Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the category “Doing Things That Will Change 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.

 

The Value of Friendship

Loves ConditionMy wife and I have learned some valuable lessons in our lives. Those lessons have come to provide us with the insight and wisdom of being older. Unfortunately not everyone learns at the same pace I guess, while others may totally ignore life’s lessons and make no use of them in the course of their daily living.

One thing we have learned is that all things equal friends are something to be cherished more than any possession or place in life. Long lasting relationship kind of friends… they enrich your life, remind you that you are there for more than just treading though the 24 hours  that exist each day. More than just accumulating money or possessions or fame. We are not rich by any means, but God has provided all that we are allowed, and that is enough.

Those lasting friendships bridge the gap of distance and time. They are sturdy and durable. They have meaning beyond words and create bonds that are stronger than even actions or deeds. I thank God for those friendships. My wife and I have some of those friendships and even when it would seem things have drifted apart  by years of time- they are still there. To lend a kind word, to genuinely be concerned and provide caring to the wounded souls that we all can become.

This week some of our best and most recent friends in our journey have moved to another city. Far enough that even through the promise of visitations and constant contact …there will still be 1000+ miles between us. But no matter, we are richer in our lives for their entire family being in it. We enjoyed many holidays and weekends over the decade with their family and ours. We will always be best of friends with or without the distance.

In the past admittedly my family would be the one that would be leaving (we moved multiple times in our lives) and we would always be sad for our departure because of those friendships. But in the end those very dear friends we came to know along the journey are still there in our lives. Still calling on the phone, writing long emails and texts,sharing each others happiness and sadness, dropping a thoughtful note or just being in each others prayers (can use a lot of that lately). There may be gaps along the way where we don’t talk (sometimes long ones) but when we reconnect it is just like it was yesterday.

So I am thankful for that. Our life’s reflection is better for all of those truly genuine friendships. Perhaps you feel the same.

Fear of the Unknown

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

Maria Robinson, American author

Fear

New beginnings come with the idea that there is always unknowns about where the journey should lead. I know I struggle with that every day. It compounds itself in worry, or makes me pull-back from what I am doing and do little or nothing at all. It can make we wish that tomorrow would not come, when there is really no way to stop it. It can create things in the moment that stop me from seeing the things that are right in front of me.

So fear of the unknown is likely to be something to contend with. Our worry over our loved ones, family and children, worry over how to make ends meet or our health. With that worry comes unhappiness, and the possibility of depression.

So what to do about it? For me I have to learn better to share my fears. With my loved ones, with my friends and spiritual leaders. with God who are  all in my life. I have always been private about things in general I guess. I probably got that from my father who seemed to be like that when I was growing up. Perhaps the stoic approach seems good on the surface- after all “why burden others” with your worries and fears?

What you find out is that if you share them, most other people have worries and fears as well. Many times the very same ones. There is no way to turn back the clock. But I can start today and make a new ending…by sharing my fears and thoughts with those who love me. For some ( perhaps even reading this blog) that may mean very little, for others it may allow them to understand themselves better as well.

 

Remaining In Hope

I will admit it, over the past couple of years posting things to this blog I have addressed hope. It comes to us in many ways but in the end it just comes down to one thing. Our ability to not let things get to the point of hopelessness.

Lightbulb

 

For us Christians ( which many of you may not be) there is a simple passage that I was reminded of the other day.

Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing: The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. The Lord is all I have, and so in him I put my hope” (Lamentations 3: 21-24).

The focus is on hope. Regardless of the circumstances, It is honestly healthy to face your feelings. Share them with others and with God. So many times in the past I have held them in, tried to manage them on my own. Like a “strong” person I was showing my strength by not letting things get to me when in actuality they were.

So I am hopeful that some way God will see to it that the quality of my life with my wife, my family and friends continues to be the treasure it has been. I want to be sure that they have hope. Regardless of the time left ahead in this life, there will be more after that.

In the meantime there is no reason not to have hope. It would be a very rough road if we let hope slip away. It would be hopeless. But that cannot happen with Him. And it is my hope that it will not happen with my friends and family.

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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