cat outside the door April 26, 2010Posted by needinc in emPulse.
add a comment
EmPulse for Week of April 26, 2010
cat outside the door
How can you tell if there is a cat outside the door? If you own a cat (as much as anyone can own a cat) the probability and expectation is greater that there is, in fact, a cat outside your door; most likely, longing to be let in to be fed. Then it’s back out to do some seriously cattin’ around.
Some people think cats are sneaky, devious creatures. I think cats take on the character of their owners. Others think cats are lazy. They may have a point; most cats, from cutsie widdle kittens to lions, sleep 80% of their lives. [Is there a link between cats & teenagers!?!] But there are some who truly understand cats. They honor their independence while providing them with food & shelter. They don’t de-claw them—taking away their only means to climb trees to escape danger. Rather, they learn cat-whispering to inform the cat it is not OK to use the furniture as nail sharpening apparatus. They form a symbiotic relationship with the cat to their mutual benefit.
If you are a dog-lover you are now nauseated beyond description and want to vomit and write a really nasty retort to this emPulse. But bear with me a little, o impatient canine aficionado! In defense of cats are not so much sneaky as they are soft on their feet, silent, stealing smoothly into our lives. We may not want them always, but eventually, we will find them stealthily nuzzling up beside us, warmly purring, and making themselves quite at home. And, to our distaste, we find ourselves uncomfortably comfortable with that. We like it, but we will never admit it to a soul.
When I was eight or nine, I was sick a lot. I had a cat named Tabby. We snuggled and nuzzled constantly. I was perpetually breathing fur. When Tabby gave birth to her 4 kittens in the clothes dryer in the basement it was a wonder to behold to my young eyes. After awhile she would carry them up two flights of stairs to where I lay in bed, clean them up, daily, and leave them with me for the day while she went out, cattin’ around. She had come to trust me; and I would not let her down.
It’s that way with God too. For those of us who do not need to be smacked-up along side of the head, Christ waits softly, quietly, outside our door, waiting for an opening. He will not force His way in…, He will wait, and wait, and wait—just like a cat. When bidden an entrance He will graciously nuzzle up beside us and wait for our reaction. If we shove Him off the couch, He will get the point. If we relax and grant Him safe haven, He will become a safe haven for us as well. For there is a symbiotic safety in learning to relate to the Lord God on His terms and not on ours. “Trust in the Lord…, and lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5) Trust is a two way street; but it starts with us.
Maybe it’s time we all reexamined the way we relate to the Lord God of the Universe. Think of it! A symbiotic-safe place found in Jesus Christ. Like a cat…, outside the door. Meow.
Have a nice week.
The contexts for Christianity April 19, 2010Posted by needinc in emPulse.
add a comment
EmPulse for Week of April 19, 2010
the contexts for Christianity
Mind games; let’s play. Topic— the contexts for Christianity. There are hundreds of religions on this planet (Buddhism, Islam, Hindu, Baha’i, power, sports, consumption-ism, etc). The one I believe offers the explanations that best describe the state of reality is the Christian faith. Do not think me naïve; the history of Christianity recalls some of the worst atrocities and passive approval of evil’s expression ever witnessed. Yet its basic understanding of the human condition is without parallel—
Though the Church is clearly with its flaws & failures, genuine Christian faith among the masses is always seen in expressions of common decency, acts of sacrifice, love, and unswerving devotion to the teachings of Jesus. If anyone claims to be Christian and exhibits few of these characteristics, then their claim is false. Genuine Christians move among their networks of relationships as beacons of encouragement, vessels of Truth, and servants of others. They may not be able to explain their faith very well, because of present-day vocabulary-patterning, but their life of love needs little explanation.
Because of the model Jesus Christ set before the world, Christians have always played the under-dog in the grand scheme of things. Christianity’s worst days, whether in the era of the Crusades or in the rise of the conservative right, have always been when it was in a position of power. Truly, power dost corrupt: absolute power, corrupting most absolutely.
