Friday, February 25, 2011


I want a house. (But I have a house.) I want a car. (But I have a car.) I want money. (But I have money.) I want abundance. (But I have abundance.)

Perhaps I should clarify...

I want a nicer house that isn't as old, doesn't have as many problems, and isn't attached to five other "houses" - it's a townhouse.

And yet, the house I have is just fine. The heat works when it's cold. The air cools me off when it's hot. I have a place to take a shower in the morning, and a place to lay my head at night.

I want a car that ISN'T old enough to vote, that doesn't need something fixed every couple of months, that doesn't have a dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree with warning lights every time I drive it.

And yet, the car I have is just fine. The heat and air conditioning warm and cool me as needed. It never breaks down on the way to or back from work. And it's been completely paid off for years now.

I want money enough to to pay off all outstanding debts, enough to cover any unexpected hiccups that may come my way, enough to buy the things I want and not just the things I need.

And yet, I have enough money to pay my bills every month, with a little left over for savings. I'm not in danger of having my house foreclosed, or my car repossessed, or being sent to a collections agency for any reason. I have a job I enjoy that compensates me sufficiently to meet my needs. And, on occasion, I am able to afford some things that I want - but don't necessarily need.

I want abundance. And yet...

I have a house, a car, and a job. In many places all over the world, I would be considered a rich man.

When will I - and when will WE - realize what "plenty" really means?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Poems For Your Perusal – #1: "Not My Best Foot"

"Not My Best Foot"

This is not my best foot
But forward it must go
This is not my finest hour
But it will have to do.

I must be self-conscious
Aware of what I lack
The will to take what I can get
And give so little back.

This is not my legacy
For that will have to wait
This is simply honesty
But far too far from fate.

What I have to offer
Is rarely ribbon-worthy
I simply must express
Emote, release, if only for me.

I do not seek your honor
I do not want your prize
Though this is not my best foot,
I will not apologize.

Double Standards

Many people set ridiculously high standards for their fellow man (or woman, or child). They expect others to be exactly what they want them to be; and when (inevitably) others do not live up to that standard, they are rebuked, rebuffed, or in some cases, removed. Whether or not these same people set for themselves the same standards, or whether they live up to their own expectations of themselves is, for the sake of this discussion, irrelevant.

Here's what is relevant. And that's God's standard. Whoa, whoa, God's standard? Isn't that PERFECTION? Yes, it is. And there can be no exceptions to the rule. It's either perfection or destruction. Well, where's the hope in that?

Here's the thing. God expects absolute perfection, yet He expects it from imperfect creatures. How do you reconcile the two? That reconciliation only comes in the person of the God-Man, Jesus Christ. Jesus bridged the gap between God's perfection and our imperfection through the blood He shed on the cross. Without that, we have no hope. We have no means, in and of ourselves, of achieving God's standard of perfection. But, with Jesus interceding for us, the gap between us and God not only narrows, it closes.

Given the choice between the two – utter hopelessness and everlasting hope – I'll stick with the latter. What about you?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dizzy Does It

A few weekends ago, for reasons beyond my limited medical comprehension, I had a bout with dizziness. Eventually, I prevailed over dizziness, because, I believe, I was in better shape (imagine that!) and had trained harder. But nevertheless, it was quite a fight, lasting several rounds. There are few things, in my mind, that can compare with the helpless feeling of being dizzy. Being drunk maybe, but I wouldn't know that firsthand, since I've never even taken a sip of anything that could make me drunk. Being on strong medications, or not-quite-legal pharmaceuticals, but I wouldn't really know about those either. I wouldn't necessarily call being dizzy an altogether unpleasant sensation, though when I nearly fell down in a crowded restaurant, that was a little disconcerting. It's just a strange feeling to lose control. I think that I, like a lot of people, put a lot of value in being able to control a situation, the outcome of events, or – in my baser moments – even another person. To lose that ability, even for a short time, is humbling. It engenders dependency: on others, on "whatever will be will be", or, if you will, on God. When my hands are tied, or more metaphorically accurately, when I can barely take a step on my own, it's then that I realize that I'm not in control. I never am. It's that ever-present illusion of self-reliance that dies in those moments. And I think that's probably a good thing.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Leaving On A Jet Plane, Didn't Know I'd Come Right Back Again

Yesterday I spent approximately four-and-a-half hours in airports and another six hours or so actually in the air flying. At the end of the day I ended up right back where I started. I never reached my destination. If I were author Max Lucado or some other great storyteller, I'd probably be able to come up with a clever correlation about how this is a good picture of the way we live our lives. Going around in circles, never getting anywhere. But I'm not that clever. Also, I have a headache, which significantly hampers creative thought. So I leave it to you to draw your own conclusions. Get back to me on that. I'll be waiting. I mean, I'm not going to drop everything and wait for your replies, but, you know, I'll check back every now and then to see if anyone has posted a good response. If I think about it... Better write myself a reminder note.

Everybody's Got One

Several people I know have recently started blogs, in which they chronicle the day-to-day events of their lives. I find these to be, for the most part, fascinating. Maybe I'll do that here, too; I'm not sure yet. I also find other things fascinating. For instance, that the official motto of the tiny European country of Luxembourg goes something like this: "Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sinn", which roughly translates: "We want to remain what we are" - can't argue with that. Or, for example, that Steven Seagal still gets paid to be an actor, when he never possessed any natural ability to act in the first place, and has since become too old and too portly to be the martial arts "action hero" that he inexplicably was for so many years in so many lame films. Or, to wit, that there are at least two other ways to express the sentiment "for instance"as evidenced by the preceding sentence and this one. I also find it fascinating that – in the English language alone – there are four different ways to express the plural of the word "hyena" – which are as follows: hyenas, hyena, hyenae, and hyenæ. That last one really gets me! How do you even type the letter "æ"? I'm clueless! I said all that to say all this: everyone else seems to have a blog now, so why not me? I'm realistic enough to realize that most people won't be reading this, for the sheer fact that a large number of people in the world don't possess or have access to a personal computer. Or electricity. Or clean water. But that's neither here nor there. Whether you want to read this blog or not, that's up to you. I can't guarantee consistent quality every time I post, although I probably won't misspell anything. I can't even guarantee that what I write will be entertaining, relevant, or entirely true (you know what they say about believing everything you read on the Internet). But I'll do my best with the skill set with which I've been blessed – or cursed. And you can bless or curse me in return. Doesn't matter either way.