Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “People”

Taking A Chance

A fathers advice ” You can fail at what you don’t really want to do, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”


Very sensible words coming from Jim Carey, a movie comedian with a very silly sense of humor. I think a lot of us “think” this, but how many of us act on those thoughts? Not many I would imagine. It would take us out of the comfort zone that many of us believe we are in. Not that it is truly safe.

But we imagine the brass-ring is out of reach, that there are only “some” people who have the luck or skills to make things be successful in their lives. I think I am in that camp probably most of the time. But every once in a while I have to be reminded that this is an opportunity to do “what you love” .

The reward of helping others, of being part of the solution and providing positive outlook on life can start with just having faith in God. It could be that we just need to take a chance on those things that will make a difference. Hard to know… but the fact is the alternative gets summed up pretty good in 1 minute in this speech made by one comedian who got pretty serious…if even for a moment.



FaceTo me it seems like friends can be an extension of your life.

It is good to have a mirror of reflection in your life, to compare things with each other. Take time to stop and make things be real in some way. Not that friends have to see everything 100% the same. That would actually be very bland over time. Being friends allows us to validate what emotions are, what seems right and wrong in the world, to laugh and perhaps cry with each other.

Friends can help share your pain, and sometimes cause it- but the are of value in our lives. They are part of the memories of the past and the present, they can be the reason that you greater cherish the future.

Sometimes its hard to find them, often there may be some people in your life that are truly not really interested in being your friend. But when your do find them, or they find you… it can be unique and special.

Thanks to all the friends then.They are walking with you, making those tracks in the dust that will eventually blow away on the spin of the Earth. What they can help you do is make more permanent mark on the lives you touch ahead.

Not the Facebook kind of friends, not the casual people who come and go in your life, but those friends that you know have made your life a better one. To those friends who will be there when you need them if they can, to the friends that make your life more rich. I know it sounds sappy or like something out of a movie or a beer commercial,  it is one of those things that can sound like that I suppose.

What is it about friends you have in your life? What makes them special to you? 

A Most Special Birthday Gift

PostmarkSo not too long ago it was my birthday again. Not complaining at all actually. Pile them on!

I have come to embrace them as I get older and after my cancer diagnosis years ago I made a pact with myself  (and my wife) that birthdays should be celebrated. As I have said before that the alternative to not having a birthday is not a good one. Once you are born it’s nice to have a bunch. If you were never born I guess you wouldn’t miss them.  I used to be kind of embarrassed by them, I would tell others to just let them pass by without observation.

This birthday is #4 since my surgery and radiation. Disease is a scary thing when it includes the words “cancer” and comes with a ton of statistics that show life expectancy based on one thing or another. It made me and my wife and family permanently different that day. It made me truly understand the power of prayer. I am forever thankful even as we face the most challenging thing that has ever (or likely will ever) happen in my lifetime on this Earth.

So when I reached in the mailbox this birthday anniversary, it took on a whole different meaning again. I had 11 cards arrive in the mail from people I don’t even know. Some had a postmarks from Wisconsin, Oregon, and many from Tennessee  They were birthday cards with wishes for a happy life and a long life with the battle ahead. They were like ‘prayers’ from strangers, but not that strange really.

My wife and her friend from Tennessee have been fast-friends corresponding through the Internet for years after her family had been stricken by life threatening cancer that ultimately took lives of family and friends they loved. We even got to meet her a while back when she was in our neck of the woods and had a wonderful time.  In her faith and love, she sent a wonderful card and got others to send cards of prayers & wishes for a happy birthday, including a card with  a half a dozen signatures from her place of work (TVA).

I am (and will always be)  genuinely touched. It was the best birthday present I can remember. It was the statement of God’s grace. It will be a highlight of my life for however long God lets me be here. Making tracksinthedust that will not ever last, but with  the chance to touch others once on their journey with grace while time allows- I hope it will move on long after I am gone.

I am truly blessed. Take your time to send a card or a prayer to someone who needs it.


The Last Words You Say


These days I am so much more aware of what I say to everyone every day. Time and time again I think about how those things I say and how I say them could be the last words I ever say to them. ….Oh, I know that this sounds like this is so filled with dread, like the world is so fatal. But it’s really not that.

If you have a choice with your loved ones on what you would say on the last day you are alive, before you leave this earth for a better place ahead. What would you say? ….. then ask yourself why you are waiting?  Say it now.

There aren’t very many reasons to consider waiting, and your life is a gift that allows you look inward and provide love and care to others while you are here on this planet. We all are looking for a greater meaning of the whole thing called life, but the simple things can and should be at the center of it.  It is the reward here.

So think about the next time your son or daughter or spouse is leaving out the door for the day. Consider the next time you see your family and friends. Are you telling them what you would tell them if it were the last words you would say? Are those bitter feelings, or small worries worth spending that valuable time? Or would you rather make sure that your precious time together always be cherished?

Don’t take your time for granted. Make it count. Be sure to reach out and say what you mean. Whether it is in-person or on the phone, whether it is an email response or just a random meeting in a store. Never let it go without being sure that you appreciate their love, or the part they play in your life, focus on the reason they mean what they do to you… It doesn’t take a million words. It doesn’t have to be a deep speech or long drawn out oratory… just tell them you care…

Thank you for visiting tracksinthedust. It’s always nice to know how much humankind really needs the same things in life. Blessings to you!

When You Are Angry


It’s very likely that everyone reacts to things differently when it come to being happy or  angry. There are some so genuine universal things that seem to be so great when it comes to sharing emotions. Those are the things that make us human no matter where you live on this big spinning globe I guess.

But what makes you angry? I mean so angry that you are not focused on anything else but that anger? Does start with hate or frustration or end with it? Is it derived from fear? Is it founded in truth, or built on ignorance?

When you get angry, what do you do with that? How do you manage it? Do you ask yourself later: why did I end up getting angry? which in turn may make you angry again (ha)!

If you can answer these questions then, I would guess that you are more in-tune with your inner-self than others may be. When I look at the recent violence that has happened in the US, I know that I cannot imagine someone being that angry and distant from the human race as to wake up one day and intentionally kill people because of anger. That tragedy is beyond me. Yet there are probably scores of thousands of more angry people out there, who are living with themselves with no spiritual or moral guideposts to examine their emotional state.

Also it would seem that fear has just fueled that anger more. Fear of people who are different in some way, fear of the unknown. The Internet has let loose a firestorm of opportunity for people to share their fears and their ignorance, but not in a productive way, rather in a destructive one.  And it adds more fuel when those ramblings  become so massive that even our politicians, celebrities, and leaders in the world just help to further reinforce what some of these very angry people believe to be true.

So angry people run to the Internet or some other place to find their false sense of need to gain the confidence, in turn it leads them to take out a gun and go to a public place and kill their fellow human beings. They cannot reason with themselves, and they have not allowed themselves to reach to the Words that would provide the answers they need. They are willing to even build their anger on untruth’s.

Finding your inner peace and not letting anger consume you can be found simply in the Spiritual things that God can provide. I say a prayer for these lonely souls who have let anger consume them, and have in directed that anger through their fear to  innocent people who have been in the way of their wrath.

I have asked my family  to pause when they get angry, and ask themselves “what am I angry about?” “How does it control me?” Life here on Earth is short in the scene of things, spending it in anger is such a sad way to spend it.

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger. Ephesians 4:26


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