The primary contexts for Christianity have always resided in three places. First, in the lives of those who epitomize the pattern of godliness exemplified in God’s Son-on-earth, Jesus Christ. Second, in the communities of faith, within Scripture and beyond, that have served our societies as servants and fellow journeymen, together, seeking justice & truth. And third, within the interplay between the Lord God Creator of all that there is and this one, measly planet, Earth, on which He has focused His love and salvation. Crazy, isn’t it!?!
Have a nice week.
… the horizon below April 13, 2010Posted by needinc in emPulse.
add a comment
EmPulse for Week of April 12, 2010
… the horizon below
High on the dirt road to Cripple Creek there is a vista of Colorado Springs that is majestic! A panoramic view to the east that sweeps the city and the distant plains. The contrast always intrigues me as I lie in 4’+ of winter’s remaining snow under a bright sun, gazing across the horizon below—a broad expanse of desert, spotted with green circles of irrigated crops. In the city below, familiar routes, favorite restaurants rise to recognition— I-25, Rt,24, the Antlers, Memorial Park, Sonterra Grill. To the north, the Airforce Academy’s Chapel spires gleam in the sun: to the south, there is just a hint of Pueblo in the distance.
Early morning inter-continental flights offer an even more magnificent majesty. I remember an early morning flight where the horizontal black line between night and day was clearly visible. On that same flight, with our altitude nearing 50,000’, everyone who stayed awake enjoyed the sight of the silver lining, and the slightest curvature of the earth on the horizon below. It is difficult to doubt your own insignificance with such a panorama.
For most of our lives we look forward, toward a horizon of coming events and expectations—turning 13, high-school graduation, first kiss, college, marriage, first real job, first child, etc. Some horizons are visible before us, with clear steps of what must be accomplished to achieve specific goals. Other goals lie beyond the horizon, forcing us to move ahead without adequate information, a safety-net, or benchmarks for us to determine our progress. BOTH take effort on our part- some measurable, some not so measurable, more sight-unseen (read “faith”).
It is, rather, on those rare occasions where we rise above it all and peer down at the horizon below that grants us the grander scheme. Climbing a 14,000’ mountain will do it (might I suggest Long’s Peak, Mt Adams, or the Athabasca), as will rising to catch the dawn on an early morning flight. So also will gazing into a warm fire on a chilly night, or walking a beach with your soul-mate & a cup o’ joe. There are many places where any of us can rise above and grasp the bigger picture of things to bring our lives back into perspective, back into order, back on track. We just need to take the time and make the effort to DO it.
Maybe discussing your life with a trusted friend, a counselor, even a career planner, may be just what you need. I do know that if you do NOT make the effort to seek the perspective of the horizon below you will putter along doing important things for the rest of your life; but NOT what God has designed you for. You are part of a much grander canvas than you might imagine.
Have a nice week.
… bookends April 5, 2010Posted by needinc in emPulse.
add a comment
EmPulse for Week of April 5, 2010
“bookends,” written by Paul Simon (Simon & Garfunkel) circa- 1968, imagines the reminisces of two old friends, forgetting the history of their lives.
Old Friends, Old Friends
Sat on their park bench like bookends
A newspaper blowin’ through the grass, falls on the round toes
Of the high shoes of the old friends
Winter companions the old men lost in their overcoats waiting for the sunset
The sounds of the city sifting through trees settle like dust
On the shoulders of the old friends
Can you imagine us years from today sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange to be seventy… Old Friends
Memory brushes the same years; silently sharing the same fear
“Time it was and what a time it was, it was…
A time of innocence, a time of confidences
Long ago it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories…, they’re all that’s left you
I wonder what old-age will be like? Sitting on a park-bench, waiting for the end? Assisted living, nursing homes? or, going down in a blaze of glory, fighting an insurgency in some third world country? Loving God, genuinely, ‘till the end, serving society & her people, locally and globally— that’s more like it! What needs to be done, next?
What memories will you have? What legacies will you leave? What progeny to carry on? What gifts left to the future?
Remember the past, mourn those who have passed-on, celebrate life now, create a brighter future for other people.
Have a nice week.