folks follow religion blindly based on what they are told. I wish people would question the things they are told a bit more. Personally, I am not into religion because I don't want to make such an important choice solely based on what everyone else is doing or saying to do. I'd better leave it to that so we don't get too far off track. After all, there is chess to discuss! :-)

    Welcome to the new knights!


    By Blogger fussylizard, at 12:04 PM  

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