Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Moon


"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." - Buddha
Have you ever spent much time thinking about the sun? The sun in itself is pretty remarkable. Amazing. Without the sun, life wouldn’t exist as we know it. When was the last time you looked at the sun? When was the last time you looked at it without any special filter between your retina and its rays? Maybe on a cloudy day, if you squint just right you can get a glimpse; but still its hard to look directly at it. But that’s okay. Its okay because the sun is full of energy, as a source for life it serves its purpose. Its giving… constantly.

The sun does have a counterpart. Just like every match made in heaven; the sun has its perfect mate: the moon. The moon isn’t quite like the sun. It doesn’t radiate with energy but gives back in an entirely different way. In relation to how often you look towards the sun, with what frequency do you gaze at the moon? The moon demands our attention through mere existence. It captures us in its mysterious shapes and sizes. We have traveled to it and walked on its surface. It gives us opportunity to react with it in an entirely different way. But how? It does this by reflecting the Sun’s energy. The moon, in a sense, acts as a mirror; reflecting back the rays of light in a manner which we can enjoy an otherwise distant object. The combination of the two allow us to experience so many different things, yet by themselves seem less exciting.

So when I think of who I am and how I’d like to be… I choose to be like the moon. I want to reflect and give back to those around me. I want to give in a way that can be interactive and exciting. Not to be a wall others bounce off, but to absorb their energy and give it back; sometimes reflecting in ways that bring new perspectives and possibilities. I can be the life of the party and brighten a room, but I don’t do it by outshining others; I do it by engaging others and vesting in them. Understanding, listening, and allowing them to be captivated through reciprocation. The moon is an object that does all its work by simply being available. That availability creates an excitement in its own right, and allows for others to continue to gaze up to the sky with anticipation. We look forward to it, track it, and invite it into our lives. Why wouldn’t I choose to be like that?!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Chase It Down


You don't run from your future, you run towards it.

Sometimes facing the inevitability of our future is scary; so we avoid it by holding on to our present - anything that may provide comfort. We fight change, or more importantly we make decisions to avoid our destined outcome. We seek solace in the things we feel we can control. All of that present comfort prolongs the joy that lies waiting for us.

I was reminded lately how we continually prioritize people and things in our life ahead of our creator. Personally I find myself reaching for God, but I'm stuck in the realm of worldly perspective. I continue to prioritize relationships and activity above my creator. And when those things end in a catastrophic let down - I"m drawn back to Him because I know that He will never fail me. It makes me ask the question if our faith (or at least my faith personally) has become some type of safety net. God will continue to draw us towards Him. What is unfortunate is that more often than not it takes pain to get our attention. That thought alone creates within me a deep sadness. In this world so dominated by status - how can we continually remind ourselves that God's grace alone is enough?

In the book Radical by David Platt, he points out early in the book that we are molding Jesus into our image... Platt describes this as:

"A nice, middle-class, American Jesus. A Jesus who doesn't mind materialism, and who would never call us to give away everything we have. A Jesus who would not expect us to forsake our closest relationships so that he receives all our affection. A Jesus who is fine with nominal devotion that does not infringe on our comforts, because, after all, he loves us just the way we are. A Jesus who wants us to be balanced, who wants us to avoid dangerous extremes, and who, for that matter, wants us to avoid danger al together. A Jesus who brings us comfort and prosperity as we live out our Christian spin on the American Dream."

I don't point this out because I'm looking at others, but that I'm looking in the mirror. I'm not pointing fingers, but to stand up in recognition of my actions... not just my beliefs. I've always said that becoming a christian was the single most difficult decision I could have made. The reward makes it easy, but it is the commitment that is required that makes it so challenging. Which is exactly why fighting the present is so damn hard. We are creatures of comfort. We seek solace in areas of this world that create distance from our creator. And we fight like hell to remain in a state best described as average. We aren't unhappy enough with our life to change, but we're not truly filled with joy... so we fight and struggle and claw to get ahead - which seems to look a lot like keeping up with our neighbor.

God is holding something wonderful, more than can be imagined. Running from that future is not the solution. If we are to find true joy, it is going to take more than just being comfortable and hiding in the present. It is going to require that we run, no, we need to chase our future down, because what God has prepared for us lies waiting. And what lies waiting cannot be measured in our own worldly terms!

Friday, April 10, 2009

HSM3!!!

I love HSM... I'm a closet fan - well, I guess not so much anymore. But this makes me laugh every time I see it!

