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Learning to Trust Again During the Pandemic

While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore? ”Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Fear is useless; what is needed is trust.”

Mark 5: 35-36

Elliott stopped by last night.

He walked through the front door, took off his shoes and socks, ran into the family room, stopped, grinned at us and proceeded to run around the living room like a crazed banshee.

Elliott knows what to do to get me to laugh and after about three trips around the room, he’d stop and look at me and started laughing, which caused me to laugh, which caused him to laugh harder.

Elliott is expressive. He’ll look at you side ways and erupts with a sly grin. His mom and dad tell me that Elliott fears nothing.

Elliott will look at you skeptically as if to say “All you’re doing is trying to stop me from having fun.” Then he laughs and takes off on another adventure.

Confident? Good Lord Elliott could sell his residual confidence.

He’s no saint. If he cant figure something out he’ll throw a bit of a hissy-fit. He and “time out” are on a first name basis. He looks at the rest of us like “What the hell do you know.” When his sentence is served he slides out of the chair and moves on to his next adventure.

I am envious. I wish I had one scintilla of Elliott’s ability to trust. Elliott trusts because no one has taught him yet that there are “rules” to trusting.

Elliott can trust because no one has taught him how to be afraid — Yet!

Okay, look, I know our lizard brain has a section called “run really quick!” Sorta like The Robot from Lost In Space shouting “Warning, warning, Will Robinson.” I get it.

I sit back and watch him, deep in his own world, happy and at peace. I start to feel sad because one day, very soon, Elliott will start to learn about fear. Elliott will learn that there are people you don’t trust because of how they vote, or what they believe in or don’t believe in. He’ll be taught which race to trust and which race is flawed. He’ll learn to be afraid and that makes me sad. He’ll learn that if your opinion doesn’t line up with the status quo, there must be something wrong with you.

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:3

There’s a lotta debate about heaven now-a-days. Some folks say it’s “way out there.” Some say it’s only a metaphor to either scare us or reassure us – Take your pick. Others say it doesn’t exist at all. I believe heaven is within me and right before me. Elliott understands that. It’s why he blazes in the door, grinning and waving his Elmo toy sputtering gibberish a mile a minute.

Elliott brings us the Good News as only a two year old can.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

Elliott tells us that there is hope and yeah Pappy and Grandma Joan things aren’t always gonna be giggles and grins but take heart. Grab your Elmo toy and trust. The beauty is that Elliott understands Jesus message more clearly than most scholars and wizened sages. He strips away the conditions and rules and regs.

I suspect as well that Elliott and Jesus get along really well.

Elliott trusts because no one has taught him not to trust.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Every so often, Elliott walks over to me, sticks his arm straight out and says “hand.” That’s when I am supposed to stick my arm out and take his hand. Sometimes we walk. Sometimes we just stand there looking at each other

Always, we trust each other

How can you not trust someone who has total and complete faith in you?

Ten years from now Elliott won’t be the same. His world will widen. He’ll learn things like how to blame when there is no rational explanation for why something happened. He will stop creating and expend his energy beating back things he doesn’t quite understand. He may even hate.

I hope not

Namaste





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Under No Circumstances – LUNGE!

I’m not sure where Jim Page is today. He’s a connection on social media, so I know he’s alive.

Jim had the privilege of molding a really naive kid into something that resembled a supervisor. He’s one of many people who helped influence me.

There are some people who’d like to hug him and I’m sure there are some people who would like to hit him. That’s what made him so effective. I remember him telling me that when it was all said and done he’d want to be remembered as someone who was fair. He wasn’t concerned with being liked as much as he was in making sure that everyone knew what the ground rules were and what was in bounds and what was out of bounds.

It helped create a clear conscience.

I could probably write a book on the things he taught me but there is one that will survive the test of time.

Don’t Lunge!

Huh?

I’d rush into his office full of righteous indignation over something, somebody did that no one would ever remember fifteen minutes after it happened and I’d demand an immediate trial and execution!

Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit here but I don’t want someone calling Homeland or the FBI because they think I finally flipped. It was 1977 and I was all of 23.

Jim would sit back in his chair, sorta shake his head and say “Jurki, whatever you do, don’t lunge.” Translation for today’s lingo. “Slow your roll dude, take a deep breath, consult your inner self, be mindful and then take action.”

Please don’t picket Jim’s house for referring to me as “Jurki” as in “jerky.” First of all I’ve been called worse and while you may think that sort of remark is inappropriate, I believe it was said with a degree of affection so if it didn’t bother me, it shouldn’t bother you!

