Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Grace”

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.

Why Don’t You Say Hello!?

OwlsThere are times when it seems we are just not connected to what’s going on around us. There are certainly times when I pass by someone on the street or in a store and they seem to be so deeply into “their world” that it can take pause to wonder if they realize they are in public.

Strangers avert their eyes, They don’t want to appear to be eager to talk or interact in any way. With news of such violent times all around us, it is probably to be expected that many do not want to initiate something that could result in harm or anguish.

It’s a shame though really.Being connected to the world means you can understand it more. Being connected to each other would help to prevent the very fear of the unknown that roots in our aversion. It is ironic that we can be so transparent on social media, where there is an electronic physical space between all of us, but face to face, it can seem so different.

Not everyone is like that. It is refreshing to see someone you don’t know who may catch your glance and say “good morning” or “hello” or something. Just an acknowledgment that we are all moving along in this timeline together. It doesn’t mean we have to be fast friends, or relate to each other on any subjective level. Just a polite smile and a “hello”.

It may be a little easier at the holidays. “Happy Holiday’s” or “Merry Christmas” seems to be okay and has some more appeal than just looking away. But then even-so, we may be addressing someone who doesn’t celebrate the season. But no matter, it is just the fact we intended to make contact, intended to recognize that there is another human-being going through waking hours and making an effort to live life.

Like all of us I’d guess, I struggle with a lot of burdens (health in particular) and I have a lot of opinions on things, but I am not trying to throw them to someone else with a simple “hello” or “good-day” – just seems the right thing to do. It can give comfort to the fact that we are humankind. Well for the most part anyway 😉

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.

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