Posts Tagged: destination


19
Sep 11

Ouch… that will leave a mark!

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Hi, me again.

I just returned home from a whirlwind weekend that included a party and Elvis, yes… Elvis.  I will talk about it sometime… but not today.

For some reason I sit here waiting for something profound to wiggle its way from the depths of my being and course through my fingertips on to the blank screen.

The blank screen calls me to write something, almost demanding but not arbitrary.

A blank screen (or sheet of paper) is to be filled with something.  Something that gives it its unique identity, and more importantly, its purpose.

Until something is on the blank page it is lost in the multitude of sameness, never to stand apart or in a greater sense… be used.

So here I sit, making weird shapes appear on the blank screen.  In and of themselves the individual squiggles I make are meaningless.

It is the order of squiggles that make all the difference.  It is how we arrange these marks which determine whether these random shapes will cause us to learn, laugh, and cry; or tilt our head in ignorance.

Llvad ou odnrae veu eya

OR

You are valued and loved

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Same letters… different arrangement.

One page may be used to carry a message of hope, encouragement and freedom that changes the lives of the reader.  While another page is burdened with meaningless blather and is relegated to the trash pile or destined into oblivion by the simple stroke of the “delete” key.

A blank sheet can be used for noble or ignoble purposes… it depends on the motives of the creator.

In a strange sort of way, a blank page is much like we humans.  We start out kind of like a blank page free from marks and clutter.

But as we live, life makes marks on us in the same way I make marks on this blank screen.

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I have on occasion used the old fashion manual typewriters.  I press the key and it slammed into the page… leaving a mark.

Ouch!  If paper had feelings I am sure it would have hurt.  It hurts just like the life marks made on us at different times.

But there is a big difference between the blank page and the marks of our lives.

The blank sheet I am writing on for example is completely at my mercy.  It has no say in marks I make or the order of those marks.

We on the other hand do have some choices.  We cannot necessarily choose all the marks that have been slammed on our life.  But we can arrange the marks in a way that determines the outcome.

There is enough evidence to prove that different people have experienced similar life marks but have ended with totally different stories.

It all depends on how they arranged the marks.  That is the choice.

Do we allow our life marks to create their own ending or do we decide to rearrange the letters?

See you Thursday.

Ciao.


13
Jun 11

No Bitter Pill

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Hi there.  I didn’t know for sure you would visit me today after the last blog entry.

Kudos, pretty daring.

Over the next three or four blog entries I plan to dissect the statement tattooed on the person’s upper underarm pictured in last Thursday’s blog.

Important Note: If you didn’t read Thursday’s blog and see the picture I just referred too, these entries will make little sense.

Go ahead a scroll down the page to the blog.  The picture alone is a grabber.

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For those of you who read the blog I can just hear the collective groan from many of you out there.  You’re probably thinking, Ugggh!  I don’t want anything heavy or uncomfortable.  Just give me cotton candy for the brain.  Something light, sweet with an occasional hint of flavor to let me know I’m eating something.

Well, this is a bit meatier than cotton candy.  But stick with me because I believe the statement has a lot to say to all of us… good stuff… important stuff… if we are willing to step back and look.

Don’t worry, this will not be a bitter pill to swallow, chewy but not bitter… not this week anyway.

Dissecting the Arm Quote:

“Being told you are…”

During our entire life we are getting messages.  From our first moment at birth to our last moment of life there are messages being sent to us.

Side Note: We also send messages but that is for a blog of another time.  Our focus this go round are the messages to us.

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This message thing sounds relatively straight forward and simplistic at first glance, but not at all.

Messages come from all directions in a multitude of shapes and sizes, subtle to blatant, verbal and non-verbal.

We cannot underestimate the power of messages.  They, in reality, are invisible hands from a variety of sculptors.  These hands shape and form us as people.  This is especially true when we are very young, impressionable and moldable.

In a short period of time the shapes and molds begin to harden us into the people we are… for better… or for worse.

These messages we have received influence the course of our life and impacts life decisions.

You will notice that up to this point I haven’t qualified the messages in terms of being positive or negative.  My initial point is that we send and receive messages all the time and they shape us.

The fact is, we have all (to varying degrees) had a mix of positive messages and sadly, negative.

Positive messages build and strengthen.  If a person hears and sees messages that identify and reinforce a particular gifting (e.g. athletics or academics) then the likelihood that they will pursue these areas are natural.