Back to our story.

Once he said that, I’d stop short.

I am glad he did. It saved my bacon on a number of occasions.

There’s a lot of lunging going on in our world today. I believe the apropo term is “over reacting.” We hear what we want to hear based on what we believe just happened and we load up and get ready to blast. We cross our arms and yell “Damn the torpedoes.”

It’s when we stop, even for a nano second to collect our thoughts, and put our personal feelings about someone or something aside, that we can look at the landscape and make a decision based on facts, not on the playbook from a Dirty Harry movie.

Be not mistaken. Jim wasn’t a pushover by any means and if, after examination, someone merited disciplinary action they received it. It wasn’t based on emotion. As Sgt. Joe Friday often said “Just the facts mam.”

Finally, I am not nominating Jim Page for sainthood. He was a human being like you and I and he made his share of mistakes, but in the end he was able to share some wisdom and guidance with people like me!

Oh yeah. Mr. President, Madame Speaker and all in your cohort — You might want to consider making this post required reading for your teams.

If you do, please give Jim Page all of the credit.

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Coming Away For a Moment

Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

Matthew 17:4

Peter, James and John danced across my mind this morning during my meditation. I was reflecting on taking time to rest, relax and recharge.

These are stressful times. Most tragedies and disasters choose a segment of our population to attack and leave the rest of us grateful that the co-called angel of death passed by our door step.

This time, we are all in the same boat. Something we cant, see, taste, or smell is all around us. Something we cant stop by petitions, accusations and votes threatens our existence.

Each and every one of us.

That is scary.

It permeates everything I do and every place I go.

It’s when coming away for just a few moments each day is vital for me.

Jesus invited his three closest friend, three people he trusted to experience a few minutes of perfection and peace. No angry mobs, no scholars trying to trick them with vague questions and riddles. Just a few minutes alone, with him, on a mountain where he transfigures himself.

Rubbish, you say.

Fairy tails to teach us a lesson.

Okay I’ll drop the theology and ask you what would you say if your closest friend invited you to come away for a few minutes or hours to rest relax and shut the door and tune out everything and focus on the things in your life that held meaning for you at that moment?

What if that friend asked you to sit for a moment and be grateful for everything you had in front of you\ and not worry about what comes next.

Just for a moment.

Jesus gets a bad rap, mostly from the religions that try to prove their way is the only way and twist his words to justify their beliefs. We fail to look beyond the obvious and realize in our own way, using our own method and manner that we too are invited to spend time alone and reflect on ourselves and the larger picture around us.

Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here.

Sure is

Namaste

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Living is an Activity

Living is an activity. Am I?

It’s not a thought, an idea or an affirmation. It is an activity.

Activity requires that we use the positive energy we create to make us healthier and happier.

When we are healthier we are happier.

When we are happier we reach out and explore – expectantly.

Living is an activity. Am I?

I have been given an opportunity to do great things, but the first step in mine.

Do I choose to be an active and equal participant in life or do I choose to be a spectator?

“Expect The Good. Can you get the expectant attitude of faith?  Not waiting for the next evil to befall you but awaiting with a child’s joyful trust the next good in store?”

Life is an activity

Am I?

Blessed Monday

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“Keep Ya Head Up”

“Some days you eat the bear and some days the bear eats you

I thought about that for a moment, mostly coz I’m feeling shitty this morning: Tired of the constraints, tired of not knowing and plain tired of this whole mother feakin’ routine. Then there’s the dog…..

Let us pause while I have a temper tantrum.

It is hard to hold your breath for too long at my age.

Nowhere, in that homespun adage is there a rejoinder or corollary that says, “And it’s all your fault!”

If it were, a couple of million people in Puerto Rico would be asking themselves what they did to deserve an earthquake Saturday morning.

More than once in my life I have witnessed and experienced the sometimes “shit happens” phenomenon and as brilliant as I pretend to be, I have no excuse.

Even as I sit here and write I feel compelled to tell you why I haven’t posted in the past week or so. It’s simple and remember I want you to like adore me, so it will bother me if I don’t tell you the “why.”

It is simple. Me meds were adjusted for my anxiety disorder and they threw me for a loop. I’ve had a super hard time concentrating.

I feel like I’ve let you down.

Some days, the bear eats you

As Tupac Shakur, (Not the guy the governor of Kentucky thought was scamming the unemployment system.) said

Keep your head up

Namaste, ya’all