Monday, January 23, 2017

We Are All On A Merry Go Round

I don’t know about you, but I have mixed memories of merry-go-rounds.

I remember my first ride, when my dad took me to the county fair and put me on one of those HUGE horses.  When the MGR started, I totally freaked out.  I cried, I wanted off.  Why did my daddy do that to me?

A year passed.  Time for the next county fair.  When my dad took me to the county fair that NEXT year, he also brought my 2 younger brothers.  Well, guess what we came across.  Yup – the MGR. 

What do you think I did?  Do you think I cried?

Naaaaa.  I wanted to try it again!  After all, my 2 younger brothers were watching and I wanted to look like a BIG BOY in front of them.

So my dad put me on the horse – but this time I was prepared.  I knew what to expect.  It would start going round and round so I braced myself, and YES!  I can handle this!!

But then I noticed the pole I was grabbing.  I never really paid too much attention to it before.  I followed it up to see where it went.  When I looked up, I saw all kinds of crankshaft mechanisms pumping and churning.  Up and down, up and down.  Well the up and down motion of the cranks in combination with the rotation of the MGR made me dizzy.  VERY DIZZY!  I started crying again.  Daddy, daddy, take me off this thing.

How embarrassing.

Next year!

I can’t wait to get back on that stinkin thing.  I got on it, my brothers were watching.  I grabbed the pole.  I intentionally looked up.  YES!  I can do this!  CONQUERED!!!

My dad noticed what I was doing well, so he said to me “well Bobby, since you’re feeling so comfortable maybe you’re ready for THAT!”

And he pointed to this stationary ARM-looking-thing that was off to the side of the MGR.  He said, “now Bobby, if you lean way over you might be able to pull the ring out of the tip of the ARM.  And if you do, you’ll win a free ride!”

Every revolution, I reached more, and more and more.  Finally, YES!  I got the ring.  I almost fell off, but I got the ring!

Human nature.  Fascinating.  Always reaching for more.  Never satisfied with the status quo. 
Isn’t it interesting that hardly anyone rides MGR’s anymore?  What used to be a thrill 50 years ago is NOTHING – absolutely NOTHING today.

What does this mean about ourselves?  Where is all of this leading?  What does it imply about our true willingness to be "safe."  

Just thinking, that’s all.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

I Used to Love to Go Jogging

The following text is a personalization of a video that was created by my daughter, Jessica that can be seen at:

I used to love to go jogging.

There was something about being in the open air that freed me.  I loved the feeling of my feet hitting  the ground.  I loved the challenge of the big hills and long runs.  I loved the sun shining on my face, and sweat beading up.  I loved feeling the breath of life, flowing in and out of my lungs.  Me and the trail, alone with my thoughts and prayers.  I loved it.

But then it happened.  Sudden pain near my ankle, and then down I went.  My Achilles Tendon ruptured, severely.

You never know what is going to happen when you wake up in the morning.

Circumstances change.  The situations of life present themselves to us.

I do not know about you, but it seems to me that my life has been molded by situations and circumstances that were absolutely outside of my control.  Even more, it has been most painful of these circumstances that have molded me the most.

I was initially very discouraged when I learned that I'd never be able to jog again.  But now I realize that it was important for me to slow down.

I loved to jog, but now I have been forced to walk.

I still get that same sun.  I still feel the breath of life flowing into and out of my lungs.  I can still challenge myself, and even break a sweat.

But now that I am forced to walk, I appreciate the smaller things.  I can hear the birds more clearly.  I notice the different kinds of plant life along the trail.  I take in the aroma of the forest as I never had before.  Sometimes I even stop, hold my hands up in the air, and thank God for all He Is.

You may see more when you are flying, driving, or running, but it was only when I was forced to walk that I realized how much I was truly missing,

The simple, yet profound details of life.

And that has made all the difference. 

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Instead of Blame, Introspection

In my last article, I appeared to have SHOCKED some people by suggesting everything that happens TODAY is caused by people that came before us, which might have led you to think that I was saying we are not responsible for anything – that we are merely victims of the past.

Well, in a way it's true that we are all victims of the past.  But it's also true that we all do things in the past that cause problems in the present.  In fact, EVERYTHING we do TODAY dramatically affects what happens TOMORROW – which makes ALL of us a lot more responsible than we realize.

Let’s suppose, in the course of an investigation, that the evidence suggests that YOU did something in the past that caused a problem in the present.  The past could either be a minute ago, or a month, week or year.  Whatever, it was in the past.  

For example, let’s say that you ignored the advice of someone close to you -- either an expert, a family member, or whoever – and that something awful happened because you ignored that advice.  

A very important question should be "why did you ignore that advice?"

Let's say you ignored the advice because 1) you wanted to go forward with your plans, and 2) you felt like you knew better than the other person.  Of course, there could be a lot of other reasons for "ignoring advice" -- I'm only suggesting these reasons as an example.

At this point, I'm going to suggest a question that could change your life forever, if you have the courage to answer it.

Ask yourself:  What is it about the way I am that places my own desires and opinions of myself over the desires and opinions of someone close to me (using the same example as above)?

After all, when something goes wrong in our lives, shouldn't the major objective of everyone involved be to learn something about themselves?  

Forget about the "other person," what about you?  What are YOU supposed to learn?  

Please try something at home to see what I mean.  Home is the safest, and most rewarding place to try this.  Think of something you did in the recent past that caused an unfortunate event, and then ask "what is it about the way I PRESENTLY AM that caused me to do what I did?

Isn't it much more important to focus on the way we are at present than to blame the past?