These positive messages build, strengthen and free us while negative messages trap and undermine us as people.

Those of you who are familiar with the arm quote know that on Thursday we will talk about negative messages and the trap that creates.

See you on Thursday.


2
May 11

Are You Trying to Get My Attention?

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Hello again.

Do you ever get the sense that someone or something is trying to get your attention or send you a message?

If not, it’s probably because you’re not listening.  Sorry to be so blunt but it’s true.

First, I believe that in the area of growing as a person, we never arrive.  There is always more for us to enjoy, experience and to accomplish.

That’s the beauty and miracle of life.

God Alert: Yep, this is one of those times when I will talk about my faith.  And once again, I don’t expect you to believe as I do.

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I tend to believe that God, because he loves his creation, continually offers us more.  We can never reach the end of what He has for us.

We can settle for somewhere along the journey… but be assured… there’s more.

Because there is more He is continually stirring us to step out and pulling us forward.  Occasionally God may even kick us in the butt to get our attention.

Side Note: Yes, I actually used the word butt and God in the same sentence.

No, I don’t think He is upset.

Some of you may be wondering why I made this a “Side Note”.  Believe me, there are some people I know who would be pretty disturbed that I said what I said.  But, I digress.

I believe that at key points in our journey there is a special attempt to get our attention.  God speaks to us by coincidence, friends and family, situations, and prayer.

So, the question is, are we listening?

I personally have been sensing and hearing a lot lately about making decisions.  I don’t sense  there is anything currently that I need to make a decision about.  But it could be that I may be faced with a growth opportunity soon that requires a decision.

I ran across a couple of quotes that I thought were pretty good and I want to share them with you.

“The highways are full of flat squirrels who couldn’t make up their mind.”

- Unknown

“When you cannot make up your mind between two evenly balanced courses of action, choose the bolder.”

- W.J. Slim

I particularly like the second quote.  It challenges me.

I don’t know what you are faced with.  But I do know that there is more to enjoy and experience.

Take the bold course… enjoy the thrill.

See you Thursday.


23
Sep 10

Arms Full & Dropped Keys

Hi, good to have you hang out with me for a few minutes.

I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day.  He was sharing all the things going on in his life, the challenges and opportunities.  After I left him it became clear to me that his arms were full and he had dropped his keys.

What I mean by this is that he was loaded with so much he couldn’t go anywhere.

“You can do anything you want but not everything you want.”

- Roger Merrill

I will attempt to make some practical sense of what I am trying to say.

This blog journey I started in January is simply an expedition in the larger journey of my life.  The blog takes a lot of arm space but it continues to be well worth the effort because I know that it enhances the greater.

At some point I may drop the blog.  Anything you drop is because of one of two reasons… design or default.

  1. Design: The item had served its use and now’s time set it aside and move on.  This is an intentional act of release.
  2. Default:  It fell because my arms were too full to carry it all.

I find that life is a series of choices.  There is the constant cycle of taking on and letting go as we roll forward to our desired destination.  For example, I have acquaintances that I enjoyed but they are no longer an active part of my life.  Our lives crossed, we were both enhanced by our relationship but time, distance and personal journeys have taken us to a different place.  These are fond memories and a thoughtful reminder that life rolls on.

This principle is not only true with people we have known but with activities, hobbies, clubs, etc.

The Sobering Question

What do we carry in our arms?  I’m serious.  This is the tough question we must all ask.

You see, we only have a limited capacity and so we must choose carefully what we carry with us and what we set aside.  This ongoing process of daily choices determines whether we move forward vibrant, alive, energized and growing; or we fall prey to arms being overloaded which slows us with strain, drain and insipid existence.

Sad Reality

Here’s the scary one (It’s scary because it is so very real).  Unfortunately, if not careful, we carry something in our arms that not only take up space but literally prevents us from moving forward (dropped keys).

These are things that have negatively happened in our lives that we continue to carry forward.  These things do not get smaller but in fact enlarge and continue to displace good things and will only get worse until a DECISION is made to jettison the load.

What types of things am I talking about?  Things like…

  • A past failure
  • Missed opportunity
  • Lost love
  • Bitterness or resentment
  • Our sack of rocks (see blog on March 4, 2010)
  • Self-hate
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Name your own

This is why the blog I write is so important to me.  I had to jettison some fears to be able to pick my dropped keys and get moving.  As I said earlier, at some point in time this blog will have served its purpose and  it will be time for me to set it down and joyfully add something to my arms that takes me forward.

