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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Bad news, I have to work.

I am not sure about you, but I hate the fact that I have to work all the time. Do not get me wrong, I have had some great jobs, but work is a four letter word no matter how you spell it. I had a job as a professional rock climber for a large amusement park. I climbed and rappelled all day long. I was getting paid for doing what I loved to do. As a college student this was the best job I could have. But, like all jobs, I started to hate it.

Sometimes I get angry with a certain Adam and Eve. Why couldn't they just leave that damn apple alone? Now I have to work all the time. I think that this is where I create way to much of my own anxiety. I have not learned to embrace my judgement and just go about my tolling with a sense of acceptance and joy. I was the kid who watched the school clock like a hawk, wating for that bell to ring so I could get the hell out of that classroom. I have not changed, I can not wait for that last minute of the work week to get out and enjoy my life. I think I need to find the win-win in my toils and be happy with the cool jobs I have. I have noticed that the people that have realized this and embrace their toils do some much better in life. It seems that they are eager to go to work and do their job. I am not sure, but maybe it is just another control issue I have. Maybe I just do not like others telling me when and where I have to be. I would much rather be exploring the world and seeking out those places where man has not been. But instead, I need to work.

God and the teenage driver

Have you ever been in the passenger seat with a new teenage driver at the wheel? If you have, then you are familiar with the pure terror associated with the impending collision. You want to trust the new driver, but they just cant seem to steer and brake the way you would. I can remember taking a high speed driving course and having my instructor yelling various insightful words concerning my level of control of the vehicle. There is a precarious dance of trust and control when giving someone else control of the wheel. We expect that others will have the same perceptions and reactions as ourselves. When there is a difference in reactions we become uneasy and want to take control. When driving at high speeds, two trained and experienced individuals seating next to each other will have an interesting conversation that borders on humor and shear terror. To me, this experience is like living life with God.

Many of us often make comments about trusting God. But have we really surrendered control over to Him? Can we sit in the passenger seat and feel comfortable with His speed and steering? I think we feel better with God in the passenger seat. Just tell me where to turn and we can work it out. This is a huge problem. This is not how God wants us to live. I am learning to let God drive and subsequently, I have found that I experience more of this life. He has driven me past scenes of heartache and scenes of joy. I would had driven another way for sure. I would have accelerated past that which He slows down for and slowed for things that He speeds past. I would have chosen right turns when He has gone left. But somehow He has managed to get us to various destinations I thought impossible. He knows no short cuts, but yet makes the best use of time. I think His routes defy all common sense. But His routes always make the most sense when I look back at the journey we have taken.

Yes I struggle with wanting to jump in that drivers seat and take control. I sit in the passenger seat nervously sweating and screaming "stop, stop, stop" or " turn here" most of the time. But as long as I keep my butt in the passenger seat we manage to do just fine. Yep, living a life with God in control is much like riding with a new teenage driver.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Echo of Life, the mouse and the Lion.

There is one line in the movie "Gladiator" that I love. Russel Crowe is motivating his troops right before the final Roman battle against the German hoard. He says "Remember, what you do in life echoes through eternity." When I get up to the high country, in among the granite monoliths, I love to yell and hear my echo. This habit is all most compelling to do and it is also contagious. But, when it comes to our lives we often tend to barely whisper when we have the opportunities to create an echo. I have done this more times than I care to admit. I find myself standing at the precept of opportunity and I whisper almost apologetically. How am I to create an echo of eternity?

I have come to believe that this mind set is the very obstacle that blocks our ability to create change. There are few factors that prevent our great echoes that compare to the limiting force of our own self concept of smallness. Inside of me, I become like a mouse who's loudest voice could only be heard if you were standing a few inches from me. I want to become like a lion, roaring from the mountain tops. But how do I get there?

