Friday, March 6, 2015

Repentance

To change one's life, or "repentance" as it is called in religious circles, does not begin with, "I will try harder."  It begins with humility.  It begins with admitting that left to ourselves we won't change/move in a new and better direction.  We must admit that we are weak.  We got into the mess of a lifestyle because we are too weak to make the better choice.  We have formed habits that keep us moving in the same wrong direction all the time.  So, start out with admitting you messed, be sorry or at least embarrassed by your bad behavior and seek some outside help.  God is one form of outside help.  In the bible, Jonah, (the fellow who was swallowed by a whale) goes to a big city, Ninevah, and tells everyone to repent.  What do they do?  They don't say, "We will try harder."  They admit they are wrong, and put on sackcloth and sit in ashes.  This is a sign that they are sorry and want help.  They don't waste initial energy on trying to get better.  First they seek forgiveness and a second chance.  When you mess up with someone you love, do you simply say, "I will try harder," as if you have the power to alone change your life?  No.  You admit you were wrong.  Say you are sorry.  And seek help.  Try changing your life by yourself from bad to good.  I suspect all you will get is going from bad to worse.  I have found it so.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

All That Snow

I notice on the news that pictures of big snow storms are always shown of cities and highways.  I never see farms shown with snow.  Why?  Snow, big snow, is not big deal for a farm.  My monastery in Colorado has no problem with snow.  The land is fallow and will have plenty of moisture when it all melts in spring.  Why should Mother Nature change because we decided to become a modern world?  No one is the center of the world.  Snow comes and sometimes lots of it comes.  We built the cities where there were once forests and fields.  We did not ask Mother Nature for permission.  We just wanted her to a adjust.  WE may be causing or adding to what we call "bad" weather.  WE think that we can control nature?  I suspect she will wipe us out before we destroy her.  Anyway, I am in Florida now.  Today was another day in paradise!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Fantasy

My fantasy life seems to have two obvious repeats.  One, I am always in control doing what I want in stupendous fashion.  Two, I never deal with my real life in fantasy.  A times, I might do a good deed in fantasy, but most often I self-aggrandize.  How does this compare with your own fantasy life?  Do you have some common things that thread through all your fantasies?  I am not saying my fantasies are bad things.  Some just get me through a workout or a mundane task when I could be thinking about God.  I don't have fantasies about God.  God is too real for me.  I don't think about God when I run or am in the gym even though God is everywhere.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Deposit Slips

I walked into a branch of my bank in Vero Beach, Florida.  It is a branch where the rich people live.  Fresh coffee awaited me.  But I saw no deposit slips.  "You don't need those anymore," said one of the tellers.  Just swipe your debit/credit card and hand over the deposit.  It seemed like too much change for me at this moment.  I asked for deposit slips.  I filled them out, added up the deposit and signed the back of each check.  Then I thought, "I have to grow up into this ever changing world of finance."  So I followed directions and did the deposit the new way.  I found out two things.  One, I can overcome fear and change.  Two, this new way saved me no time whatsoever.  I had to approve the total deposit.  How could I do that if I did not first add up the checks to be deposited?  I had to sign the checks on the back just like before.  Actually, I learned a third thing.  This new way saved the teller some work.  You mean the bank does not have me as their first priority?  Now that is scary and needs to change.  Banks don't seem to want to change unless it suits them and their bottom line.  They want their customers to change.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Cerebral Palsy

One of the aspects of Cerebral Palsy is that you have speech problems.  I have speech problems.  I say stupid or angry things before my brain can get the right signal.  This of course is followed by regret and remorse.  Well, at least I have remorse.  That might give me the wherewithal to apologize.  If I had no remorse, I would be worse off.  So I guess that means I could get worse.  I would rather be getting better.  My emotions are still quicker than my brain.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Almsgiving

Whenever I think of almsgiving, I think of writing a check to some organization.  Recently, I expanded my almsgiving horizon.  I was sitting in a Mall food court one day eating something.  I noticed a woman who was cleaning all the messy tables and brushing things up off the floor to make the place ready for future customers.  I had been reading my Spanish prayer book, and had come across a Spanish word, the English meaning of which escaped me at the time.  I thought this cleaning person might be Latino.  She is probably a Mom and a wife.  This may be her second job.  She was very faithful to cleaning up.  A thought came to me.  I approached her and said hello in Spanish.  She responded and I asked if she spoke Spanish.  Si.  So I asked her what the Spanish word meant in English.  She knew the translation. She is bilingual.  It meant "to Pay."  A coincidence?  I gave her a $5 bill.  She took it and smiled.  Did it change her life?  Who knows.  It did change mine for that day.  It was Ash Wednesday.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Perspective

I heard this recently and it made me think about "perspective."  One guy says to his friend, "My wife went out for ice cream and never came back!"  I immediately thought of how tragic and sad it is that a wife disappeared.  But the other fellow had a different view.  He said," Don't worry.  By now the ice cream is melted."  Whenever you think that your life is a mess, you ought to get a second opinion.  That is one of the jobs of friends.  I have found it so.