Sunday, October 19, 2008
Have you ever been in a situation where no matter what you said someone else had something to say about it? For some reason I tend to be in the center of these types of conversations all the time, maybe because I’m an easy target, maybe because I’m willing to enter into them, maybe because I invite them. The how is less important than the why. I find it both exciting and interesting how the human soul desires to contend both through our physique and our intellect. It is as if there is something to be proved all the time. It would be an interesting social experiment if everyone on the planet practiced humility for 30 days. I wonder what the world would look like. Could we solve world hunger? Would people talk to each other with love and respect or would it be so difficult for some they wouldn’t speak at all? I’m going to throw out a challenge to anyone reading this; for 30 days would you join me and do your best to be humble? Try not to pick a fight, try not to be rude or disrespectful or proud. Lets see what our worlds will look like.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
We live in a technological world filled with multiple methods of staying connected with people. These methods include, texting, email, and various other internet “friend” based websites. We have all these different methods of staying “connected” to each other and yet sometimes we are left with the inexplicable longing to physically touch someone. I recently took a trip to see my father in Berkley, Ca. I hadn’t seen my dad in a couple of years but maintained constant communication by phone. The first thing he did when he saw me was grab my face with both of his hands and kissed my head. After the plane ride home I was waiting for my ride and as I waited I watched different people embrace their loved ones as they came to pick them up. Human beings are wired for physical connection with each other. What is it inside our being that causes us to desire human touch? Do you think people would be happy living in a world devoid of physical connection? Do you get enough hugs and handshakes? No matter how many different ways we connect, we cannot escape the longing within our soul to physically connect to each other…maybe its time you reached out and touched someone.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Desire can be dangerous. I found myself watching the move “Alexander The Great” an awesome movie. While I was watching it I began thinking of all Alexander The Great did in his life, and I started dreaming of all the things I wanted to do and began diving into this world of desire. It was a hard thing because it took me down a path where all I could think about was attaining that which I desired. I spent the next day obsessing over my desires and lost sight of everything I was currently involved in. You see my desires began to consume me very quickly. I went outside and looked up into the sky and cried out “What am I supposed to do?” There are times in our lives when we can let desire get the better of us. When we do, its time to take a step back and begin to realize the things we wish to accomplish are good things, and its good to have desire, but we can’t let those things consume us, change us, transform us into someone else. I have learned that we have to be true to ourselves as we desire to reach out and change the world. There is definitely something within the human soul that drives us to reach out and do something, change something, become something, and to desire to achieve those things is good. It’s when desires begin to consume you that things get dangerous. What are your desires? How are they affecting you? I encourage you to “be” first and when you do that you’ll find yourself accomplishing your desires without sacrificing yourself.
Monday, June 2, 2008
I was walking in Mexico today thinking about all the different things I had to do when I got back home. As I was nearing the border the cool wind blew across my face, and it felt good. It wasn’t a very strong wind, it wasn’t very special, it was just refreshing. It was an interesting moment for me as I was walking. I put my hands out so I could feel the wind and it began to fill my hands, and for a moment I thought I could actually hold it. Of course as soon as it came into my hands it blew right out. I know in my head a person can’t catch the wind but for a moment I felt as if I could. As I kept walking a observed a long line of people in Mexico waiting to get work permits for the United States, and I wondered what their dreams were, and if they’d achieve them or if they’d feel like they were trying to catch the wind. Then it hit me, some of us have dreams of doing something big and maybe getting beyond the boundaries in our minds, but those desires are always just out of reach so we feel as if we are trying to catch the wind. So how do we move beyond the different boundaries in our lives? There is something about the wind that is mystical and simple at the same time, its strong & soft, cold & hot, blistering & soothing, it comes and it goes and sometimes seems fleeting, yet when it brushes across your face or sits in the palms of your hands it is ever present. Are your dreams like the wind? If so how can you catch it? Something drives us to pursue the wind, to run in it, to try to embrace it, maybe one day we’ll be able to catch it.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
A couple weeks ago I had the great opportunity of sitting down with a man and talking with him about his life. Shortly into the conversation the man had said "I just want to feel something". It was an emotional moment... It was an emotional moment because he felt as if he was walking through life utterly alone, it was an emotional moment because he was searching for some meaning in his life and he couldn't find it, it was an emotional moment because I could see in his eyes he had lost hope in life and began to ask the question "If I'm not here for something, why should I go on in this world?" I sat there I listened to him, I cried with him. And then I put my hand on his shoulder and said three words "there is hope." And then I gave him a tissue to wipe his tears away and said five words "I know where hope is." And then I looked him in the eye and said six words "I can show you the Way." We spent some more time together and after a few more tears and tough moments he walked away with hope in his heart following the Way. Where do you find hope? This is the question that had been plaguing this man for so long. People are so interesting, more and more I watch people find and lose hope like they find and lose their car keys. The problem seems the foundation of their hope shifts like the ocean current. The key is finding a foundation of hope which doesn't shift, doesn't move, doesn't get lost. So let me ask you..."Where do you find hope?"
