Rabid Fun

John Cowart's Daily Journal: A befuddled ordinary Christian looks for spiritual realities in day to day living.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

I Learn How -- After I’ve Done It

I’ve noticed this phenomena before:

I don’t learn how to do something till after I’ve already done it.


Work piled up so that Ginny and I decided to put in an extra work day Saturday. I don’t know what she was doing in the other room, but I continued formatting that 246 page manuscript I mentioned Friday.

I reformatted it one page at a time till I neared page 188. then it occurred to me that if I selected a segment where I wanted to change to a different font. Then I could right-click and chose the option Select Text With Similar Formatting. By my doing that, and changing one font in one place, the computer changed every other place that same font appeared throughout the whole 246 pages.

All at once.

And here I’d been scrolling through text making changes one page at a time.

One paragraph at a time.

Thus, while the first half of the manuscript took me three days to format, the second half--once I learned what I was doing--was formatted in just seconds!

Isn’t that amazing?

I did not learn how to do it, till I was almost through doing it.

Back when we installed the rain gutters on the house, I did not learn how to work the rivet gun till only a few rivets remained to be done.

In my faith, I remember time and again when I did not learn to obey Jesus till long after I’d already been trying to do it on my own.

Maybe that why He said for us to take up our cross daily and follow Him.

Maybe that’s why the Scripture says we are to “Taste and see that the Lord is good”.

Neither a step of faith nor a computer option makes much sense till after we’re committed to doing it…

Which brings me to another subject.

My youngest son, Donald, and his wife dropped by yesterday to deliver a birthday present from our friends Randy and Lisa. Ginny and I had missed our birthday party on July 19th. And Donald and Helen could not deliver the present until now.

Donald explained some research he’s doing:

Back in 1926 a mathematician named Cunningham discovered that by taking the square root of any number and adding or subtracting the number one, you ended up with a number which can be factored. Donald is developing a computer cluster which can factor Cunningham Numbers…


Donald thinks that deserves a whoot anyhow.

I have no idea what he’s talking about.

Another of his research projects involves linking eight camera’s to a GPS system with a computer system, all aboard an all terrain vehicle. This construction drives into devastated areas after a hurricane or tornado to asses wind damage. The pinpoint information can be used for rescue, recovery and reconstruction as well as to formulate protective measures against future storms.

While Donald enthused about his research projects, I hurt Helen.

In conversation, I touched on a sensitive subject which pains her.

Instead of shutting my big mouth when I realized I was distressing her, I tried to expound and explain and elaborate -- thereby hurting her more.

I made her cry.


I would not have hurt her for the world, I love Helen and value her as a great addition to our family.

Yet I bullheaded on keeping talking, trying to straightening things, making it all worse.


Why can’t I learn to shut up till after I’ve already spouted off?

I do not learn how to do something till after I’ve already done it.

Er… maybe that explains the gift Randy and Lisa sent to Ginny and me.

They gave us a copy of Burton’s translation of the Kama Sutra.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 5:36 AM


At 4:42 PM, Blogger pai said...

You didn't hurt me - it's a long story and I'll email you. :)

Love you too, Dad!

At 5:50 PM, Blogger Jellyhead said...

Oh how frustrating to realise that you could have done something much more quickly! That kind of thing is always happening to me, when it comes to computers. I guess the positive side is - you know will know the short-cut for future formatting.

I see from the previous comment that you are not nearly as brutish as you described yourself (which somehow I suspected all along!)

Have fun with your new book!!


Post a Comment

<< Home