parallel universe September 28, 2011Posted by needinc in emPulse.
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A parallel universe. Some hope it’s there: some do not. Some people feel like they actually live in one. They seem to be…, never quite here. Other worldly, not in the present-time or space, etc. Oddly, we need people who are not quite here. They think outside the box, color outside the lines, come at reality from a very peculiar perspective. And, thus, the rest of us gain insight and perspective from their other-worldliness, their finesse at viewing what we see from the other side of the mirror draws us to listen and consider.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were another universe? One, wherein we could change ourselves, correct our past mishandling of things, or do what we’ve always intended to do in this universe but never quite got around to it. Maybe the other side of a black-hole isn’t so bad after all. Of course, it could just as well be the final judgment. Conundrums aplenty.
In my imaginations I have traveled to such a universe. A place where things are the way I want them to be, where everything is to my liking with little regard for one else. But I’ve also journeyed to a universe where the world is as it should be; with deep discernment of what is right and what is wrong; of clear application of the ultimate-Principles to life; of forgiveness for wrong-doing, of justice meted out without prejudice, of reconciliation between divergent parties striven after with humble admission of complicity on all sides. Had I my druthers I believe I would choose the second universe. Trusting in myself to be the principal arbiter in my own universe carries with it some sense of incongruity, of appropriated power, of grandiose, illicit posturing.
Yea, verily, the only universe we can travel through is the one we are in. (Probably.) But there is nothing keeping us from achieving what we’ve set out to accomplish in our imaginary journeying through other universe-scenarios; unless we are intent on world domination. We can change the way we view reality, heal past hurts, correct historical animosities, and live out our days by those ultimate-Principles that seem to be carved profoundly into our souls. This is not for the faint-of-heart: it will take some effort. Though NOT to pursue such realties is to perpetuate the haphazard laziness of our non-efforts to be wasted persistently in mere self-existence and self-gratifying entertainment. It is the elimination of humanity’s humility, supplanted by our lust for stuff. Gimmie!
Maybe it’s time we recreated the universe to function in-line with those ultimate-Principles; maybe it’s time we learned to work together with people so different from us we could hardly imagine that they actually existed. Like Christians, or engineers, or artists, atheists, or anyone whose life-perspective is so dissimilar from ours that they might as well be from a parallel-universe.
O, did I mention the odd observation that we all inhabit the same, small planet in this vast expanse of space!?! Now why do you think God the Creator did that?
Have a nice week,
…the glass is half-full September 20, 2011Posted by needinc in emPulse.
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…the glass is half-full
You know the lines— The glass is half-full. The glass is half-empty. Or, the engineering version— Someone made the glass too large. It’s a pint-sized metaphor of life, of one’s perspective on life. It questions whether we see life as optimists (half full), or as pessimists (half empty); or as engineers, who don’t talk in metaphors— it’s a design issue & has nothing to do with perspective. Maybe they are the realistic ones after all.
Personally, I have never cared whether the glass was half full, half empty, or designed wrong. Just drink it! Sometimes life will appear half empty. Drink whatever is there! You’ll need the nourishment it brings to raise the next glass. And when your life feels half full, you’ve only taken in ½ of what you need to complete the tasks God has set before you; be they corporate planning, child rearing, relationship resolution, or overcoming some personal dilemma. Drink the rest of the glass! You are only half way to getting done what is important in life. Actually, pour another glass: you’ll doubtless need that one too.
Some of us get so hemmed in by our perspective that we forget to take advantage of the resources sitting right on the table in front of us. Drink! Drink in the counsel of friends, professionals, spiritual directors! Drink in the refortification of the love offered you by so many of those around you! Drink of your own insights & discernment; you are not a useless blot of DNA! Drink in the empowerment and protections offered you by the God who made you!
There is a story in the Judeo/Christian Scriptures that takes place in the Judean Fall (Oct.-Sept.). The Feast of the Lord (Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles) was being celebrated to remind the Jews of God’s bounty in the Fall Harvest. For seven days a Priest would walk around the Temple. On the eighth day he would take a golden pitcher, draw from the water of the Temple Fountain, go to the Temple Laver (wash bowl) and pour out the water while facing West in a symbolic gesture of thanks and praise to God. It was on this eighth day that Jesus approached the golden pitcher before the priest arrived. He emptied it, outside the Temple, in front of all the people, and said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
So, instead of focusing on whether you feel optimistic (up), or pessimistic (down), at this moment, why not drink fully of what God has set before you? I hear He has good taste in wine too.
