Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Change”

Thankful for Our Children

My wife has said before that as a parent you may not always like your kids, but you will always love them. There may be some sense in that for many of us. As our kids get older and become adults they have had plenty of time to formulate their own idea of the order of their lives. Sometimes they make poor choices ( and you wonder if anything soaked in during those younger years), sometimes they take things for granted or create problems that are not really there.

One thing I have learned as my kids got older ( they are all over 21 now) is that they are forever entwined in their childhood personas. When they were born, from the day they could actually respond to things around them, my wife and I could tell that each of our four children were unique in their own way. They had their own way of looking at the world from virtually the day they were born. And all the life lessons and teaching you could apply would help to shape the edges, but their personality was something they were born with.

So as adults my wife and I can still see it. We had 3 sons in a row, and each one of them had their own perspective on things. While one of them was Intellectually reason out the simplest of problems ( even at 3 years old), another one of them got easily frustrated and would work to plan to manipulate his surroundings , the third was laid back and things would roll off and he would work through things in such a simple way and just smile. My daughter was our last, she was earthy, of the earth she loves animals more than people, enjoys nature and adjusts to things overtime when she finds the balance.

One thing they all had in common was music, my children did not all become consummate musicians ( however one of them has composed a number of great songs playing all the instruments and vocals). But music was meaningful. It is the canvas in which our lives would speak through sound and emotion. It ties us together in so many ways.

So this holiday season, when my adult kids will all be visiting our home we are thankful. We are grateful that we have had the opportunity to experience being a parent and proud of what they have become.

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.

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.

 

Hopelessness and Despair

What amazes me today what appears to be that there are so many lost people in the world. People looking for a purpose. People feeling helpless and out of control of their lives. There have always been lost people with who feel hopeless and heavy with despair. It is nothing new, it is a human ailment since time began. .

Opening the Door to Memories

But these days there are non-stop 24/7 reports of people around the world who are struggling with their lives, with their vision on what they want from life. They feel alone and seek to find acknowledgement from others that they are something.

Feeling alone can result in evil things happening. Evil provides hope by authority, allowing people to reach for bad things that will make them feel in-charge. It is a kind of hope that is easy to come by with when one is alone. It seems ironic that in a world so “full” of people  hope on things we should not

But that is what is means to be hopeless I think. Thinking there is no way out. And then today it is so much easier to let things leak in from everywhere. 24/7 – lonely in front of a glowing monitor as it speaks. The appearance that the world around us is “so bad” and everything is wrong. The government cannot help you, there is no end in sight and the news is not good . Negative piles on to the despair one may already feel.

What is truly sad is that the positive messages get lost in the balance. There is the rub. Embracing the messages of hope and promise are hard to do, it means being confident in its existence. Feeling as though there is some way to make something out of life. Not seeing the short time on this Earth as worthless. Looking for answers from those who are willing to help lift you up.

The answer is there. It is in the spirit of the human being to focus on the simple. Too many people make the simple salvation too complicated. They find all the rules they can to provide you with hurdles- when salvation is only one faithful step away.  Choose it.

 

 

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