“Been There, Done That”

Satchel-Paige-Dont-Look-BackSatchel Paige was a black baseball pitcher from a time when most black pitchers played in their own leagues and specialty leagues around the country and then into the big leagues after the late 40’s outside of their own specialty league. Commonly called the best pitcher of all time, he was known for many of his quotes on life. The one I have always remembered is “Don’t look back. Someone might be gaining on you.”

Searching the Past. It is often dangerous to search the past. It is too easy to fall back into it rather than move forward because of it.

“Been there, done that.” may be the better philosophy. Putting your mind in the past can challenge your decisions and can make it harder to leave the past in the past.

When you search the past for your future, you miss out on the present. Enjoying life is immersing yourself in the present, not searching out memories, or focusing on yesterday’s dreams.
Taking in what every day offers today should be more rewarding than looking back on what could have been and was not or what was put off for a rainy day that may not ever come.

As I have aged past that point where I often thought I’d never make it to, I reflect sometimes. You can literally get lost in the past of your life. What you thought you would have time do and what you maybe did and shouldn’t have. You can get lost in the stories of what happened ‘then’ when friends got together, and remember later that it was not really ‘that way’ at all.

The past was the formation of today, but today is the formation of tomorrow. The someone that might be gaining on you is someone who grew up with you. And “YOU” are not quite the same. Not the same goals and objectives, not the same demeanor, and a different attitude. When you look too far back you miss the time that is available to you now. There is a tendency to rush to nowhere. Perhaps a cup of coffee and a glance about the countryside of today is in order more than just once in a while.

Enjoy the day…They are too precious to ignore for the sake of other things.  dw

Faithology

In high school and college I studied ‘ologies’. There was sociology, psychology, geology, physiology you know. As I got older and started the journey of living there became churchologies, Scientologies, and I have forgotten what I am certain were others (like workology).
But one ‘ology’ stands out in my history that I did not study in school but that I have studied in living.

I call it faithology. It is the study of having faith.

I have faith in my own destinations. That the decisions I have made and continue to make carry with them an idea that faith connects to a real place. That what seems to be directionless one day, proves to be understandable the next. That one step forward and perhaps 2 steps backwards, eventually moves forward in the scheme of things.

This is faithology. One has to practice it to learn to believe in it. It does not always rely on a religion, but it does rely on belief. It is a practice that can accept challenge, and a determination to keep moving forward. For some it flies in the face of practicality, for others it seeks the end of the rainbow. For those who hang on to it the world contains many new treasures. The ocean without faith contains only water. Those with faith found new countries.

The perception of darkness, when challenged by faith, discovers the light.

It is not for everyone. It is the road less taken, and the impossible dream. It learns to swim by jumping in. It also becomes the never ending story. For the desperate and disenfranchised it becomes hope.

Faithology……Keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times.. dw

Perfect ???

PERFECT?

As a REALTOR® I sell homes. Primarily, I sell brand new homes. When I am talking to customers I try and stress the fact that even brand new homes are built by humans who are not ‘perfect’ and subject to some occasional problems. In a similar conversation with a vendor, he made the comment “Only GOD is perfect.”

I quickly responded by saying, “I disagree….God made me, and I am not perfect.”

Not being perfect should relieve a lot of stress that seems to be put on us to be ‘perfect’ by others. A perfect attendance record. A perfect writing, or memory, or performance. A perfect shape, haircut, makeup, wardrobe. Why do I need to be ‘perfect’ when the one who made me obviously is subject to difficulties in manufacture.

Certainly there are facets of life that we can not control and these facets of life cause lots of stress. The checkout bill at the grocery store is stressful. The envelope that cries out, “I am your bill for ______” causes stress. The doctors office, the dentist? Life is stress. Often times it is compounded by a feeling that one is alone in the stress of life. And one of the largest stresses I have found is “PERFECT”.

It is important to me that I take GOD out of the “Perfect” realm. That the universe of creation is much larger than anyone can conceive, especially those responsible for much of our religious interpretations. So too our concept of GOD must go beyond what we can understand. Jesus tried to emphasize that GOD is a separate entity from our Earthly kingdom. GOD thought highly enough of this planet and it’s ‘people’ that GOD is constantly helping and encouraging us to become better stewards in the universe. It is our designed lack of perfection that creates achievement. More things have been discovered through our lack of perfection than our firmness of knowledge (e.g. the Earth is flat).

Perfection is a cruel host and causes many psychological and physical issues in and of itself. GOD may be “perfect” in GOD’s own way, but God’s Own Way is not to be confused by mankind’s concept of what ‘perfect’ is.

I am not perfect. GOD made me that way on purpose. Not being perfect causes me to ask why, and why not. Had I been born perfect, where would I have ever gone to achieve? What would I have done in my life?

It is helpful to know that we are all in the same boat. It is also the measure of GOD to know that GOD has assigned a helmsman to the boat that we are in, who sometimes falls asleep on the job, but always gets up in time.

I can handle that. GOD BLESS.

Fake News

Much of recent history discusses ‘Fake News’.
As Bill Clinton might say, “I guess that depends on what ‘Fake News’ means”. That in and of itself depends on what ‘Fake’ means and what ‘News’ means.
Fake: Not the truth? Imagined? Artificially fabricated? Speculative?
News: Information on a recent event. According to witnesses. Substantiated.

It is interesting just how much “Fake News” is about THE NEWS lately. I can not recall a time in my lengthy past where the “Fake News” was so much of “THE NEWS”. When I was young it was also referred to as “yellow journalism”. News that had been manufactured by the creation of events that became news by themselves. It is tough enough to watch the news in general, be it local or national. Now I have to figure out what “Real’ news is.

