Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Anger”

Going to the Extremes

We want to embrace a position on things, everywhere we are being asked for our opinion. We want to look as though we are confident.We want to share why we feel the way we do, and in the end it puts us at odds with each other.



An example: People may say… you cannot like Green and like Orange at the same time- you are commanded to pick one. After all anyone who likes green surely cannot be an advocate of orange that the same time!  Or at least that is simply what people tend to want you to think.

Choose! This is the world of choice- so why are you in the middle? That makes you seem weak, makes you look stupid or something.

The internet is based around this communication, the media demands it, social networks want to know,… inquiring minds wan to understand and they want an instant response. What do the polls indicate?  Websites want your rating on everything, they measure the clicks to decide “interest” so they can continue to feed you more of what they believe you “like”

So in the end we look for the decision, winners and losers, haves and have-not’s, right vs wrong, “the time has come to stand up!”

And once we huddle around the decision, others “pile on”. They want to be acknowledged in being on the same side. Damn the facts, the hack with how people feel about the opposite things. They are stupid, ignorant, in the wrong “club” or the inferior political party. There is no middle ground, compromising would be a sign of weakness after all. Trust no one who contradicts your position in the choosing! They just don’t understand.

That is the extreme of my frustration I guess. There are not that many absolutes in this world when it comes to opinion. Some people even take the absolutes of the physical world and deny them.  Like there is a place for “maybe” – but only when it means picking an answer with conviction.

ALL that energy. All that anger or resentment. All of the time spent. Debate is healthy, but arguing “opinion” is like saying “my opinion is better than your opinion” … it has some sort of laugh-ability about it really. And sadness

I know I have posted about this before- but I still believe: Life is short. Focus on positives, make the most of the passage of time.

Defining Your Life Expectancy

We all have one life, with a beginning and an end. We can do what we can to manage our  “Life Expectancy”. Take care of our health, be sure we eat correctly, get proper exercise. Make safe decisions in life and don’t put ourselves in the path of danger. We live in a time when people are living longer than ever.

Charting The Course

But perhaps  life expectancy should be more about  what you “expect” out of life.

Why is it that we have so many expectations in our lives? Expectations of others, expectations of the people we love and the people we work with. When those people and things around us don’t meet our expectations, we can often let that change the complexion of our lives. We become angry, disappointed, disenchanted . Sad to say that we are sometimes our own worse enemy.

So when one life expectancy meets our lives expectations we need to be sure we understand. Time is precious, and our expectations need to be precious too. We can try to pin them on anyone and anything in the world around us, but in the end they are ours.

How long in our lives do we have to achieve those things we expect? God knows.

What do you accept and what are the things that will be meaningful to you?(

(Perhaps that is truly your life expectancy)




My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.  James 1, verses 19-20.


I will admit, I have been angry often in my life. Things just don’t go as you think it should. You see things that seem unjust, unfair, evil or wrong and you get mad.

There are always going to be things beyond your control, but you can always control your anger. It can sap you of energy, sway you from your real mission. It can wrap itself in frustration and confusion, and leave others in its wake. Anger can blind you from what is really important, and preoccupy your valuable and constructive time doing other things.

It is interesting how sometimes when you are angry, where you  may end up direct the anger. Blaming others, sometimes lashing out toward the people you love the most. Anger can fuel more anger, in others around you. Even in people who really don’t know you.

So i am much more aware of it now. Understanding that there are circumstances that are simply beyond your control. Not saying to give up on things, but there are battles to choose, and efforts worthwhile. Quick to listen as the verse says, it very wise as well. So much anger seems spontaneous and often can be misunderstanding, not knowing the complete picture. So patience and slow to be angry. Got it.

Related post  from Dave is worth reading and I am sharing.

Proverbial About Anger 

“Mad” or “Sad”?

20120527-201954.jpgI was in a grocery store over the weekend and I heard a lady exclaim to her husband how “really mad” she was about the fact that a cracker company had discontinued her preferred sized box.

I had to laugh a bit because I couldn’t think of a situation such as that where it would make me be “really” mad. I always thought that “mad” was reserved for horrific things that happened to people or circumstances that became unable to control or ultimately did not turn out the way we expected. Even then there is a fine line I think between mad and sad (or disappointed I suppose).

It seems like more and more people are “mad” at things that really stretch the idea of or being angry.  There is room for anger in our lives; applied to those things that may some how stimulate us to a better life, to be more conscientious or be stronger for someone or some cause.

It seems the “madness” I see stems from something else. Perhaps the frustration of the moment or the feeling of helplessness. More than ever before, there seem to be a lot of people who are more angry over things that they cannot change. That is likely because in this “information age” of constant incoming data we are increasingly more exposed to things we can get mad at.

Maybe that is the idea of what someone means when they refer to the past as “simpler times”?  Maybe because of ignorance (which I have heard is bliss) or maybe though intentional avoidance, some people just didn’t have to deal with being angry in those simpler times.  As time has changed, and war, poverty, hate, disease and the like have come 24/7 into our lives, maybe we have become an angrier society?

Whatever the path, seems like something to be sad about. Perhaps mad; but likely sad…because the ability to turn off that 24/7  input has passed many people by. Unless we ourselves make a choice.

Be mad if you need to, but remember to be sad when you can. Either way  you have to find a place where you can move on…. make a difference, change what’s happening, or focus on something else that you can effect. Getting “stuck” in mad is maddening enough.

Introducing The Cancer Letters

Prostate Cancer

Sharing my story with my kids (and anyone who will read it)  I will be writing:
The Cancer Letters
Cancer Letter #1

When  I was much younger I remember that feeling of being so invincible. I mean I had my share of childhood illnesses, some afflictions that made its way through grade school years. But overall the thought of succumbing to more treacherous illness or terminal  disease was reserved for older people, adults that had “complications” because of their age or the way they lived put them in harm’s way.

Then in middle school I was friends with a girl named “Patty” who our teacher announced one day had Leukemia  She was out of school for a while and then actually came back to class. She even went on the class trip to Washington DC. I got to know her and spent hours on the bus ride on our school trip talking with her about many things and about nothing at all. She was a very insightful person. Weeks after we got back from our trip she stopped coming to class. It wasn’t too many weeks later after that she died.

I spent months not clear on what it was that God would do to take someone like her so young and leave the rest of us to feel empty about her not being in our lives anymore.  I think I played Bob Dylan  and Joni Mitchell music for hours on end and created angry artwork (I guess it might have seemed very Bohemian at the time).

So as I grew older and got married, my wife and I had children. And of course as parents we have spent our time worrying about them as they head out the door every day for school. Now  as they are out of school and growing into adulthood, we still worry about them. Admittedly we still watch for those things that could indicate more serious issues, we still take a moment when we see them to tell them that we love them.

It was over 20 years ago when my parents passed from this earth to a better place (more about that later). Both of them were in their 70’s and had me when they were much older. But they still would care immensely about my health and safety. In fact when I got older and married, I used to cringe some when I would see them and my mom would dote over me. After all I was a parent myself. I miss that now.

Years went by- living with all of the ups and downs, and then came the day when the Doctor decided that “further tests” were needed. That was the beginning of a life changing event that shook my world, my wife’s world and my family’s world.

To share my story with my kids (and anyone who will read it, I will be writing more of  The  Cancer Letters.

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