Friday, April 25, 2008
Do you ever think about the simple things in life? You know, like being outside on a sunny day while a cool breeze brushes across your face, or watching a lady bug crawl around on the ground and fly away. Somehow the simple things make sense, I can't explain why... The other day I was having a really rough time trying to get things done at work while gearing up for school, and I called home to check in with my family. It was then my wife began to tell me a story about my son, it was time for lunch and she looked over at the table and there he was holding a snail. He was being so delicate with it, watching it crawl so slowly on the table. When she asked him why he brought the snail in he said "he's hungry mama". I believe God has placed these things in the world around us and these simple things set us at ease. The remind us there is a bigger picture of the world, and we're a part of that picture. Simplicity. When is the last time you did something simple?
Thursday, March 13, 2008
I've been in my masters program for almost a year now, and part of completing my degree is taking an ethnic diversity class. The first thing that came to my mind during class today was the old song "red & yellow black & white”. One of my friends was talking to me about how she was talking with her mom about the attempts from churches to address the race issues. I can’t imagine how much pain racism and prejudice has brought to people. People have been slaughtered, abused, tormented, and just treated horrifically and for what? Any time I begin to think of why people feel the need to segregate or huddle together in comfortable groups, I can’t help but ask why. Why? What is the benefit of giving one group a privilege over another? I can’t quite figure it out other than to say that humanity is flawed. Everyone of us has the capacity to do bad things, and yet we all have the capacity to do such great things. I believe we’ve come into an era where people are doing more and more great things for one another and I can’t wait to look back twenty years from now and say “I can’t believe how good we have learned to be toward one another.” It takes acts of humility and self sacrifice, and as we seek opportunities to be enlightened I believe transcendent truth will be given to us.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Have you ever been knocked down? Staying down isn't an option, you eventually have to get up. I went snowboarding a few weeks ago and attempted a jump I had no business attempting. I fell and hurt myself pretty bad, and yet everything in me worked hard to get up, get down the mountain, and hit 15+ runs the next day. Granted I may be a little stubborn, but I believe there is something inside each of us that causes us to get up after we've been knocked down. No matter what the scenario there is something in the human spirit that yearns to move forward, make progress, get up, and move on. Have you been knocked down? Are you struggling to get up? What's holding you back?
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Sometimes I feel as if I’m sinking. I think all of us get to the place in our lives where we feel as if we are headed somewhere and start loosing steam. It seems like no matter how hard we try we just can’t seem to get the momentum need to move, so we float. We get tired of swimming up stream and settle for staying afloat. At first floating becomes more of survival mechanism than moving forward, but then I started thinking maybe seeking to stay afloat is what is keeping us from moving on. Think about it, everybody likes to have wind in their sails, or be on a bike headed down an decline with the wind in your hair. We like those times because we feel a sense of excitement, its the excitement of progression. Moving toward our goals gives us a sense of accomplishment, moving forward helps us to feel as if we we're really living. Focusing on staying afloat distracts us from the type of forward movement we really want, and maybe need. We should focus on our destination. Have you ever stopped to think that maybe you're just staying afloat because you've diverted your eyes from your original destination? When is the last time you remember where you were headed? My question to you is where are you? Are you on the path to your destination or are you just staying afloat? Lets set our eyes on our perspective destinations and focus on moving toward our goals.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
I've recently experienced higher levels of stress in my life. Its so easy to get involved with something or volunteer to help somebody and soon enough a little turns into a lot. I can't say I'm at my limit right now but I can definitely see myself headed there which means its time to slow down. If we don't step on the proverbial brakes in our lives we can burn out fast and lose our passion for life. Life is not worth living if you're not living, and part of living is carving out time for yourself. Some ways I intend on changing my habits are to look for times in my day when I can get away from everything and everyone to enjoy peace and quiet and focus myself. Some Questions: Are you carving out time? How are you doing it?
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
I am still in the process of learning how to deal with people who resist change or need to have control. Have you ever had to deal with that? There are so many things I'd like to say but none of them would be helpful to me or anyone else. I guess I have a hard time understanding why some people have a hard time adjusting to change. If the change was bad it would be difficult, but difficulty brings growth (what's the worst that could happen?). When we try to control things I think it displays an insecurity within us (why do people hold on to things so tightly?). Maybe the best way of dealing with people who resist change or need control is simply to embrace them with love and respect, waiting for them instead of trying to change them. Maybe doing just that would help them embrace a little change, and loosen their grip.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Do you ever find yourself rushing into something? I do. Rushing into things seems so tempting sometimes. It just seems right to you or to a few people you know at the time. I think its part of our culture these days, cell phones connect us to people immediately through text messaging and phone calls, and the internet gives us information as fast as we can type and read. Just these two things give us a sense that things are happening so fast all around us and we won't be apart of it unless we get our piece and get it fast. To deal with this I've resolved myself to being aware of my surroundings, getting good advice, and spending time truly thinking about all aspects of the things I want and want to get into. Even though I've begun practicing these things in my life I still deal with my desire to rush into things. Do you feel like you have to rush into things?
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
I can't tell you how many times I've felt stuck. Sometimes when I'm studying and I can't figure something out, or if I'm trying to find more money in my budget, sometimes I'll just feel like I'm stuck. I had the feeling...but something in me always leads me to seek answers. Sometimes the answers I'll come up with are more complex than the problems and yet I find myself enjoying the process. Maybe being stuck is more about discovering ourselves in the process and less about finding the answer. Sometimes I just want the solution...and sometimes I know there is more than the solution to be found. Sometimes I need to learn something about myself.