To get "there" I must start with an internal journey that takes me deep inside. Back to my childhood is where I must go, and as many of you can relate, that is not a fun journey in any manner of light. Turning our mouse-ness into a lion's roaring echo will take us to a place of defining past feedback. Feedback that we bought into and made into a belief that we were not good enough to have our names in the history books. Feedback like, you are stupid, you will never amount to anything, you are ugly, you are fat, and so on. I am sure that if we all spend a moment thinking back, not only will these types of comments come rushing back in to our cognitive memory, the emotions connected to them will resurface as well. We re-live the hurt, anger, frustration, rejection, and pain that goes with such feedback. But we must re-define our self concept in these moments. We do have the power as adults to go back and reject those comments that have created the mouse within. This however, is only the first step of the journey to freeing ourselves to create our own life echo.

The next leg of the journey is to replace the mouse with the lion. We need to start thinking about the lion. We need to re-affirm our lion-ness everyday. Soon our lion thoughts will become our Lion words. Our words will become our belief, our belief will become our actions, and our actions will become our destiny. Our roar will become an echo that rumbles through eternity.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Castle of Fuarchúis; a fortress of safety?

Do you live in the Castle of Fuarchúis? There is a perception that this fortress is a safe place to reside. Those of us who are tired, battered, and emotionally crushed may be tempted to move into this place of benign refuge. However, you will never find anyone who desires change living here. So why do people decide to move in to "Fuarchúis" and never come back out?

Fuarchúis is just another word for apathy. Apathetic people are all around us. They have given up on their ability to become agents of change. They wear suits, robes, jeans, and every other form of clothing you can think of. They do not believe that they can change anything, not themselves or anything around them. They have relinquished all control over to the "whatever" of life. Agents of change are no doubt beaten, stoned, crucified, belittled, mocked, and so on. So, who in their right mind would ever want to become an agent of change? Why take the risk of complete personal destruction to change something in your sphere of influence? Why not just move into the castle of apathy and live your life out?

I think it is the rewards of change that become the driving factors that keep one out of that castle. Once we have tasted a sip of fulfillment from the cup of change we become empowered and strengthened to do more. The truth is that each and everyone of us has inside us a portion of what I call "an agent of change." In fact, I believe that we cause change constantly without notice. But what kind of change are we causing; positive or negative? The question is will we take the risk to become that agent of conscious positive change? Do we believe enough in who we are to step up and become that which is needed to cause change in our world? I think most change is accomplished through the small things that we do. Awareness of the change we cause, either good or bad, is the first step we must take to become agents of positive change. However this awareness often brings sadness. Sadness caused by the realization that we are responsible for negative change in someone or something. It is a sadness that will drive us to become better agents of positive change.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Dangerous Dogma Divorce; the willingness to see past the 3D mind set.

Why do we stayed married to our dogmas? This is a question I asked myself recently. Before I go on, let me define the term "dogma" so we are all on the same page. According to Dictionary.com a dogma is:

1. A system of principles or tenets, as of a church.
2. A specific tenet or doctrine authoritatively laid down, as by a church: the dogma of the Assumption.
3. Prescribed doctrine: political dogma.
4. A settled or established opinion, belief, or principle.

I seems to me that once we form, or establish, an opinion, belief, or principle we tend to stay married to it no matter what. How can we be so confident that there is no other information needed to build or change our dogmas? Is it possible that these perspectives could have been formed from limited knowledge or understanding to start with? Could we say, for example, that what was our truths yesterday are not truths today?

Once we marry a dogma, do we have to stay married to it? At what point do these beliefs and opinions become totally settled? I think that there comes a point when we should step back and reexamine our commitment to our dogmas. Imagine living our whole life believing something that in the end we discover that it was false or only partially true. If we are committed to a doctrine, then whose doctrine is it? How did it come about? I am starting to think that many of the prescribed doctrines that we base our entire belief structures on have been formed by men who had alternative motives.

More importantly, once we become committed to such things we find it extremely difficult to step away from. Why is this? Is it our stubbornness, our egos, insecurity, or just stupidity? Any ideas?

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