All Houses Shake

Let’s start this way, from the Book of Luke, Chapter 6.

“I will show you what someone is like who comes to me,
listens to my words, and acts on them.
That one is like a man building a house,
who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock;
when the flood came, the river burst against that house
but could not shake it because it had been well built.
But the one who listens and does not act
is like a person who built a house on the ground
without a foundation.
When the river burst against it,
it collapsed at once and was completely destroyed.”

Here’s what I know. I’ve worked to keep my house on rock all my life. Overall. But there have definitely been times, plenty of times, when I’ve struggled; in my worst moments, ideals have gone out the door due to matters that proved to much for me in the moment.

This verse from the Book of Luke is one of my favorites. It calls us to strive for what we know is right, to heed the wise words we hear, to build our house on rock, to fortify against the inevitable dangers, struggles, floods of difficulty that come along in life.

We’re called to trust in the foundation we’ve laid, and do what we know is right and correct in each moment in those most difficult times. In this way, the high river waters of life’s most challenging moments will not sweep you away; your house will stand firm.

All houses shake. But in the flood, yours can, yours will, stand firm. Let it be so.

Little Did I Know

Little did I know the relevance and poignancy of this tweet from last year.

Almost exactly one year ago, how could it be so?

And yet here we are. 2020 had so many black marks: struggles at work, struggles at home, wildfires, untimely deaths, friends and family with cancer, and of course, a global pandemic.

So many things demanding we adjust, comply, modify, withstand, persevere. And that’s exactly the tact we must take: adjust, but don’t give up; compromise, accommodate, stand together, NEVER GIVE UP.

Resilience is what we are called to. Resilience is the mantra we must repeat. Hour upon hour, day after day.

Stay in. STAY IN.

Reflections

When we look closely, what do we see? Colors, images, layers in sight, inside, outside, what’s actually there? What’s imagined?

When we consider things repeatedly, over and over again, what do we find? What deeper meaning? What better understanding? Or do we allow ourselves to get lost? Lost in thought, muddled, searching in vain…?

I’m biased for sure, as I find myself thinking endlessly. Often of late, it’s maybe to my detriment. I spend too much time in my head. Worries form clouds, dark, forbidding.

But sometimes, every so often…actually that’s not true…every time, eventually, I come out of the reflection better off. The worry somehow recedes. I can’t really explain it. I give it all up to God, that’s all, that’s the practice.

And so the reflections, at the end of the day, make it better. Make me better. Better off inside and out.

The reflections, they turn out ok. If I just give them time, give myself time, to reflect.

The Next Right Thing

Pretty frickin’ powerful lyric for a cartoon “kids” movie.

Learning the lessons young, amen to that.

“The Next Right Thing”

(from “Frozen 2” soundtrack)

I’ve seen dark before

But not like this

This is cold

This is empty

This is numb

The life I knew is over

The lights are out

Hello, darkness

I’m ready to succumb

I follow you around

I always have

But you’ve gone to a place I cannot find

This grief has a gravity

It pulls me down

But a tiny voice whispers in my mind

You are lost, hope is gone

But you must go on

And do the next right thing

Can there be a day beyond this night?

I don’t know anymore what is true

I can’t find my direction, I’m all alone

The only star that guided me was you

How to rise from the floor

When it’s not you I’m rising for?

Just do the next right thing

Take a step, step again

It is all that I can to do

The next right thing

I won’t look too far ahead

It’s too much for me to take

But break it down to this next breath

This next step

This next choice is one that I can make

So I’ll walk through this night

Stumbling blindly toward the light

And do the next right thing

And with the dawn, what comes then?

When it’s clear that everything will never be the same again

Then I’ll make the choice

To hear that voice

And do the next right thing

‘Frozen 2’ Songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez

In The Midst Of It All…

…I’m reminded, above it all, before it all, the first priority, your first team, is your family.

If you’re lucky enough to have kids, they have to be the first priority.

I just read that Kellyanne Conway (who works in the White House), and her husband George Conway (a political columnist) are both stepping away from their political jobs to focus on their family.

BRAVO.

And so focusing on family on this side…

Here’s a few pics from an adventure with my crew from the weekend. Trying to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

Faith and Trust

What do I really believe it comes down to when all is said and done? When the last step, the last breath is taken?

Faith in God whatever He or She is; trust that good and light will follow, however that is.

This I think is fundamental; this is what Paul wrote about to the Romans.

Reading 2, Romans 11:33-36

33 “How rich and deep are the wisdom and the knowledge of God! We cannot reach to the root of his decisions or his ways.”

Indeed, we cannot reach; we must trust. And that’s the core. That’s the life journey, I think. That’s my calling, anyway. To adjust to God’s Will. To pray and discern and adjust and to trust, to have faith. Each day.

Amen. AMEN.

Friday, Two Minute Catch Up

Lately I’ve had my daily piece written and scheduled (at least) the night before. Not today.

School underway for our kids, distance learning, shitty conditions outside with a heat wave and wild fires in the hills nearby and pandemic life, and…it all caught up with me this time.

So a two minute post from the kids’ room. It’s still sorta dark. The nightlight glows. The air filter machine is humming to clear the air. It’s the final quiet before a busy day lets loose.

And yet what comes to mind is hope. And love. These things endure. Through it all. If we let it.

I’m gonna try to let it.

Reaching, Seeking, Being

It’s fundamental, really, all readings aside. Or maybe it’s every Bible reading, every Quran reading, every Tanahk reading too. Maybe they all have the same basic guidance.

Reach to be better. Seek the lessons from before, and now. Be better. Every day.

If religion was that simple, if humans perceived a better path in those simple terms, maybe it would be a better world.

I think so. But maybe that’s just me. I’ll put it out there anyway.

These Words

These words we say, these words we sing, these words we share,

They seek to explain the thoughts we have, the feelings inside, the struggles and pain, the hopes and the love,

These words, they make us different perhaps, from every other animal on the face of the earth. When we are unsure, when we are striving, straining, explaining,

We use words to fill the void, to fill the holes, to explain, clarify, convince.

To what end?

Sometimes good, sometimes not so, time will tell. They might be your own doing, or your salvation, these words.

This Space

This space where we spend time gives me peace. Dark and cramp, in a tent in a backyard campsite.

Simple slumber on the ground with our children, their quiet breathing and bodies shifting position as they sleep.

This quiet time and place gives me peace. Thankful for this time and place. So simple, necessary during this quietly turbulent time.

World turned upside down, struggle to stay even and balanced; no big deal for some; sometimes it feels ok; most of the time it feels surreal; fundamentals of life shifting, unsure, existential threat.

How to adapt? How to keep our kids protected and secure, how to help them, us feel safe?

Steady, focus on the basics, rely on repetition and love, rely on love. From this space I can work; from this space I can know; from this space I can live; from this space I am sure I will find peace.

Peace in this space.