Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the category “Learning Lessons Along the Journey Of Life”

Everyone’s Personal Movie

I am constantly amazed how many cameras there are in our lives today. Everyone has one in their pocket if they own a smartphone, they are there in public places (look, you can see them up there like one big eye-ball staring down at you).


There aren’t many places today where a there may not be a picture or video . In elevators, at parties, in shops and restaurants. Every one brings their selfie to life with the wave of a finger. Some how we have gotten much closer to Orwell’s 1984 vision of big brother it would seem.

I noticed today that there are new inexpensive devices that just hang off your collar or purse. Very small they can be activated in a second and carry full digital video capability . It allows us to be in “our own movie” complete with the reality show friends and strangers who populate your view of life around you.  No effort. No getting something out of your purse or pocket. Just a gesture of your hand and you are recording video and sound for your life.

Over the years as I grow older, I realize that there are some fond memories of the past are precious. But in the days of the past no one really thought of pulling out a an old-fashioned movie camera to try to capture the moments. Later when video cameras were available, you still had to remember to have them “at hand” to get the action. Maybe special events where it seemed like a great time to capture the action.

Today there is nothing left to imagine or remember. Just take out the device and push the button. Upload it to the Internet and let it have its permanent place in the “etherweb”. Some of those videos capture ugliness, some capture inappropriate things that should only be a memory, many are not as exciting as those that post them make them out to be. But there they are a permanent entry in the “world-wide web library”.

Comon’- be in my “movie” – my reality TV show of life- complete with fuzzy digital motion that will capture a thread of time that otherwise would have come and gone with nothing but a recollection.

New Year or New Day?

Being away from posting on “Tracks in the Dust” for a bit. I wanted to add my comments about celebrating the new year of 2015. We are all looking for milestones in our lives aren’t we? To assure we are making forward progress, to be sure that we can commemorate the passing of a significant moments (anniversary, birthday etc).

Are you ever finished? Where do you draw the line?

A New Day: As it ends, it will start again

Over time I have learned that those special milestones are worthy of celebration, however that also recalls that every single day should be a milestone for life. There is a special meaning in everyday that we are here on this earth. We have time. Time to rejoice in God’s countenance, to embrace our loved ones with the thanks for the comfort and piece of mind that goes with knowing that we are all here for each other.

I am risking being cliché in so many ways. But as the clock struck midnight on 2014 and 2015 had arrived, it seemed like I was profoundly reminded that everyday should be about celebrating that it has come. The calendar is man-made, the pages that turn on it are governed by the 24 hours it contains, but each minute of those hours is a new opportunity to take a breath and understand the meaning of it. We connect with many people over each day, We need to do it with the kindness and compassion that we are all passing through this life “kinda fast” ( as the song “Tracks in the Dust”  says).

I am happy for the new year, I am happy for the new day. I am happy that I can share it with others, with the ones I love and that I have the faith to know what will happen when the last day arrives for me. Hopefully you have that comfort also, and celebrate the new day every day.

Happy New Day!

House Full Of Love

Something that has become much more evident since my wife and I became “empty-nesters.” We love the evenings of solitude, but we miss the “activity” of the house we once had. Four grown up kids later we realize that with that activity came much more.

Happiness Is

Sure there was the worry about where your kids were in those teen years when they were “just going out with friends”. Yes there were those late night phone calls with urgent requirements ( I won’t explain, but some of you understand I am certain).

In the end the house was full of motion. We tried to create a “house full of love” that our children could feel comfortable to bring their friends to. To share in the laughter and the angst of growing up together. Rock music bumping loud enough to rattle the ceiling fans. video games going into the early mornings, mysteriously missing food from the pantry, laughter and doors opening and closing frequently.

Believe me some of it got on our nerves as parents, but we knew it would end someday and we were happy to know that our kids were okay. Several of their friends have become like part of our family and we still enjoy hearing from them. Sometimes we hit and sometimes we missed with our kids. Some of our kids understood it and some truly didn’t understand the gift.

Today as they are all adults and moved out, we still truly enjoy them bringing friends (significant others too) over, sharing a meal, relating to the world in so many more levels now than in years gone by. What joy it can bring.

It really is a gift of life, and makes for great moments to share and remember.As my wife and I work to enjoy the passage of time, as we have come to realize that our time here on earth is short and we have come to cherish it even more. At this holiday season what we want more than anything that can be wrapped up with a bow is to embrace our “house full of love”.

For your parents out there with younger kids or adults, you will no doubt at one point or another in the next few weeks step back and take in the moment. It is the only one like it and then time moves on. Embrace it as one of the greatest gifts.

I Want Music Everywhere

For a lot of us who are music enthusiasts (and perhaps many who aren’t) it feels like we have a soundtrack for our life stored up on our imaginary music list in our heads. Movies, television and other media help encourage the idea that we are in our own sort of “movie” or video, and we are working through our lives with a soundtrack.

Transistor Radio

These days it is easy to walk through an airport or mall and see people with headphones on. Over the ear Beats headphones (among others) can shut off the rest of the word pretty well and allow for a full scale stereophonic soundtrack to be playing while you are living your daily life.

When I was very young there was “transistor” radios that made portable soundtracks possible. Then in the car, then on tape with the Walkman, then CD’s and ultimately iPods and MP3 players. All designed to allow for a portable soundtrack to play as we moved along our lives from one interaction to another. Even when we are interacting at gatherings, or out in the clubs – we have another soundtrack that complimented our feelings and emotions of the moment.

Perhaps there are some brainwaves that are stimulated by it… allowing for us to be in our own personal movie in our head. Perhaps it is just an emotional indicator for how we see life at the moment, or a way to create the mood we need…. Just watch out for the screen credits to roll (ha)!

Testing the Limits

I know most of us do it ( don’t we?). We often drive a little over the speed limit. Just a “little”. Easy enough to put a bit more pressure on the pedal, and can just as easily back off if you need to. After all who will notice? There are so many cars on the road and they are all cruising along through traffic, what will it hurt?


Guess what I have noticed is that these days there seems to be a lot more things we apply that sort of mentality.Going over the limit can bring rewards… like  getting something out of reach that we never thought would get. As a matter of fact there are times that are actually socially noticed for achievement! We can call it going “above and beyond” – but the achievement that was accomplished by breaking the rules can feel good. So we do it again, and apply it more often. “We are risk takers”

After a while it becomes the norm, “breaking the law” for example “when nobody is going to get hurt” seems acceptable, yet we can be ignorant of the discord. We become numb to the reason there were limits, rules and laws…. We begin to think that those reasons are unworthy ( and sometimes they can be)- but we don’t try to help set new ones… we just continue to follow our own rules.

Then when someone gets caught going over the limitations of society , we may even want to defend them. Perhaps it is justification for our own misgivings about it. We could change it by working  to make change, but that takes the effort. Here in the US anyway there are ways to get laws changed. and ways to protest peacefully to get change to happen ( without breaking the law). But for some I think, they are too immersed in their own ways to look for change. They are working too hard to test the limits and not to change them.

Kids: Dad’s advice; Find ways to make changes when things are not right, but understand that when you test the limits there will be time for consequences. Some times they may not happen immediately. One of my favorite sayings “what goes around comes around”.

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