So I will continue to peck away on this blog and enjoy the beautiful scenery as I roll forward.  So I encourage you to drop something, pick up the keys and get going.

Ciao.  See you Monday.


1
Feb 10

Our Quirky Side

Wow!  It has been a month since I launched the blog.  Kinda cool, but in the bigger scheme of things not that big of a deal.  The bigger question is will I still be actively posting my mental meanderings a year from now?

Frankly I can’t and shouldn’t let myself worry about that.  All I have to do is to be willing to post an entry for today.  And then a couple of days from now be willing to post another.  For too long I put too much pressure on myself to accomplish lofty goals.

The majority of people I know are really motivated by goals.  They set personal and professional goals and then create a plan to accomplish them.  It becomes a strategy game that motivates, focuses, and the reward is attaining the goal.

What I am about to say is very strange.  Me… I’m different.  In fact I feel sort of embarrassed sharing this but I tend to be demotivated by goals.  Yes, I know… weird.

Now I’m going to sound weirder… I have destinations but not goals.  See I told you it would be weird.  I don’t know if I should be worried or not but the statement makes sense to me.

For years I was really bothered by this.  I self analyzed, examined and figuratively speaking, beat myself up.  I’ve got a pretty good handle on all of this now but I am curious what you may think.  Why do you think a person can be demotivated by goals?  Any thoughts?

That’s why movement and direction are so very important to me.  If I keep putting one foot in front of another then I’ll get there.

You may be wondering, what does this have to do with our journey up the mountain?  Everything!

All of us have quirky, weird, unique things that have made our own personal journeys more challenging.  Usually this stuff is more in our heads than reality.  Yet we empower the dumbest things.

The solution… start walking, keep walking, move forward… thus the journey.  I have found that there will always be clutter in and around that will continually compete for our time, energy and most importantly our resolve.  The resolve to place one foot in front of the other and decide not to entertain thinking that distracts.

I will work hard not to be redundant in this blog but there is something I wrote in entry # three “The Wall” worth repeating.  Usually the things that distract seem very rational.

My definition of RATIONALIZE:  Rational Lies

Ciao… Thursday.


21
Jan 10

The Big Confession

Hi!  If this is your first visit to my blog… welcome.

This blog is about a rather frightening journey that I have decided to take.  I’d love to have you walk along with me if you wish, but as I said in my first blog entry, this is a journey I must take whether anyone joins me or not.  If you want to know where it all started you probably need to take a look at the first couple of blog entries.

Also, you need to be forewarned.  My journey buddies and I have started walking up this high mountain to get a lay of the land to determine where we want to explore and identify what dragons we want to slay.  Along the way we’re just chatting.

In my last blog I mentioned that I had something to share that may cause some of you to stop walking along with me.

I can assure you of this… somewhere along the journey I will offend you.  Not intentionally, but it will happen.  The question once again, as it will always be, “Is the call (or for some the longing) you have to learn, grow, and explore greater than your immediate irritation or discomfort?”

Okay, here goes… my confession.

What I want to share with you about myself is that I am a Christ follower.  I can hear it now, some of you just said, “Oh SHIT”.

In two sentences I have successfully alienated those who do not follow Christ and most of the ones who do.   I don’t know much about blogs but this is not a great way to build readership.  But once again, this blog is not for you… it’s for me, and what I must do in response to this journey to which I am called.

But before you stop reading, please hear me out.

To the non-Christ follower: I needed to share that I am Christ follower so you will know where I am coming from because it shades my every idea, thought and belief.  If we are going to hang out with each other it must be a transparent relationship.

My agenda is not to make you believe what I believe, think what I think, or love Christ the way I love Christ.  If I have an agenda it is that my blog be a safe place for anyone to explore anything… without pressure.

Just so you know, my last statement really bothered a lot of my Christian friends.  It bothered them because many feel that I should take every opportunity to help you believe in and accept Christ.  Frankly I used to believe that way and most likely I turned more people off than helped.

The reality is, you will believe what you want to believe and no one can make you change.  I don’t know about you but I get really pretty hard headed when I feel pressured to think, believe or act a certain way.

Side Note: I believe in the depths of my being that if a person is a genuine seeker of Truth, they will find it.  The key word is genuine.

