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Enjoy the Perilous Journey

Life’s race isn’t against time, but against our own mud. We each have incredible, unlocked potential, usually held captive by lingering vices and bad habits we like too much to kick. The only way through a murky mess is at proper speed. When racing in mud, if you go too fast, you lose control.

Life’s mud can be dangerous at times, but the key is enjoying the perfect pace, no matter the looming perils. Perfection doesn’t feel fast, but it’s the fastest mud allows. Enjoy it. Clip along at the speed of mud and closing enemies will wipe themselves out.  · · · →

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Fingers and Trust and Toes

When a baby is born, a mother’s first instinct is to hold and care. She held the baby in her tummy nine months, now she wants to hold the baby in her arms.

A father’s instinct is practical. Happy babies need fingers and toes, arms and legs. So, he counts them.

A mother knows the need for love and contact. She can have confidence that the practical needs are met because a human father’s attention to toes reflects our Creator’s care through nine months of detailed labor. While the mother holds, the father counts. Are the two opposed or complementary?  · · · →

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Life in the Garden

God created Eden because He created Mankind for gardens. We know our human need for gardens was already in His mind because He is the God Who Prepares. He prepared Eden, then He made us and placed us there.

Since our own “better idea” got us expelled, we’ve been trying to get back into the garden. That’s what every religion wants. Rather than trying to outsmart God as our means to return to the garden, we could just follow His plan and live in house-gardens. Sustainable food from home could bring world peace because everyone would already be in gardens.  · · · →

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Safety is Liberty in Use

Safety isn’t a shell, it’s a habit. Shells, gates, and borders can hold us while we grow and hold back an enemy on attack. But, when you’re grown or the enemy breaches the wall, your safety is in your strength, skill, and preparation for struggle within your borders.

Unless you walk, live, and remain at large within your domain, you have no domain to keep your liberty. When we exercise our freedoms, it has a policing affect against burglars who would sneak over our fences and lay traps in our own back yards. We are only as free we walk.  · · · →

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Love Locks Open

Fear drives the fearful to hide from false alarm. When driven to fear, some of us easily become bullies, threatening and harming those who are neither controlled by fear nor injured by what is feared. Yet, while fear-driven bullies seek to dominate, those without fear must take their stand.

It’s not bad to insist on living normally. When you do, bullies will falsely accuse you of bullying. To some extent, you can ignore words that spit venom without bite, but when people disrupt your normal pursuit of vibrancy, you must stop the bullies and those tho aid and abed bullying.  · · · →

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Reversals

What we expect can really hurt when it shows up in the wrong place, facing the wrong direction. Maybe it’s our uninformed, inexperienced instincts that lie to us about what’s coming. Maybe it’s our wishful thinking that clouds our reason. Just when we think a thing will happen, it doesn’t.

The aftermath—that’s the bite. We’re all set up, ready, prepped, primed, oiled, juiced, and waiting for what we are just so certain will come. Then, a surprise of nothing, then something we thought shouldn’t have been. It takes a lot of bites to learn which reversals will come next.  · · · →

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Four Parts of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is only hard when it’s needed. Forgiveness is double-edged: believing there is an offense while at the same time letting go of being offended. This requires maturity, nearly impossible; and it never gets easy. Our in-born tendency is to either beat people with their foolishness or forget that foolishness is foolish, acting like there is nothing to forgive.

Forgiveness changes people, nudging them to stop doing what what forgiven. If your own folly continues, then you haven’t been forgiven, maybe by yourself. It is hard to forgive others without forgiving yourself, and vice versa, because forgiveness is also two-sided.  · · · →

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Light to the Calm

Storms don’t affect lighthouses. They stay put and stay lit. Ships trying to remain afloat have a different story.

On calms seas, shipping can make business, trade, and profit. But, when seas rage, cargo gets lost and shipping businesses can go belly up while lighthouses remain unaffected. It’s the storm and the shaking which separates lighthouse from vessel.

Unlike lighthouses and vessels, humans have a choice. In each moment, we can be calm and steady or we can be tossed by every wave and worry of every good and bad news. When the shaking comes, that’s your chance to shine.  · · · →

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Calm Is Antiviral

https://youtu.be/ldjFp6-p_gw

A steady, strong, stable hand can steer a vessel through even the greatest turmoil. We saw this in Britain during the German Blitzkrieg. Rather than giving into fear, Britons went calmly about their daily business and the country carried on. In Taiwan, where the 2019 pneumoniavirus stays under the best containment in the world, people carry on and keep calm as they do.

It's hard to read clearly while holding a book with shaky hands. Your best bet is to notice fear on the rise. Sense it, smell it in yourself. When you feel the crawl of fear, just ignore it.

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Thrive in the Midst

https://youtu.be/ON0N5ihitds

There's something about life! We call it vibrance. We call it survival instinct. We call it spunk. No living thing is inclined to die quietly, so when life gets violent the living live violently. Whatever the hardship, it's never the end. Even the Alamo was remembered. Life and death have much more work for us to do before they allow the transition.

Imagine yourself a tree so alive you're on living fire, so hot from life that the strongest storm can't get you wet. That's an accurate picture. Storms can't wipe out forests; they only water them and feed them.

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Self Calm-Panic

All our emotions are self-justified. If we're angry, it's someone else's fault. If we worry, well, we should! If we're happy, it's because we deserve it. Emotions are the first stop on the highway to lifelong blame-shifting.

Panic is self-induced—always. Same goes for calm. When the unthinkable happens, which it eventually does, it's all because we weren't thinking of it. By training ourselves to count on the world being as we presume it is—then making our emotional stability dependent on that world rather than personal choice—we set ourselves up. Counting on ourselves for emotions might be better.

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Gambit Your Gambit

Victory requires sacrifice. The same is true for even the most menial results. It takes only a short time to set a better tone, improve your frame of mind, or learn a more efficient way. And, it's worth it.

The trouble is getting the time to make the time. Sometimes we have to carry on with things less than great. We can't always make the small sacrifice to be more efficient. We can't always set a better mood. We might need to wait for the time and resources, making do in the meanwhile. That sacrifice is to not sacrifice, yet.

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Gently Strong

Holding your ground and being gentle aren't opposites. No one wants what you have to offer if what you have to offer spells their own doom. As you enforce the rules you live by, don't require the demise of those who comply, unless you somehow aim to redefine others as rule-breakers—and that's never a good idea. Just ask King John.

Be gentle as you follow your code. Provide a path to redemption to the lost while upholding general principles that prevent people from getting lost in the first place. In keeping the goal of redemption, you'll have no problem.

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Calm Respect

Stay respectful and stay calm—always!

When people are wrong, help them see the most helpful things to help them on their way. Stick to what's useful. When someone says something that isn't useful, saying so isn't useful. Don't fully change the topic, just shift it over a little to some useful idea. Focus on whatever goodness you want more of, not the bad you want to eradicate.

Conflict and disagreement make fragile circumstances. Handle with care. Don't toss eggs on the table. Don't gently roll them away either. Where an egg rolls to it can roll from, then smash.

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