Have a nice week,
stage fright September 13, 2011Posted by needinc in emPulse.
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EmPulse for the week of September11, 2011
‘Tis a rarity that anyone would not give predilection to a more proficient writer than themselves; but to William Shakespeare, any would duly acquiesce. He penned a commentary on the passages of our lives that needs little interpretation. They come from his 1600 play As You Like It, 2, 7. Please read with respectful historical reverence and perspective. Though not as precise as Gail Sheehy’s PASSAGES (1974 & NEW, 1996)) or Dr George Vaillant’s AGING WELL (2003), Shakespeare’s insights into our post-modern passages bears some degree of meditation. Some things are never new under the sun.
Yea, only slight commentary shall follow—
All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;
Then the whining school-boy, with his satchel And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover, Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier, Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the bard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel, Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice, In fair round belly with good capon lin’d,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut, Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side; His youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice, Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion; Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
In light of this passage, do life’s passages give you stage fright? Do you find yourself a slave to your assigned strata in life? Does it terrify you to make a mistake, to be wrong, to fail? If you are truly alive in life, be sure you will do all three. NOT to make mistakes, to be wrong, or to fail, would mean you are not truly alive or even human. Our God has not made us to be perfect…, just yet. But he has made us to assail life and live to the fullest, rather than to cower in the fear of not being perfect. Stage fright? Sure— at every twist & turn of the play. Yet we can rest in the safety of the Director’s understanding of what’s afoot.
Have a nice week,
forward slash September 5, 2011Posted by needinc in emPulse.
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In the world of Internet Searches it helps to narrow your search by tightening the URL designation. For example, www.wikipedia.org will find access to massive amounts of information; not helpful. TMI. But if you narrow the perimeters of your search, www.wikipedia.com/wiki/UK , you will hone in on the information you desire more directly. The forward slash following the .org (or .com, or .gov) is Internet language for tighter specificity in a search.
Tighter specificity forces clarification in the rest of life as well. Tighten your definitions of things and you will better understand what it is you are trying to accomplish. Whether it is a job search, a decision about a relationship, a commitment to be initiated or a contract to be terminated, defining demarcations first will aid in the follow-through when it comes time to put things into motion. For example, if the question is Which car should we buy? tighten the question by thinking How will this vehicle be used primarily? If will be used primarily for hauling kids to sports games, an $85,000 Mercedes is probably NOT in order.
You’ve heard this— READY! AIM! FIRE! Basic fire-arms training. But often in business it’s more like READY! FIRE! AIM! You may or may not hit your target. But the initial emphasis must always be on READY. Whether you are a high-risk individual (needing little information to act), or a lower-risk person (needing varying degrees of adequate information to act) you must still have the right information. And that is a matter of specificity— clarifying the issues around the course of action to be set into motion before starting out.
1. How much should I plan ahead? (Depends on the decision at issue.)
2. To what extent do I research an idea, a trip, a business plan, or course of action before it is initiated?
3. How can I tighten my research? How can I move from the broad-sweep to the narrow path?
4. WHO can help me think through this?
Did Hannibal have a plan as he crossed the Alps to invade Rome? Did Wellington have a plan to defeat Napoleon at Waterloo? Did Washington have a plan to defeat the British? Did Bill Gates & Paul Allen have a plan as they launched Microsoft? YES! …and No. An initial vision, a passion, a drive to succeed? Absolutely. But each one of them had to define, refine, redefine, and clarify their plans as things were set into motion.
So it is throughout life, even a Christian’s life. All of us must constantly adjust, adapt, refine our definitions and realign our goals to adjust to emerging influences. The questions change in each season of life; sometimes, so also do the answers. Seek help from a professional, a friend, and seriously, listen for God.
For if you are not tightening those definitions, clarifying the issues, honing in, you will be left with the SHIFT to the Question Mark above the slash key…, er ?
Have a nice week,