Bags of Bran


The Intricacies of Two Worlds
December 19, 2010, 10:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’d love to show my dad the wheels I built last year with the goofy lacing pattern: he probably would have asked me why I didn’t just lace it 2 cross and be done with it. I suppose I could have, but these are my wheels, so nobody else’s life is on the line for the sake of my experiment!

I wish my dad had taught me how to build wheels, but it ended up being more or less of a self-teaching experiment coupled with some excellent teachers at the shop. I fumbled with the first couple, but now it’s pretty easy, unless I’m trying to build a rear wheel with 3 cross on the drive side and 2 on the non-drive. That was quite a puzzle. I ended up just lacing the entire drive side and then lacing the non-drive separate. In a lay-person’s terms, it would be like cooking an entire batch of pancakes on one side only, removing them from the griddle and setting them aside, before going back and cooking the other sides. More than slightly inefficient.

Both wheels, the weirdly-laced front and the 2-3 rear, turned out great. They’re tight, straight, round, and sturdy. They’re also quite heavy, but they’re doing duty on Der Winterbeater, AKA “Old Dreadful,” so excessive girth is sort of a virtue disguised by excessive girth.

I suppose that as cycling-related good stuff turns more into a hobby and the Christian ministry turns more into a career I will gradually drift away from things like wheel building and other bicycle arcana. Similarly, if I jettison all hopes for the ministry and disappear into a bicycle shop for life, I will probably forget how to read Greek, or at least how to parse third declension nouns. Actually, now’s as good as any time to practice…

tis, tinos, tini, tina, tines, tinwn, tisin, tinas

Well, those are the indefinite pronouns, and they are how I remember the participle endings as well. Unfortunately, some words, like pater, basileus, etc., are quite weird and don’t follow what I consider to be the thematic declension. A Greek from the Koine period would probably tell me I’m an idiot for not knowing how to decline words like “father” and “king,” but I would turn around and smugly ask him to parse our linking verbs, you know, just to show him.

How do I hold these two worlds in appropriate balance? I want to be a good mechanic. I want to be a good exegete/theologian/preacher/teacher/whatever. This is a recurring theme in my prayers. It would not please either my Dad (were he here) or Christ (whose opinion is of greatest worth) if I built shoddy wheels, but neither would it please either of them if I was mallet-handed with my Greek text. Both things are worth doing well. The former may put food on my table, but the latter is useful for putting food on the table for hungry saints.

Two worlds, both intricate, both competing for attention.

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