Miaken... I'm using you... Hope you don't mind! :) Enjoy.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Irresistible Revolution



"Love without courage and wisdom is sentimentality, as with the ordinary church member. Courage without love and wisdom is foolhardiness, as with the ordinary soldier. Wisdom without love and courage is cowardice, as with the ordinary intellectual. But the one who has love, courage, and wisdom moves the world." ~Ammon Hennacy (Catholic activist. 1893 - 1970)


Someone once asked me about my choice to follow Jesus specifically in the context of following the crowd, or subscribing to the norm. Without being defensive and without sounding offended my response was this: Being a christian and following Jesus has been the hardest decision I've ever made, but also the most rewarding.

I recently started re-reading The Irresistible Revolution. Below are some things that have stood out and stirred emotion. I just want to share. No commentary, no other thoughts, just sharing. I encourage you to read, and reflect on what I'm sharing.

... Spiritual Bulimia. Bulimia, of course, is a tragic eating disorder, largely linked to identity and image, where folks consume large amounts of food but vomit it up before it has a chance to digest. I developed the spiritual form of it where I did my devotions, read all the new Christian books and saw the Christian movies, and then vomited information up to friends, small groups, and pastors. but it had never had the chance to digest. I had gorged myself on all the products of the Christian industrial complex but was spiritually starving to death. I was marked by an overconsumptive but malnourished spirituality, suffocated by Christianity but thirsty for God.
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"Its not the parts of the Bible that I don't understand that scare me, but the parts I do understand" - Mark Twain

Only Jesus would be crazy enough to suggest that if you want to become the greatest, you should become the least. ... And then I met Jesus and he wrecked my life. The more I read the gospel, the more it messed me up, turning everything I believed in, valued, and hoped for upside-down. I am still recovering from my conversion.

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Two guys are talking to each other, and one of them says he has a question for God. He wants to ask why God allows all of this poverty and war and suffering to exist in the world. And his friend says, "well, why don't you ask?" The fellow shakes his head and says he is scared. When his friend asks why, he mutters, "I'm scared God will ask me the same question." Over and over, when I ask God why all of these injustices are allowed to exist in the world, I can feel the Spirit whisper to me, "you tell me why we allow this to happen. You are my body, my hands, my feet."

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"We can do no great things, just small things with great love. It is not how much you do, but how much love you put into doing it." - Mother Teresa

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"Very truly I tell you, all who have faith in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." - John 14:12

... what had lasting significance were not the miracles themselves but Jesus' love. Jesus raised his friend lazarus from the dead, and a few years later, Lazarus died again. Jesus healed the sick, but they eventually caught some other disease. He fed the thousands, and the next day they were hungry again. But we remember is his love. It wasn't that Jesus healed a leper but that he touched a leper, because no one touched lepers. And the incredible thing about that love is that it now lives inside of us. In the verses just after the one about the greater things. Jesus assures us that the Spirit now lives in us. Jesus says that he is going to the Father but will also remain inside of us, and we in him. We are the body of Christ, the hands and feet of jesus to the world.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

about a girl



There is a story about a boy and girl. Like most great stories involving two people, this one began at a very young age. There isn’t a time where the two recall a first meeting, nor a twenty-second for that matter. They only know that as long as they can remember, the other one has existed somehow, someway. Born only months apart, they grew together through short weekend interactions a few times a year. Their parents whom are friends and colleagues carry the responsibility for the introduction. And ever since, their lives have been intertwined, interconnected and tangled with reintroductions, and memories that always began with a “hello” and ended with a “see you soon”.

The best part of a sandwich is what you put between two slices of bread. In this case its the time after hello and prior to goodbye. One time in Deadwood, hours were spent running through the halls, playing hide and go seek, ducking in stairwells, throwing ice back and forth. Another occasion, in Spearfish, our time was divided between the swimming pool and pinball machines. In one hotel we discovered that an elevator could double as a trampoline. But almost everywhere we went, there was always a pool and always a late night that followed.

Each and every weekend getaway involved several similar activities. Playing hide-and-go-seek, random ice fights, jumping up and down in elevators, plenty of pool-time, and late night slumber parties became the staple in nearly every interaction. As they grew older, the venue became different, but the interactions were filled with activity and unforgettable experience...
And although decades have passed, one thing still remains the same, this boy and this girl, both continue to find there paths crossing and that connection seeded in the past still remains unshakeable today.

This story about a girl... is continually being written. There are still doors that must be opened, memories yet to be made.
"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved."
~Helen Keller