I have met many who say they want truth but only explore places they wanted and were not willing to openly look everywhere.  I continue to be a seeker of Truth and this means I have to be open to faulty beliefs I may have and be willing to take an honest look.

I am not here to preach to you.  I promise I will never do that… or make judgments.

Hopefully, I offer an insight or say something that is meaningful to you on your journey in this life.  And if  our journey together helps you see Christ in a new and different way… sweet.

Whether you realize it or not, I believe our paths have crossed for a reason and not by accident.

To the Christ follower: Get the hell over my saying ”Shit”.  Sorry… I just had to say it again.

It may be hard to believe but I am not a curser.  And I really understand why most of you might be offended.  I too would have been very bothered by it a few years ago.

The point I want to make is this…  for me (I am not putting this on you) …for me I love my Lord with all my heart, but was caged by the rules which kept me from a fuller and deeper relationship with Him.  Now I don’t believe that gives me a license to curse like a sailor but I also believe God is bigger than my using the “S” word.

In my time of devotions I pray for sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.  If I felt in the slightest that writing the “S” word was not pleasing to my Lord – I wouldn’t.

I believe that many Christians are trapped in religious thinking and don’t even know it.  This is much too deep of a conversation for now but somewhere on our journey I’m sure it will surface.

But I promise the same thing to you that I promised my non-Christ following friends, I am not here to put anything on you.  I promise I will never do that… or make judgments.

If I offer an insight or say something that is meaningful to you on your journey in this life… wonderful.  And who knows, maybe something will be said that causes both of us to experience Christ in a new way.

And as I said earlier, whether you realize it or not, I believe our paths have crossed for a reason and not by accident.

Hopefully I didn’t scare any of my non-Christ follower friends or scar my Christ follower friends.  Maybe I will see you on Monday.

Ciao


14
Jan 10

The Voice

Good morning (well… its morning somewhere)

You ready to go?  You’re probably saying, “About time!”  Yep, I agree.  It’s kinda like going on vacation, there’s a lot of prep.  Did you bring your toothbrush?

No it’s not that kind to journey.  It is the kind you do from the comfort of your home.  Pretty cool huh?  Go on an adventure without getting off your butt.   But… (no pun intended) because you are in the safety of your home, this does not mean this journey won’t be challenging, fun, difficult, and hopefully entertaining.

Anyway, my wife wouldn’t want me to go gallivanting off with a bunch of strangers to who knows where (at least without her).

OK… we are now outside the wall that has kept us trapped much too long, the big question is, where to now?  Not back… that’s for certain.

As I sit and type I am literally tilting my head back with my eyes closed.  I feel like someone who is standing outside on a cool morning drinking in the fresh smells and sounds and feeling the soft brush of the wind on the face.

“Where to now?”    Shhhhh….  I am listening for the voice.

Side Note: While I’m enjoying the pause listening, I can almost read your mind….

“What kind of kook is this?  It’s probably some out-of-shape guy sitting in front of the TV in his underwear eating cheese curls and scratching.”  (Sorry for the visual)

Just in case you are wondering…. I’m not eating cheese curls.

But does it matter if I were the fellow I just described?   What does matter is this… if something has been stirring in your core and for some reason you are intrigued about this journey thing…. Will you take the step?   Just small ones will do.  Movement is the key… NOT speed.

OK, back to the voice.

I know… I know… you’re thinking the right medication will help those voices in the head.  But these are voices of the heart and not the head.  If you want to get rid of the voices in your heart all you need to do is ignore them.  They will evaporate pretty quickly… and so does the joy of life.

After listening for a while I still don’t hear anything.  But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get going.

Let me ask, does getting started without a clear direction or plan bother you?  Is it too loose and open ended for your liking?  When traveling I really like to have a map detailing the course to my destination.  But this is different.

Side Note: There are two types of journeys in life.

There are journeys with a destination and there are journeys of exploration.  You will have both types of journeys but it is imperative that you are clear as to the identity of each because success on either journey requires exactly the opposite process and mindset.

Destination: Has a clear end, defined path, checkpoints and usually a timeline.  The joy is reaching the goal.

Exploration: No clear path or timeline.  Instincts and circumstances determine the path and discovery the end.  The joy is the journey and discovery.

So off we go, I’m not worried going in the wrong direction.  If we should happen to explore the wrong path we’ll know.  We’ll turn around and look elsewhere for the prize.  Cool huh?

Ciao for now.

See you Monday