Sunday, November 11, 2012
In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams." Acts 2:17
I have a reoccurring dream. I am standing on a river bank looking at the other side. Before me a river flows. Sometimes the river is clear and sometimes it swirls and is indiscernible. Always there are stones and rocks. Some are large, and some are small. Some jut out of the water and some lay quietly letting the water rush over them.
I've had this dream often enough to know its not random. There is a message in it for me. I've taken time to reflect and meditate on its meaning. Because we are part of each other I'd like to share my thoughts with you.
The river bank I stand on is my life as it is now. The far bank are my hopes, dreams and goals. Between the two lays a series of challenges and adventures. The stones and rocks are the path provided to me reach the other side of the river.
Some of the stones are smooth and flat, easy to stand on. I feel comfortable when I stand on them. Other are a bit uneven. I have to concentrate to keep my balance and when I stand on them I never relax. They rock unpredictably. If I'm not careful I'll tumble into the river.
Sometimes I have to make a decision which way to step. The quickest route looks small and sharp. They dont offer much comfort. Veering to their right or left I see large flat stones that take me miles from my destination but offer security. Which path should I take?
Sometimes I have no alternative. I have to stand like a crane atop a set of small pointed stones, bite my lower lip and fight back my tears. As their points pierce my feet I look wildly for the next alternative, wondering if there will be more or less pain.
The dream tells me that life holds no permanence. At any given moment a strong current might knock me off a secure stone and into a raging river. It tells me that no matter how comfortable I become I have to keep adjusting to the changes my life presents me. Real suffering comes from expecting everything to remain just as it was or is.
This dream is not always comfortable. Sometimes it irritates and disturbs me when I wake up. Why cant I stand still and enjoy the breeze and the spray?
Choices, choices, choices - so many choices before me each moment I'm alive. Yes, some are fraught with peril but they create the river of my life.
"'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams."
JCS 2012 All Rights Reserved
Saturday, November 10, 2012
At the end of September I blogged about our family weight loss and how well we were all working together on getting healthy. At the time we’d lost a combined weight of 60 pounds. My daughter Katie compared it to losing a small child. I blogged that comparison and caught all sorts of heat from some folks who thought it was cruel for me to compare weight loss to losing a child. Someone suggested I compare it to 60 pounds of blowing balls. I just couldn’t visualize that. I’m not a bowler. But, anyway, the life lesson there was that you can’t please everyone. I went back and checked the date on that blog and found to my surprise it’s been a tad bit over a month since I gave ya’ll and update. (That last phrase is southern for “It’s been awhile since I furnished each of you with an update.”) So here is the tale of the tape. Or scale as the case may be.
In the past month Joan, Maggie, Katie and I have lost an additional 30 pounds. The running total is 90 pounds since September 1. During that time Joan and Katie participated in a “biggest loser” type competition at our gym. I am proud to say, (Close your eyes and imagine my chest puffed out and my face awash with pride……… Okay maybe you shouldn’t) that Joan took first place and Katie took second place. For their effort Joan won a year’s free gym membership and Katie won a six month membership.
Here’s what I learned from a family-get-healthy- initiative:
It’s easier to get to the gym when you are going with other people especially when one of them is your wife who looks at you and says “We ARE GOING to the gym.” It becomes a no brainer and you have three other people to walk, run, swim and work out with.
Food choices get simpler when you buy and cook lottsa good, healthy stuff. There’s support in three other people saying “Nope, we aren’t taking the lazy way out tonight and eat out, one of us is going to cook dinner.”
We have all had losses and we have all had gains and each of us draws wisdom from the other. Katie and Maggie utilize Weight Watchers, I use Spark People and Joan samples from both process. Each of us is doing what is successful for us personally and supporting the other people in the family with their journey. We are not ashamed or embarrassed to take someone to task for slacking off. No pious platitudes, no “isms,” just common sense and a lot of love, sprinkled with the joy of watching someone you love grow the right way, inside rather than outside!!!
In many respects Hillary Clinton was right……….. It takes a village.
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
It doesn’t matter who wins the elections in the USA. America’s future is safe and sound. As long as we have bright, young, forward thinkers like Rachel “Fitz” Fitzpatrick we are going to be okay. I take the liberty of calling Rachel a good friend and I know for sure she is an inspiration. We only met once, at a birthday party a while back, and since then have been Facebook buddies. Rachel’s is in her twenties and full of optimism and enthusiasm for life and everything that’s in it.
I wanted to blog about our nation and our freedoms and how important and sacred they are. I read Rachel’s posting on Facebook this morning and I was so moved. It was short and simple yet so powerfully eloquent that my words would be insignificant.
“I'm voting because my type fought harder than any other type in America. We should exercise that right. Don't vote against yourself and inhibit your rights as a human being today. Today is not about 4 years, it's about a lifetime. Vote for you, your safety, your children's safety, and your parents safety. We vote for our future based on experience alone. We aren't voting for magic, for kings, for money, for vanity. Only you can change yourself with the tools being supplied. So hope for change in policy that helps the greater good as an American and let the individual go. God bless this country.”
Thank you Rachel for letting me know that when my head hits the pillow tonight our future isn’t something I need to worry about as long as there are people like you willing to see a positive vision.
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