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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Just Beyond The Trees

The first and only time I saw the Grand Canyon was a world view shifting day.  Like so many people who have never been to the Grand Canyon I had a view of it from photos and movies, most of which give us a wide, panoramic, and aerial perspectives. Naively, I expected to see the canyon before I got to it, much like approaching a mountain range.

We parked our car at the visitor's center and immediately followed signs to a trail to see the canyon. To my surprise we walked on a tree lined path for a while thinking, "Where is it?" Finally we came to an opening and there it was only a few feet away.  To call it "Grand" is the ultimate understatement.

At times when the path of my life has seemed narrow and confined, lined with trees of doubt, uncertainty, and hopelessness, I remember this experience. I look for even the smallest opening to step through. Sometimes it is just another tree lined path, but then again there have been broad vistas of opportunity and potential, some even "Grand."

We never know what is just ahead. We never know what may be only a few feet away. We never know what our next encounter holds. It may very well be the beginning a new and Grand adventure.    


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Making Stuff Up

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling a bit bewildered these days. As many people are saying these days, "You just can't make this stuff up!" But this is exactly what too many people keep doing - making stuff up.
It seems as though with each new day there is another truthless twist in the entangled world of national and global "politicsreligioneconomicsracescienceeducationsecuritysafetywar." We are living in amazingly bizarre times. 
Perhaps it seems bizarre partly because we have lived for so long with false assumptions of independence, individuality, and autonomy. As these illusions and assumptions disappear we discover that we truly are connected with and dependent on each other and our environment. However, ensconced worldviews do not crumble easily and often crash violently, creating chaos and suspicion.  
At the same time we are also learning that living with integrity in a truly global community requires honesty, sharing, compassion, forgiveness, justice, and above all love. But isn't this what our world spiritual traditions have been telling us for eons?  We really are One Human Family within One Creation. Now that's something you can't make up!


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

OEP In Everyday Life

Sometimes things just work out. Last Saturday after a church picnic Peg got home before me because I was helping take a few things back to the church. By the time I got to the church she was on the other end of my cell phone, "Come home as soon as you can. There is water standing in the house." Whoa!

It was worse than I thought. There was about and inch of water in one bathroom and water pooled in the carpet of the adjoining room. I was soon on my way back to the church to borrow a wet vac while Peg looked for a plumber.

Before I could get out of the church parking lot on my way back Peg called again, "Get here fast. The plumbers are here!" What?

I pulled up to the house to find an open white panel van and two men already putting a "snake" in the main drain clean-out. Peg was in the driveway smiling.

"What the ....?" I said.

She cut me off with, "I'm just good!"

She had called the first plumber number in the professional services classifieds of our local weekly newspaper.  The owner/dispatcher said, "We have a crew in your area that just finished a job." Peg went outside to find a clean-out and they arrived before she could find it.

I won't tell you how much it cost but will say that for a Saturday afternoon emergency plumber call it was amazingly affordable.

The end of this story is yet to be told as I spent the last two evenings taking out musty carpet and wood vinyl flooring, but as we have said several times, "If it had to happen, we couldn't have asked for a better scenario." We were also fortunate that the water came from the clothes washer and not other sources.

As a post-script, I'm reminded (and also remind you) there are people in parts of our country who have several feet of flood water in their homes with most if not all of their possessions and possibly homes destroyed. So I think I'll just visit this website right now and make a donation. I encourage you to do the same.

It's all part of participating in the One Eternal Presence!  

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Past-Future

"The past is not dead. It's not even past."
~ William Faulkner


Sometimes in order to see our way forward we need only look back. Remember back only five years in your life, your community's life, the nation's or the world's. What were the circumstances, issues, hopes and dreams only five years ago? How have things changed?  Is your current condition surprising or expected? Is life as bad or good as you anticipated? What were some of the dynamics that brought you to this point in life? Now do the same exercise using 10, 20, or more years.

My guess is when most of us do this we discover our lives, and the world, have a general trajectory determined by decisions and choices based on past experiences in order to maintain a sameness, or stability, to the present. Any real change usually comes from a significant departure from this dynamic often brought on by major events like births, deaths, illnesses, moves, accidents, etc. In the case of nations these change makers are elections, wars, treaties, agreements, laws; all of which are influenced by more personal dynamics.

For me, several simple axioms of life come from such contemplation. First is the old adage that if you keep doing the same thing you'll get the same results. Or the more negative version is the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

Second is Ebenezer Scrooge's question to the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in A Christmas Carol, "Men's [sic] courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead," said Scrooge. "But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me." 


The final axiom is the simple but overarching aspect of time, "this too shall pass." 

So, want to know what's in your and our futures? Take a look at the past. It will give you some clues.