Category Archives: God

Punch holes in your fears

Fear hovers like fog.
It gathers, hesitates, stays.
We read what confirms.
See, I am right to be afraid;
I have reason to fear.

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Light dims
Pulling up our covers, to
our hideout, our cocoon, our tent.
Safety suffocates…
if not self imposed,
then self-perpetuated.

Punch holes in what frightens you.
Not with fists,
but with learning,
with truth,
with prayer,
by conversation with a trusted confidante.

Pepper your fears with puncture.
Then, look through them
to what they’ve been hiding:
the life God imagines for you.

Step into it.

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Competitive Nearsightedness: it’s Treatable

CIMG4384Both teams were there. Both coaches. Lots and lots of parents. The only thing missing was the referee. No one wanted to reschedule this last game of the season, which didn’t determine anything in the standings. We just needed to get it played.

As it happened, there was a parent on each team who was certified as a referee. Both sides agreed to play the game under the officiation of these two dads and abide by the outcome. They each would take a half of the field. At half time, when the teams switched sides, the dads would stay: even exposure to both pairs of eyes, one half on offense, one half on defense.

Man, that dad from the other team, he was BLIND! He called everything against us. But our dad, he was exceedingly fair, giving their team every benefit of the doubt. Really. Not kidding. That’s the way I saw it. But actually, in the end, the fouls called were about the same. If they had been somewhat partial, it went both ways. Season over.

I discovered something that day: my eye bends what I see. If I have a team favorite or a preferred outcome, if I want things to go a particular way, if I want a certain team to win, I tend to see things that way. And think I’m right. In my spectating life, the foul is always on the other team. And even if you point out the transgression committed by my player, I am quick to argue: she pushed first, he was just defending himself, it was inadvertent…. Apparently, I am biased. I see things with my jersey color overlaid.

What a great lesson our sports experience teaches. If I’ve made up my mind what the outcome should be, I’ll see myself as right and act accordingly. Point out my error, and I will swiftly find ways of justifying myself. That doesn’t make me right; it just makes me feel right, and a bit indignant that you can’t see it my way.

Watching those two dad-refs do their best and then watching both teams shake their hands and thank them for the game, improved my vision. I suffer from competitive nearsightedness; I am biased when looking out for my own best interests. Life lived faithfully looks out for the interests of the other, even my opponents, to ensure that they haven’t been wronged.

Developing an unbiased perspective? That requires surrender in service to the game. It requires us actually to embrace and accept the wisdom of “may the best team win.” No, actually. And that’s not easy. It’s unnatural. Gonna take some time, and practice. Everybody gets better with practice.

As one who seeks to live a life which follows Christ, the evidence of my practice is a growing expression of the fruit of the Spirit in my life.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,  goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. ~ Galatians 5:22

Am I growing in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Are you? Are we?

If we’re not getting better, we’re not practicing.

Still, not stationary

Still.

Is it even possible
to be still,
in the presence of one who
is never still?
Mirror neurons, they
are a-buzzin’

How is it
that God,
who is stillness,
is strength and power,
endurance and accomplishment,
rest and calm,
undiminished all?

While I,
overtaken by sorrow at the weeping,
muffled by the world’s accounting,
leaden with the weary travelers,
am overcome by the task
of stillness.

Stilled by God,
Ah, stilled by God,
I am still, not stationary.
Poised in power,
Coiled in crouch,
Ready and waiting.
Neurons, they
are a-buzzin’

Still.

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