Yet I do know something about people.
If you do not want to get a speeding ticket, drive the speed limit. Often I see the privileged fly by me down a side street only to see the brake lights come on suddenly and then, oddly, I see a police car drive by from in front of me. I have to guess that they really knew the speed limit, they just ignored it because they were, how would I put it, special, or perhaps they felt that they were exempt. I had friends who were never so dressed up as the day they went to court. Why, all of a sudden, did they appear with short hair and a suit? Who were they trying to impress and why? Couldn’t they get by being the who they were every day? Is that like “Fake News”? Is like “Fake News” only viable when you get caught breaking a law? No one has ever gotten a speeding ticket for actually driving over the speed limit, have they? They must all be victims of a cruel society that picks on them because of their cultural status, color or race? Is it “Fake News” when the reality is too harsh to become “REAL NEWS”?

I have read a lot about “FAKE NEWS” lately. I have also discovered that “FAKE NEWS” has also been called “LIES” in the past. It knows no political preference, no cultural preference, no financial status preference and is not exempt from its own natural results. No wonder America Being Great Again is such a challenge to our politicians. They are totally unaware of what “Great” means. I would even settle for “GOOD” news.

Oh, BTW, there has been “GOOD NEWS” in the past. I believe it’s purveyor’s name was Jesus…something. They would have us believe that his news was “Fake News” also…..

The Gepetto Syndrome

THE GEPETTO SYNDROME

I believe that it will be impossible for people to get beyond the Gepetto Syndrome; that is, GOD the puppeteer, controlling our lives as with strings, or as I often hear, GOD bringing good and bad things to us as individuals.

I hear the preacher talking in terms of GOD providing this and that, and testing this and that and I find myself praying for “preference” for my friends and relatives as though GOD would show some sort of preference for one entity over another. I feel we have created a GOD who chooses one sibling over the other, a cosmic “GOD ALWAYS LIKED YOU BEST”. GOD always gave you more, better, wealthier, better job, better status, more opportunity. GOD dealt out more talent, or perseverance or, gave more and better gifts on your birthday. GOD will personally attend to one more than another.

Jesus, when asked about the kingdom of GOD, always related to this ‘kingdom’ place as a place of LOVE. We pray out of love and compassion for our fellow friends, associates, relatives, countrymen. It is the power of unified LOVE, not a mystic sibling preference that drives this power of the universe. I pray out of compassion and love for a fellow spirit on the journey. I don’t realize it, but that is the kingdom, that attachment through the spiritual emotion that is the unifying life force.

This is why it is so difficult for people to grasp the kingdom and the teachings of Jesus, because we are seeking and expect to receive some sort of spiritual preference from a father who loves one of his children more than the other. We have created a spiritual warrior who will be on “our side” and “fight the good fight” against his very own children because we have prayed enough; or one who quickly abandons us because we have not prayed ‘enough’. This is not the GOD of Jesus. Jesus did not bring a warrior GOD, Jesus brought the KINGDOM of GOD. This kingdom is comprised of LOVE and COMPASSION. This GOD is a unifying force that treats all equally. The key to peace, and the key to bringing that kingdom upon the EARTH requires all to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. It is no wonder the kingdom may be a place one forever aspires to and never attains, and the utopia of literature rather than the reality of our existence.

Over and over again, the spirit is on a journey to establish, or to find this kingdom on EARTH, or wherever the journey takes us, in whatever form, in whatever place it finds itself in. No wonder the spirit seeks it so fervently in its wanderings in this place.
Enjoy the journey and make it your best journey yet.

Dennis 23rd Psalm

Dennis 23rd Psalm

In keeping with my previous post about interpretations based on the idea of an Unorthodox Christianity:

I believe the Bible is divine scripture in that the interpretation to you of its word can so fit your circumstance that it may be read differently by you on any given day depending on your perspective and your needs of that day. To make a blanket statement that “this is what a particular scripture really means” belittles the power of the scripture to move us, and motivate us, and lead us toward the promise of the kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven, from the place we are at on any given day.

One such day I sat with one of my favorite scriptures to apply it to the struggles of that day. I have prayed it in this version for perhaps 25 years now, pretty much at least once a week and many times, (the most difficult times), daily. Bold is the verse as written, regular is interpretation to the day’s or life’s events.

Dennis 23rd Psalm

The Lord is my savior and my guide,

I shall have all that I require.

When the fields that I am tilling have become brown and barren,

He bids me to lie down in green pastures.

When the waters of my life are turbulent and I feel as though I am cast adrift,

He leads me beside still waters.

When my faith is sorely tested and I am ready to give up,

He restores my faith and my soul to me.

He leads me along the right paths (those of His own choosing),

That I might serve Him there.

Though I walk through this valley of the shadows of lost souls,

I shall not fear them for thou art with me.

Thy word and thy example strengthen me.

Even now, this very day,

You are preparing the future before me in the presence of my enemies,

Even in the midst of my own personal struggles.

You anoint my head with oil and once again my cup overflows with your bountiful blessings.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life

And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.    

(circa .1992)

 

Reflections

Reflection

As I sit here, I am reviewing some of the writings of my life. There are words, and poems, and songs. There are tidbits and stories. It is hard to save them all and yet more difficult to destroy. I often reflect on how much of my life will be lost to the hazards of time?

Will we have made a difference as a result of the journey?

Will we have touched some people meaningfully?

I believe many of us ask these questions as we grow older.

Perhaps it is a question we ask should we ever become wiser.

I pray always that some will be saved.

And that the time has not been wasted.