Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Curtain Rises

Inside his mind, inside his soul, hidden from view
Falling, falling, falling toward the everlasting abyss
Nothing to hold on to, only swirling thick darkness
Hopelessness, emptiness, no existence, nothing

What he shows, a view for the world, can it be real?
His face is bright, his words are sure, life excels
He holds everything, the majestic is his to own
He won’t be toppled, he won’t be torn, he mustn’t break

Inside his mind, inside his soul, covering the truth
Plummeting, plummeting, plummeting toward the everlasting abyss
Nothing to stop the fall, only darkness surrounding, demanding
No hope, alone, lifelessness pleads its case, nothing

For the weak, the show has become the truth, the new reality
Like the hypocrite in the ancient play, the actor springs to life
Spinning a story, deflecting our gaze, all is a slave to his whim
He’ll stand on the heights, remain intact, the fa├žade cannot be broken

Mind is trapped, soul is anguished, imprisoned in lies
Down, down, down, forever downward, charging to impact
A glimpse, a flash, yet darkness, maybe a shadow, perhaps
Hope searching, harshly, abruptly fills the empty, something

He is damaged, he is broken, he is humbled, finally truth will have its way.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Little Ball of Fire

I’ve decided to give you a glimpse of one of my favorite people of all time, my grandson. The title of this blog is one of his many descriptive nicknames. Most of his nicknames are some variation of action verbs, adjectives, and nouns that make you think of some kind of high octane energy. You will rarely find words such as quiet, still, or sitting attached to him unless it’s preceded by the phrase, “it’s a miracle he’s”. Most people would describe him as very busy. I would rather think of him as full of life. He has never met an experience he doesn’t like, or a circumstance he doesn’t view as a learning opportunity.

As life would have it Calby (another nickname) and his mommy have lived with us since day one of his illustrious life. Calby recently turned four. From the start his determination and happy personality took us in its grip. It was at about the age of two that we started to understand that the determination part might offer us some challenges.

I walked into the living room one day and he was standing on the back of the couch…so far nothing unusual for him. He then announced that he was going to launch himself from the back of the couch over the seat and onto the living room floor. My brain quickly calculated that there was about a 100% chance that he would break some bone in his body if he attempted this maneuver. My mouth urgently reacted with, “no you are not…”-too late, he was in the air. He landed, rolled, and stood up laughing. A quick check assured no broken bones, or even any bruises.

Well now my pride as a grandpa took over. I was impressed. Jumping attempts two through ten were with my, at first hesitant, but increasingly enthusiastic approval. I should mention that my adult son was a co-conspirator in watching this unfold. There were no women in the house at the time and when we later in the day tried to explain this episode to mommy and grammy, I recall the word stupidity being applied to us men. Of course the fact that Calby had a great time and had no broken bones or significant bruises, gave us the self assurance that we had done nothing wrong.

Well, there’s a glimpse…more to come later.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Quiet Spirit

“The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.”

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how annoying and disheartening it is to be around loud, boisterous people. Now I’m not talking about people who are full of life and enjoy every moment with enthusiasm and exuberance. I love being around those people. No, I’m thinking more of those for whom every moment is an opportunity to bring drama to their life and yours if you will let them. I’m thinking of those who find a problem in every situation, or something to criticize about almost everyone they meet.

There are those who seem to flourish by constantly ratcheting up the emotional turmoil, to keep things stirred up for the sake of a continual emotional high. They talk and gossip and oppose for the sake of getting a reaction. It’s draining to interact with people like that.

I like quiet people. I like sitting in a room or riding in a car with someone who can be comfortable sitting in silence. I don’t really mind talkative people either as long as their spirit is quiet and at rest. I have friends that I can just sit and listen to for hours, because their conversation is peaceful and uplifting. Their words bring insight and light and life to me, not just noise and clutter, or their opinion about all that is wrong with the world.

I’m pretty sure I was meant to be a recluse. I’ve known it since I was a kid. I don’t crave constant social interaction. I’m content with having just a couple of really close friends (my wife being first on the list). The irony in all of this is that in both my vocation (sales) and my avocation (pastor) I’m required to have constant interaction with people. I’m expected to be social. I’m expected to voice my opinion about things I don’t want to voice my opinion about. I’m expected to accept loud and boisterous people as part of what I do and who I am.

Sometimes life’s road takes some strange turns. One day soon I hope to evaluate the reclusive lifestyle a little more closely. I don’t think I want to go live in a cave or anything, because I really do like people a lot. I can just do without the dramatic touch some bring into our lives.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Our Journey Home

Headlong through the Universe
Fire of life pulsing through our veins

Speeding through existence
Living water refreshing our souls

Hurtling through space and time
Inspiration filling every breath

Traveling in the oneness
Sounds of unity energizing our mind

Racing toward our vision
Touch of eternity drawing spirit close

Arrival at our home
Senses finally giving way to Life

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Second Chances

“Every breath is a second chance”

“Every breath you take is not yours to own”

“I need your breath in my lungs tonight”

The quotes above are from three different songs from the band Switchfoot. As I was thinking about these lyrics I was impressed with the thought that most of what we accomplish in life is brought about because we have second chances. Oftentimes many more chances than even that to get something right, to try over and over until we match whatever perfection our standards demand of us.

For many, that perfect standard is subjective, changing, modifiable. I need something a little more concrete than that. I need a standard that is generated outside my own mind, outside my own sense of right and wrong. And so I look to the Creator of all that there is to see what His expectations are for me. Even then I have to do some interpreting based on my own life experiences, viewed through my own lens. Still, I try to see things as He sees them, from His eternal perspective. You might even say I try to put myself in His shoes.

Having been given many second chances in life I recognize that any breath could be my last and that I truly don’t own that next breath. I need to make the most of each and every breath I take. I need to use each breath to contribute to making the universe a better place. I must acknowledge that the breath I need in my lungs is His breath. The word inspired just means to breathe into. I yearn for His inspiration. I’m thankful for His inspiration.

When we embrace the second chances our Father gives us, hanging on to the hope he puts in front of us, accepting the restoration He offers us, we get a glimpse of His full love; a place where the heavenly meets the earthly to inspire us to completeness and perfection.