Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Why am I Afraid?

I have lived much of my life afraid—afraid to fail, to succeed, to do something, to do nothing, afraid of God, afraid there is no God. Somehow I came to believe evil was more the color of this world than good. I learned to fear everything because everything was evil.

Can a universe created by God, who is good, be more evil than good? 

What was good in the world of my youth? God, the Bible, church, and Christians were the last bastions of good in an otherwise evil world. Whose ideas of good and evil did I receive?

Did those who taught me have it all right? 

Did I learn to search for God, to seek out what is true, or did I just learn what I should say and do so God would not punish me for eternity? Did I learn to look for evil so I could hide from it, or to look for beauty to reveal God who created? Did I learn to find the good in people, or to find whatever was different and call it evil? 

Look out at this world, or into your own mind, and you will find evil, but should we not pour more fervor into our search for what is good? What good is it to ask, "Where is God?" and then go searching for devils? 

Perhaps I would be less afraid if I stopped looking for things to fear.

Perhaps the question is not whether God is speaking, whether God is visible, but rather whether I am really listening and looking for God. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Institutional Problems, Individual Solutions

We so often attempt to address problems at the institutional level. We want broad, general solutions that can be applied everywhere all the time. I wonder how often, if ever, such solutions exist.

 Most problems come down to people in the end, and that is where they must be addressed if ever there is to be progress. Big problems like racism, poverty, and exploitation are not going to disappear from the top down when the right policy or law is enacted. 

They will end when people, individually, stop being driven by hate, greed, and selfishness. They are not legal problems. They are character problems, moral problems. 

It is to be the hard way for us, the long way, lifetimes of struggle to love others as we consider what we are adding to this world.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Weary Souls

Weary souls will find no rest on Earth, for rest is not relief this world can give. What this world has to give in sorrow and pain it gives without reserve and without remorse. We see with our imaginations how much better this life could be, but we are doomed to the reality life is never as good as it could be.

Beauty is a glimpse of light beyond a veil of darkness, a sweet breath of air in the midst of suffocation. Beauty is a tease, the scent of a meal we don't know whether we will ever eat, exquisite and elusive.

Bodies will revel in pleasure and writhe in pain, but there is something beyond what bodies perceive, beyond pleasure and pain. Music that tickles the ear can drive hands to clap and feet to tap, but there is music that sets the depths of our souls vibrating to the frequency upon which the very song of life sings its unceasing tune. It is the light of truth breaking through the mist like warm sun rays through cold morning fog. It is the promise of rest for weary souls.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Speed of Time

When we are young, we rush from one activity to the next and are instantly impatient when forced to wait, although we have more time than we can understand. As we age, and as our time grows shorter, we tend to slow down, to savor moments rather than try to rush on to the next. 

When we are young and time stretches out beyond our view, we rush around like we are nearly out of time. When we are old and approaching the horizon of our time, we slow down as though we had all the time in the world.

By the time we have learned how best to use our energy it has fled us. I wonder why this is so.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Not Alone

You are not alone.
I am not alone. 
In the vastness of the universe, 
in the vastness of our souls, 
we are not alone.

We walk with those who walked before 
and those who will walk behind. 
We walk sometimes with those we cannot see, 
those from times beyond our own, 
but others know the paths on which our feet raise dust.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Twister, and Humanity's Demise

Our collection of laws in the U.S. keeps expanding as laws get increasingly narrow, which must lead to conflicts as narrow laws cross each other. Lawmaking has become a giant game of Twister in which various factions call out positions to bend and contort the law to fit their interests.

It is only a matter of time until the law can no longer bend or contort itself to appease the call of the day.

What happens then?

At what point will the legal system become so bloated and slow as to be little use to anyone?

We are trying to substitute laws for thought, a trend that pervades many areas of life today. We want systems, steps, processes people can follow mindlessly, but is not thought the defining characteristic of humanity?

What possible good can come from requiring people to think less? Thought, wrestling with ideas, expressing creative vision, this is the great gift and burden of being human.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

What's the Use?

Sometimes I wonder why anyone should bother to write, or more specifically why I should bother to write. Surely there is nothing new for me to say. Perhaps it is true that what you and I have to say has been said before, but when when we discover something unknown to us, it is new to us. 

There are as many worlds as there are eyes to see, ears to hear, noses to smell, fingers to feel, and hearts to love. What we discover, what we experience for the first time, is new to us even though it is old to someone else. This life is not about finding something no one else has found. It is about sharing what we find and helping those around us on their journeys. 

We are communal beings and our value to each other comes from our willingness to share our hearts and minds. Perhaps we are most valuable when we are most vulnerable. Perhaps we are most valuable when we stand with those who are vulnerable.

Sure, other people in other times and places may say or do what has been said or done, but who else right now, right here can say or do what you and I have to say or to do? Do what you have to do, say what you have to say, and worry not that it has been or will be done or said minutes or miles away.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Only One

I am only one person in six billion,
six billion people riding on one planet,
one planet of many in one solar system,
one solar system of many in one galaxy,
one galaxy in the vastness of the universe,
a universe beyond which we cannot see.

In a universe beyond our imaginations,
in one solar system of one galaxy,
there is one planet of many.

Among six billion people on that planet,
there is only one of you and one of me.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Broken Clock

There's clock on my wall that no longer tells time.
I leave it there, though I'm not sure why.
What good is a clock that doesn't tell time?
Maybe it's a reminder that time isn't really real.
It's just a tool to help us with what matters most, with what is real.
Time is just a clock that one day will stop,
but life will go on just as it does around the broken clock on my wall.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Is a Diamond a Diamond?

Is a diamond a diamond that is not found? If not, then what is it before it is pulled from the ground? What good is a diamond that never meets eyes? In the dark heart of the earth it waits to exist. 

It waits for the light to reveal what it's worth. 

Its beauty does not change, but no eye sees it waiting, hidden in its dark and quiet place. How many eyes will see it even if it is pulled free to meet the light? Is a diamond a diamond when no one sees? 

The answer, I'm afraid, is in you and in me.