Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Life”

Who is In Control?

It’s crazy to think that you really have control over that much. We are all trying to “stay” in control though aren’t we? In control of our family, or finances, our jobs, our own personal sanity sometimes.

Life is Very Short

So we work very hard at it. To be in control. We take it very seriously, It can mean recognition, financial gain, personal satisfaction. We would pay a lot to be in-control of some things in our lives. In other ways we “wish” we were in control…”if only we ran the government, we would show everyone how it is done!” Or “if that was my child he would know what it was to behave”.

Relish the thought that someone would claim we are “out of control”. That would be a claim that would imply we had no discipline, we were ignorant of how things are done. It would put us on some list that says we don’t care, or lack caution or consideration.

But in reality to me I see that there is little we are actually in control of in the bigger picture. We are going to pass from this earth when it is our time, and we can manage to extend it but in the end we are not in control of the outcome. We are going to have things that happen that regardless of what we do in our daily lives are going to happen anyway. We can spend a ton of energy trying to be in control of things and miss the simple fact that life will go on regardless just as God planned it.

So I am giving up that control to Him. To all things there are a purpose under heaven. I know that not everyone reading this may believe, but the reality of it all is the world turns regardless of your beliefs. Take a moment to understand that your purpose here is to live for the day, and that energy and stress for control can consume you. To those who have faith, let God worry about tomorrow.

Detachment or Indifference?

No doubt there are many reasons to be concerned about the world’s issues. Throughout history there has been focused attention on the separation of cultures, religious beliefs, power and money. There are many reasons I can say I care, but overall I can say that I have become less interested.

Charting The Course

A travesty you say? How can you be so unfeeling? How can you not  personally care about the hate,greed and malice of the world around us? People insist that you HAVE to care about the political landscape – you must have an opinion and you better well be landing on the one that whomever you are talking to is passionate about. There is this sense of urgency to be “correct”.

Sorry to disappoint, but I am likely to say that the battle of with cancer has led me to be more detached more than indifferent. .
Many things don’t  take the same priority as  they it once did.
Oliver Sacks from the New York Times recently said in an article on his diagnosis of terminal cancer at aged 81:”Seeing life from a great altitude. This detachment to things that belong to the future. The future will be left in great hands in some cases.”

Honestly I have gotten much closer to God (perhaps the greater altitude) and the meaning of my future, and that future to me means eternity. But the future here on Earth is going to go on without me. And I have to accept that day will come, as it will for each and every one of us.

So am I indifferent? No. I would like to see more people have peace in their lives, to save their temper for the fight against the deterioration of the human condition. Perhaps that would be worth some passion…

Lessons Learned Over Time

There’s this song by The Faces which sings about “I wish I knew what I know now when I was younger”. Now I understand the wisdom of age, but when I was young I was certain I had life figured out. I know now that you can get off course from your younger plans.


Off course: That our ideals are sometimes replaced by practicality, that the dreams are sometimes effected by the reality, that life is full of things to embrace but we often run away from them because of our doubt and uncertainty that they are the right things to be embracing.

So there are lessons learned, and like many of my friends and relatives who are with me on the downhill side of the hill, we have a more complete view of the course we have taken. We can see the victories and the mistakes, the failures and the missed opportunities. But life is still good for many of us. It has its priceless golden moments, it has the love of family and friends.

I have learned many lessons only by my experience. Did someone tell me these things when I was younger? Well yeah, maybe and I just didn’t grasp it. A few of them:

  • Not going to have a positive life hanging around negative people. One of my sons truly understands this and maybe better than I. It’s kind of obvious, but we often blindly don’t see it.  I want to tell my kids over and over, be certain that you are surrounded by people who are positive, who don’t want to shape you like them but let you be who you are. Worth repeating.
  • If something is broke, fix it… don’t just throw it out.  We give up very quickly on some things in life that perhaps we shouldn’t. Like friendships, marriages, diets or breaking bad habits.  In today’s disposable society I can understand I guess. Just get a new one. Problem is that it costs something – and not always money- to make that work. We don’t think of that right away.
  • Time is relative only to you and what you do with it. It is the premise of TIme goes fast and dust will shift and your footprints will be gone. But the passage of your time on Earth is what you make of it. Time isn’t really real, it is your part in the spinning world and what you believe will happen after you are gone from it that will make a difference in your life.

