Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “spirituality”

Searching for An Answer

Keep searching.Searching

It seems like everyone gives up or says “I am done” at some point in their life… but it is important that you take that in stride. The old song that goes: “Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again” doesn’t always feel like a welcome one.

But whether it is a search for a mate, a new job, a solution to a problem or profoundly the meaning of life, there has to be a point to it. Never giving up is so cliché. Still I think that is the basis of being human, having hope – even if despair is all around you.

But you have to look for it. I have posted before about people in my life that I have noticed who will wait for things to come to them. Sure it happens (some call it luck- others call it fate). God is good and He will provide, but you have to be looking for it. You cannot expect the things you need to search for to land in-front of you.

Ironically those few times that they do, if you weren’t looking they may just pass you by. You may not even recognize the opportunity (like my mom used to  say) “even if it bit you in the nose.” Maybe that is because you weren’t looking, which gets right back to searching doesn’t it?

So I keep faith in the hope that the things we are willing to search for will come to us if we are open and receptive to them. (Like most everyone else, I have been at the dark-end of things in my life). If we understand that in order to search for those things, we have to remove the excuses and reasons not to. We have to get out of the cycle of denial or despair (or whatever you want to call it), and make something of the life we have.

‘Cuz life is short, and you may know that adage: The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.  That is, not a philosophy to support the idea to party till you drop, but to recognize what you need to do in life; make the best of it- understand that eternity can be had in the next life- and go searching. Don’t stop. Open your eyes…

A great song by a band I have enjoyed for decades.

Freedom from Fear and Guilt

Can you let go of your fears and guilt?

Can you let go of your fears and guilt?

If you asked your friends or family how they defined “freedom” what would they say? Maybe something like…

“I can do anything I want,say whatever I want to say and no one can tell me what to do.”                                                                           

Sounds selfish, even if you took it to mean that you would do things that wouldn’t harm or hurt you or other people, there would still be a lot of things that would be difficult to accomplish in reality.

Fear and guilt get in the way of freedom. 

We may have guilt about the things we hadn’t done in our lives, or haven’t attended to and should. We can feel guilty about not spending more time with our family, or ourselves. We can feel guilty about what we said to someone, what we meant to say. It could be that the specter of guilt is there about severe things like cheating on your spouse, or short cutting things at work, or thousands of other things that accumulate over time.

Our fears get in the way of freedom. We have so many unspoken ones. Surely we may state that we are fearful of spiders or snakes or bears or sharks or something. We may have a fear of heights or flying. We could fear the dark or the unknown minute yet to come.  There are the unspoken fears of emotion and weakness. Those fears that can stop us cold from “getting involved” with a someone, or getting involved with a situation.  And then the compound as fears layer on top of fears. And the ultimate fear of death will play its own role.

Fear and guilt are real, and they stop us from that “freedom” we all wish for in many ways.

Can you imagine your life with no guilt, no fear? What would it be like? How would you find it? 

Let me end with something that keeps me going; something in the face my life with cancer helps to calm my fears.                     “…there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18)                                                                                                               “If the Son sets you free, then you will be really free” (John 8:36) 

 

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

 

The Mosaic of Life

Some days can seem to drone on for a long time. As the summer days in Texas grow longer and the heat lingers on, it gives me pause to stop and thank God for all the people he has put in my life. They have all created a mosaic of memories and experiences that allow me to get to this point and see what I see. It amazes me. Even on those bland and simple days , where nothing eventful of note has left its mark, there is always the reflection of the events and people that have been before this moment.

I miss many of them, but they had their own roads to take and lives to travel. I am better for having them in my life’s paths, and hopefully I helped be a piece of who they are too… Not all of them were the greatest of friends, in fact some were foes. But they all made a difference.

I am also thankful that I have my family. Through the laughter, the tears, the frustrations and triumphs we work through them together as best we know how, with God’s countenance and grace to watch over us. I haven’t seen one of my sons in nearly nine years, and I pray that he is learning this to be true. But I love him still. I am fortunate for my three other children and my wonderful wife that have been in my life these many years.

As the US recognized Fathers Day this past weekend, I want to hope that I have reflected some of the greatness of my father on my children. I think I have. I am fortunate to be able to say that, (when so many don’t wish or want it so)…my children never really got to know my father before he died- but I see him in them. Such precious little time with their other grandfather was hopefully enough to see the man he was and what pieces of him exist in them as well.

So I continue to be amazed. And I hope you can reflect on the mosaic of your life that has brought you to each day, and be amazed along with me in the light it produces. Be good with what makes you who you are today, share it with your family and friends, and be joyful for what adventures lie ahead in the time here on Earth.

“Family” by Joe Walsh

I’ve been alone most of my life
I’ve never known what it was like
To end up somewhere and not have to pack
To be among friends I know have my back

But now I’m here where I belong
I’ve finally found a wife and a home
And a family that matters, means more to me
Than anything I have ever believed

And when we are gathered together
Tell me how blessed can somebody be

Give thanks, break bread, say grace, bow heads
For all of this love that surrounds me
We laugh, we cry, stand together that’s why
It’s all being part of a family

Tried it before, never felt right
I never dreamed that someday I might
Be part of something bigger than me
It makes me feel humble, finally I see

All that we have is each other
And that’s all that I’ll ever need

Give thanks, take time to say that I’m
So grateful for all that surrounds me
We laugh, we cry, stand together that’s why
It’s all being part of a family

The Secret of Life

i have told my children, I have told my friends. There is nothing difficult about the secret of life. It is simply enjoying the passage of time. It isn’t difficult. Don’t spend so many hours,days, weeks, months or years searching for it. It may pass you by. You may miss it, you may spend your entire life looking for it. But you only have so much time, and it is time that is what you should cherish. You are able to make it work if you try. It isn’t even hard, although we may always be working so hard to look for it.

It can consume you, as you search. It can mean that you can toss away a day so easily and wonder where it went. It can mean that you have nothing to show for it as you search, and then if you ever do find it – you will ask “what took you so long?” So sit back and look at what has made your life be what it is today, and you may realise that you have it right in front of you. You make it what it is every single day. Thank God for it and enjoy it because the secret of life is simply enjoying the passage of time.

The Secret of Life by James Taylor

The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time
Any fool can do it
There ain’t nothing to it
Nobody knows how we got to
The top of the hill
But since we’re on our way down
We might as well enjoy the ride

The secret of love is in opening up your heart
It’s okay to feel afraid
But don’t let that stand in your way
’cause anyone knows that love is the only road
And since we’re only here for a while
Might as well show some style
Give us a smile
 
Isn’t it a lovely ride
Sliding down
Gliding down
Try not to try too hard
It’s just a lovely ride

Now the thing about time is that time
Isn’t really real
It’s just your point of view
How does it feel for you
Einstein said he could never understand it all
Planets spinning through space
The smile upon your face
Welcome to the human race

Some kind of lovely ride
I’ll be sliding down
I’ll be gliding down
Try not to try too hard
It’s just a lovely ride

Isn’t it a lovely ride
Sliding down
Gliding down
Try not to try too hard
It’s just a lovely ride

Now the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time

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