Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “religion”

The Passion of Polarity and Meeting in the Middle

Words like “any or all” seem to be used with a lot of freedom these days. They are used with passionate polarity to help place people in their respective ends of an argument or position on a topic. It is frightening to hear people say that “all” of one religion or race are considered to be good or evil. I cringe when a see a person who believes something in particular is wrong because the only right way of thinking is what they believe- statements that hover around the idea that “any one who has an opposite opinion is clearly wrong”

In the fast paced information age of the Internet we reward passion about subjects, then others who feel the same way help send it out in emails or websites to be soaked up and waved around like a flag. It could be passion about conservative views or liberal views, about organized religion or someone elses misdirected religious beliefs. There are so many topics that contain polarity that seem to tear a great number of people apart.

Polarity often is dangerous and can be the very thing that separates brother from brother, creates wars and crime, it can destroy beauty and delay progress. It becomes the fuel for fear, and the fuel for hate. It can tear apart marriages.

Polarity has its places in making our world a better world. Good vs Evil seems to make sense. One God. Sometimes there is only one choice, other times there are no choices- it is a fact of nature itself (which so often has its own polarity). We are all made up of many particles that need to have a positive and negative. But in the center is the core.

So there is something to consider. Polarity can be used to discover the middle or center, for without 2 ends or opposites there is no middle. When two people are so far away from each other… the path to the middle is the hardest path, but is the action that can bring the compromise is a needed which can be part of life itself.

Perhaps polarity is the starting point to a path to compromise, it allows us to be passionate and it can allow us to come together somewhere in the middle and better embrace the outcome. Sure, we can pull hard in the opposite direction, like a tug-of-war. Then watch all the cheers and jeers by supporters and detractors around us, because people are interested in that diversity. Sort of like watching a train wreck or traffic accident. People don’t want to see it but can’t take their eyes off it. So many wallow in the struggle of polarity, like two teams fighting against each other. Not sure when the game should end. But the reality of it all it may appear, is that compromise, the middle – is not very exciting, not very “defining” and desirable. So we just aren’t interested.

Maybe we all desire this polar opposition, we look for the places to stand on it and don’t see the middle as a place to be. We may selfishly want the attention, or are blind to the opportunity, but we work toward being somewhere in the middle. Be keeping your eye out for middle. It’s not that bad. It can be that good. But then I am guessing you may disagree? Hmmmmmm. 

The Touch of Grace In Living

Just the other day someone who I hadn’t seen or talked to in ages happened to communicate with me online. I thought again how much the Internet has changed everyone’s lives in the “Information Age“.  As part of our communication it was apparent that somewhere along our past journey I had said something that “stuck” with him and became part of his philosophy in life from that point on.

I didn’t recall saying anything to him that would be that profound, and frankly what I said must have been part of a conversation that I don’t recall now. What it was isn’t even that important to this posting. It did make me think again how much we are all interconnected by everything we do and say every day. Sometimes it may be with a stranger at the checkout line, or someone you meet on your walk with the dog. Other times it could be with those friendships and relationships you have with friends and relatives that pass through your timeline of life (I shudder when I look at my life as a “timeline”- thanks Facebook). It is more than the impact of reading a book, or watching a film, or listening to a song… it is human interaction.

But no matter how we intersect and no matter whether it is brief or an extended amount of time, there is always this chance that you or the other person may be changed by it. If even just in the smallest of ways; or sometimes in the most profoundly huge ways.  It is part of God’s wish that we treat everyone that way and it is not always going to work because we often find ourselves centered on our selves. But even then, it can happen. That brush with action or words that can change everything after it.

There is a fictional TV show on US television these days called “Touch” that addresses the idea that much of our world and its actions are interconnected mathematically. There is even going to be a web-based online series based on it called “Daybreak2012”. I think people are guinely curious about their effect on others. Heck, that is likely at the core of many of the blog-sites we are all visiting online today.

Perhaps that is the hidden equation, perhaps it is more on a spiritual level – something that we all possess but often do not acknowledge or recognize we have. 

At the end of our lives we may have touched so many people we didn’t ever realize we had. We may had said something or done something that made such a difference but we will never know because that person’s path will never cross ours again.

“There by the grace of God go I” to make my way into the world and leave something behind that is not just “tracks in the dust” that eventually fade away. Instead it is a chain reaction of things that I will not know during my lifetime. But I am excited to know in the next world.

Do you share in the excitement? Can you share in the grace of life?

The Condition of Love

At this time of the year, being spring ( in the US anyway) and also Easter, the subject of love comes up often it seems in blogs, and around my home. More often than not the discussion of love lands on the idea of what true love means. It is interesting the amount of opinions this topic will surface, especially when it seems almost all of us are striving to find it in their lives. Maybe we are wanting to embrace it because we recognise it and value it so much, or we want to work hard to define it because we are unsure that what we have is truly love.

One of my fellow bloggers  recently blogged: 

Greek has three words to describe love. There is Eros, meaning a love founded on craving and desire. Such is love for specific food, activities, and other things. Second is Filia, meaning love in the context of interdependence (in a family or a community), where it is highly focused on “give and take”. Examples are: I love my family, I love my boyfriend, I love my best friend. Third is Agape, meaning the total self giving kind of love, the highest form of loving, where nothing is asked of return and self-sacrifice is of prime importance.  Thank you Aix for your post!

We all seem to be searching for the Agape-type of love in our lives, unconditional and pure. But because we are human we most always will fall short.  Statements that start with “I love you…” and add the words “until” or “except when you…” or worse, the next words are “but”… or… “however” – always seem to be tied to a list of conditions. In the end it appear it’s the most “human” kind of love. Sure, erotic love like lust/desire can create a spark- it can even be interpreted as the kind of love that is give/take. In fact it seems like in today’s world Eros-type of love often gets identified as a more sincere type of love.

But how many of us can say we have experienced that Agape love in our lives? The totally unconditional love that has no ties or conditions. How do we ever attain that love in our lives? As soon as we “expect” it we have already provided a condition. When we attempt to provide it, there always seem to be boundaries to contain it.  Love of and for my children and my wife comes closer than I know toward that unconditional love.  Close family, relatives and dearest of friends can come close.

So as we search for the verb “to love” as unconditional one, we may fall short. In fact there is only One in the history of the world that I know of that provided the level of love that we all strive for. And for that, I am grateful.   So I ask my children, as they are looking for perfection in love, as they attempt perfection with their love – do it as purely as they can. Make each day count and each condition be one that reflects the goodness of love in its purest form.

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