It’s Complicated

By now I think it is pretty obvious, everyone is looking for simple answers to complicated world. They are flocking to every outlet they can to find the answer, and hoping that the answer will provide them the calmness they desire to know that “everything will be alright”. But it is also probably no surprise that everything will not be alright. The world around us is complicated.

Charting The Course

It always had been, but perhaps we weren’t so aware of the complications before. We had limited information about the complications, so we only knew what was hovering around our consciousness. We got our news from 20 minutes of TV or a half-read newspaper.

We called people on a phone and if they weren’t there we just left a message.No immediate response necessary. We didn’t look for others to provide us our opinion through 24 hours of TV or Internet. we had time to formulate it ourselves.

So the ingredients for complicating our lives is compounded by everything around us. The people who want to propagate all the fear, uncertainty and doubt. The fearful who want to share their fear with others so they can be less alone in their fear.  They are all willing to communicate to you in the most immediate ways.

Dissatisfaction compounded by threats that can be enlarged by others who are dissatisfied, compounding fear and turning it into hate and misunderstanding. It is such a circle that it appears that there is no end, it keeps going round and round.

Local strife with the police, government strife with the way things are going – feeling out of control and looking for the only way to manage things in our lives that may be not complicated. But it is complicated.

The answer doesn’t has to be complicated however, there are ways to make change that are within our reach. Counting on our faith, reaching out for our hope, making peace with the world though Him.

In a time when being “dissatisfied” leaves to blaming others, to not look to our own accountability on things. Thinking that if there isn’t  a simple answer there must be a conspiracy, or someone else to blame. That leads nowhere.

Don’t like something? Become active in making change. There are peaceful ways to get to the end.

Now back to your regular programming. I will step off my soap-box.


Future Regrets

We all seem to have regrets. It is so easy to look backward and see where there could have been opportunity to do one thing instead of another, to say one thing instead of another (or nothing at all). Regrets can easily build on themselves and make for a potentially miserably life buried under excuses and alternate scenarios.

The Holy Touch

There is no way to change what has already happened; but today has not already happened. So the future is ahead of us for what ever time we have. There are somethings we are not going to have a chance to avoid. They will happen as they do by the synchronicity of life I suppose. They may be very simple things that just pass by and we don’t even recognize their profound impact till much later.

“Some” of the future regrets may be avoided. I know that I have worked a mental list of those things ( perhaps writing them down). It is amazing to go through them one day to the next and see what things stick as important or significant in the future. I could surely make a bucket-list of dozens of things that I need to get done (life’s necessities)  or of things that I wish I want to get to ( desires, dreams, life milestones).

In the end it is the spiritual things that are important.  Everything else may be regrettable, it may be missed because there isnt enough time or money or simply just isn’t possible. It is more likely those things are centered around my own desires or temporary possessions or experiences that make up the time here on Earth.

There are only a very few things I need to assure I don’t miss:  it centers on my family, our children are our life. Like my wife, I  have invested all of my emotions on them because I love them, I have made decisions because of them that I wouldn’t have, had they not been there. So I struggle with the regret whether I have done my part to instill in them the simple unconditional belief in salvation.

For some of you reading this you may have already tuned-out. I am not trying to be preachy. And if you have children, ask your self that question. Ask your children: Just what do they think will happen at the end of their lives? Pray that it is centered in hope and faith.

I want them to be with me in the next life for eternity. Often  I am not sure that they get it.  Like most of the parents around me, we work to provide them access- but fall so short in injecting the atmosphere around them to make sure. Sunday schools, Bibles in hand, great moral compass get sideways because life happens. As parents we have never been the best examples in practice, but as our children are all adults now, we hope that we have provided enough direction in His name to get them to understand that Eternity Matters Most.

I regret that I have missed that in someway. Working hard to make that the only thing on my list worth worrying about.


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