Monday, December 27, 2010

Time Falls One Direction

An hour glass tipped anew begins its release of sand grain by grain.

Mesmerized I watch. It's no secret how this happens. Gravity captures each grain of sand and moves it against its will, pulling it through the center, landing each one upon another in a growing mound in the bottom bulb.

It is a peaceful feeling - a sense of surety - until the final grains. Then, as always happens I feel a pang of anxiety for the end of the process. The last sand rushes down faster than did the first and as if flowing over Niagra Falls, the silent final sands seem to shout a haunting message.

Time only falls one direction.

As I tear another page off the calendar I have much the same feeling. December seemed to fall faster than the earlier months of the year. December hastens a new year, and as the flowing over Niagra Falls, the quiet final days of December seem to shout the same haunting message.

Time only falls one direction.

The sands fall, the clock hands turn, the calendar rolls forward, pacing, ever pacing, the experiences of our lives that make us who we are.

Heart, be ready, for the New Year and another turn of the hour glass. A new beginning. Heart, be faithful, to those hours that will be yours. What will you do with them, those hours and days? What will you fill them with, those boxes that sit empty on the calendar? Heart, be good. Use your grains, your days, your boxes to be a blessing. Heart, be thankful. There are only so many grains in the glass, only so many days . . . and only God knows that number.

Oh heart, be wise. For time only falls one direction.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Stopping The Insanity For Real.

In the 1990's a mega personality emerged on the stage of infomercial late night. A bleach blonde, buzz-cut health and fitness guru named Susan Powter told the world about fitness, taking control of your life, and losing weight. She talked about pulling herself into recovery and choosing enough about her own life to stop the insanity and get results.

Her energy was loud, big and motivating. It got many women angry enough about the state of their lives that they took charge and made changes.

Fast forward to 2010. Sanity check. Susan Powter still does videos.
She still rants about health and self-esteem. But the empowerment has dulled to a tattoo'd anger, the joy and enthusiasm for life has turned to a cranky desperation. Perhaps the insanity didn't really stop?

God has a better plan. It's not based on an angry rant, a hostility for the unjust, or a new tatoo. It's based on peace, forgiveness, kindness and honesty. It's based on healing, clarity of thought and timeless principles.

The only way insanity really ever stops is when God is in charge of our lives completely. Driven by our own insanity we all will fall short and the glitter will all fade.

No super hype late-night guru will ever lead you better than the God of the Universe can. He created you for greatness, greater than any 20 minute infomercial gadget or catch phrase. The steps He needs you to take are raw and real but can change you forever.

Today's the day. Stop the insanity - your own insanity. Stop the ranting and the craziness. Let God lead. For real this time.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Starting Over - Way Over

I met Stacy Hanson as he lay in a hospital room weeks after he'd been shot in Trolley Square mall. He told us about the 18 year-old gunman . . . how he showed no emotion as he shot innocent people in the parking lot and then in the stores . . . and how Stacy had just been at the wrong place at the wrong time, buying a Valentine's day card for his wife. The injuries sustained by the bullets would paralyze Stacy and place him in a wheelchair.

It would be almost a year later that I would witness Stacy take his first assisted steps - in that very same hospital. Towering over 6 feet tall Stacy struggled to move his braced legs . . . one at a time.

The wheelchair will always be needed, but the attempts at mobility are monumental. Each attempt strengthens the muscles, reminds the tissues, and is a witness of the soul's yearning for freedom. It is incremental and elementary. It is starting over.

Life is not linear. It is not a horizontal beam, nor is it a staircase to be climbed, but more a circle of learning and relearning, coming and becoming. Sometimes to move ahead we must go back, farther back than we want in most cases, to retrieve the parts of ourselves that we have left there.

A grown man sweating and struggling with his second first steps. And rejoicing that he moved his legs of his own accord. Truly a miracle. Not one he would have chosen out of wishing to be a better person, but definately one he chose out of wanting to be free.

Sometimes to move forward it feels like we're going back. Remember, life is not linear. Trust that God brings it all back around. And you will be better for it. Even if it means starting over. Way over.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


A long time ago far far away I learned the word "Unprecedented".

It was in the introductory remarks of my brother-in-law's speaking video. The faceless emcee of the video began . . . "in a world of unprecedented change . . . " and it continued on to feature the speaking of the legendary Art Berg.

I heard that introduction a million times and still did not know what the word meant. When I looked it up in the dictionary I realized it was a word that would change my life.

un-pre-ce-dent-ed: adj. never before experienced or seen

The one thing I've learned for certain in my life is that to get a different result you MUST change something in the equation. To get more, soar higher, achieve better, love deeper, see clearer . . . you can't do what you've always done.

Precedented therefore is habit. Pattern. Repeat. Same same. Like it's always been. Taking the same road, pursuing the same goals, failing in the same manner, and settling in the same ways . . . for the same results.

As I've pulled that word "Unprecedented" into my heart and soul - embracing it as I realize how very much I need what it offers - I recognize that it also means letting go of what's "precedented", the prison, the non-productive, the comfortably wrong, the expected.

God I don't want to be the norm. I don't want to be inprisoned by what I've always been. I want to be more. I believe you want that for me too.

Make me a new creature in YOU. With a new heart, new eyes, new vision. So that I can experience life UNPRECEDENTED - as I've never ever experienced it before.