Hey, hey, hey! It’s Faaaat Tuuuuesday! (Fat Albert anyone?…couldn’t help it). You may remember from last week’s WIAW post that Fat Tuesday is what we named our small group from church because we get together, eat, and eat well! We come together over food to dine and discuss things that matter in life. Last night was a great showing of food (always potluck style) and conversation…here are some snippets of our time together!
Not even the whole group! Mikey took the photo & we’re missing 2 (single!) guys.
Our newest addition!
Mikey and I look forward to Fat Tuesdays so much every week. As funny as the name is (coined by a friend who puts cream on everything – even ice cream, even pancakes with butter and whipped cream!), we mean it affectionately – our stomachs are filled, are hearts are met, our minds are expanded as we come together to discuss life issues. And there’s always room for dessert.
Last night we introduced the book we’ll be reading called Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton. Gilbert Keith Chesterton was himself a fat man, weighing in between 300 and 400 pounds over his lifetime, and was many times referred to as “enormous.” This was partly because of his size, which he often joked about, especially when getting stuck in cab cars and door frames, but more so because of his mind and heart. He was physically large (well over 6 feet) and his gargantuan frame housed a gargantuan brain! He was a talented writer, poet, and artist who wrote 70 books, a myriad of articles, and even had his own magazine, G.K.’s Weekly. Often referred to as an absent-minded professor, he also LOVED to joke – here’s a rare picture of him being is jovial self, because usually he scowled for pictures because he thought it was funny:
(click for sources)
He left a major mark on the modern world, however much he may be forgotten by the general public today: he inspired Mahatma Ghandi through an essay he wrote to nationalize India with a specifically non-Western ambience; George Orwell borrowed the date 1984 from one of his novels; C.S. Lewis became a Christian due largely in part to reading Chesterton’s works as an atheist – the wit and humour Lewis writes with are distinctly from Chesterton; poet T.S. Eliot said that Chesterton “did more than any man in his time…to maintain the existence of the [Christian] minority in the modern world.” (127, 131 Christians Everyone Should Know,” Christian History Magazine.)
Chesterton lived and viewed life with a “romance of receptiveness,” meaning he was open to listening and to new ideas, open to understand life around him. Some of his best friends included people like George Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells, people with whom he loved to talk but didn’t agree on a single thing! This kept him from living a boring life; “…I have not grown old by being bored,” he once wrote. We learned last night that Chesterton believed that pessimism should be a half holiday only – don’t stay in a gloomy spot for too long, only two days! – because we should be people characterized by joy. We live in a world that is shipwrecked, where sin and sorrow and sadness are everywhere, but there is deep goodness around us yet, peeking through the black darkness with a shining light. This ought to make us more joyful, taking pessimism only as a half holiday before packing up and heading home to joy.
This is why we’re studying this man and delving into one of his first books, Orthodoxy, the title of which refers to the traditional Christian faith. It’s an apologetic (in defense of the faith) writing about which Chesterton was not apologetic! It’s not going to be easy reading, but we’re excited to challenge our minds with the thoughts of this “defiant traditionalist,” as Earl Palmer calls him, and gather to share our questions and hopefully give insight to one another.
Yesterday, besides involving great food and fellowship, was about cleaning bathrooms, the kitchen, writing out a month’s worth of workout for a client, emailing a few people and focusing on drinking lots of water and not snacking for no reason. I made it until about 4 o’clock and then the snacking ensued. It kind of turned into one of those nights, where I almost killed the banana bread after the group left and went to bed not feeling stellar about it, especially after a full day which left me with an unplanned rest day and no movement.
But you know what? Today’s a new day, there is goodness all around me, and there’s no reason to focus on the short-comings of yesterday when I have a great life to live today. So here’s to keeping my eyes forward, making good decisions today, and living with JOY and MIRTH – qualities that Chesterton, despite living through some hard times, exemplified in his life.
What are you choosing to focus on today?
Have you/do you ever read any classical writers or authors that make you think? Any life-changing books we should tackle next?!
Here’s to a great day! And be sure to check out a GREAT lower body workout put together by a group of bloggers (including me!), all videos included, as a part of Lindsay’s initiative, Trainer Tuesday!
Live well & be well friends,