Falling Behind Before Fall

6086519585_59a875090b_bSit down. Breathe. Now breathe again. Two weeks from now is LABOR DAY WEEKEND. What?!? You forgot to get in your summer vacation? Oh, you’re on it now. So you’ll be all rested for the back to school bunch. Getting ready to head off to college with your brand new $1600 laptop, buying new clothes and school supplies for your kindergartner [They total over $125 this year], and wondering if your air conditioners should be put away just yet, or in November…, maybe never.

Conclusion: you’re already falling behind.

Mahatma Gandhi once said that There is more to life than increasing its speed. But every Fall in Western civilization that is all we seem to do; increase our pace of life to the breaking point. I’ve wondered why someone hasn’t yet engraved their tombstone with I didn’t finish everything.

Given the present pace of culture I’m not sure it is possible for us to finish everything. We have to pick and choose. What is critical? Next, what is important? Then, what is broken that absolutely demands our attention? NOW! Move to Critical list.

If you are married there is always the question of priority for you family. Are they? Will you interrupt your work load to spend time with your wife, your husband, your kids who desperately want your love and time?

In other words, if you don’t want to fall behind as we enter this Fall, STOP ADDING SO MUCH TO YOUR SCHEDULE. Wait…, is it jammed full already? Hummm. Let me think. CUT THINGS. Unless, of course, you’ve made yourself indispensable to every commitment in your life. Let other people fill in for you. How else will they be able to make the same mistakes you did, and learn from them?!?

You need to make a difference on this planet in the time God has given you to be here. You will be less effective if you are constantly worn down and cranky. So…, STOP now. Reassess, before you are so over-committed you don’t even have the time to do that.

For what it’s worth,
  Gary

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I like my closet

Some days you just don’t feel like getting out of bed. We’ve all been there. The pressures of life weigh in on us so heavily that we lose the strength to face another day. This is especially true around the holidays— gifts to be bought and wrapped, meals to be prepared for the imminent arrival of guests & family. Added demands upon our already frantic lives.

Some of us, yea verily even extroverts, oft seek sanctuary in our closet, whether figuratively or literally. We retreat to a place of momentary safety, a hiding place, where no one can find us. We seek silence, solitude, serenity— commodities sorely lacking in our present pace of life. [Buddhism has a lot to teach us on this subject.] Large companies are scheduling team-building retreats for their managers and department heads; Christians have been going on spiritual retreats for years; Muslims fulfill one of their Five Pillars by making at least one journey to Mecca during their life-time.

There are at least two kinds of closets. The first kind is within us, holding things private, things which are best kept to ourselves. The other one holds us. It is a place for us to gain perspective and strength, to find solace for our soul. It may be a literal closet, or a place of safety—a friend’s home, a favorite bar, a winter hike through snow, a time of reflection, a rich conversation with a confidant over a wee dram of Glenmorangie. [Note: a roaring fire often aids in melting our resistance to search within.]

So as our lives continue to accelerate, make sure you go into your closet often, to your place of escape, to remind yourself who you really are. To be properly equipped to grapple with the daily barrage of activity and information that assaults us, we all need those times of retreat, wherein our focus must be on refurbishing our spirit, building our character, and finding rest for our soul. And may God bless and honor those who have created a closet for me. I’m ready to go in…, how about you?

Closing the door now,

Gary

…of bed-boards and springboards

Matanya

At this moment I am sitting by my mother’s side as she lies on a bed dying. She always preferred her bed to be on the firmer side. Not too much so, but sufficiently so. Bed-boards always make a soft bed so much more comfortable. She lies on such a bed at this moment. Not that it matters to her that much. She is in pain, breathing with some degree of difficulty.

She is leaving us.

Yet as she lies in this bed, she is also taking her first steps onto a springboard. This will be her launching step into a world filled with glory, golden light, and the exuberance of a new life, peace, and rest for a weary traveler. Each of us, unquestionably, will come to this point. The only questions are when, where, and how?  Will it be gentle, rough? Drawn out, or quick? Surrounded by friends & family; or alone?

Though we may wish it, this is not the case for everyone. The springboard does not always launch to a place of celebration—rather, it shatters, plunging its load into an abyss of captivity. It is a dark place where people can avoid each other; a place where they will finally get what they truly want—a world of total independence, with no responsibility to care for others. It is a world devoid of God, His love, and His perimeters of protection set in motion on this planet to guard its inhabitants from self-destruction. In this underworld those safe-guards do not exist.

It is now late into the night. I sit here alone with my mother…, waiting for her to take that initial leap from a springboard, propelling her into that new, exhilarating, vibrant life. For that has been her life’s desire, “to dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

For some of my friends, my dear close friends, this is not their desire. Their desire is to have all that this world has to give them. And that is what they will receive.

I weep for them.

Sitting here, I am envious that my mother, so much the gracious servant during her time in this realm, will soon get to play and dance and sing in the courtroom of heaven. There’s just the matter of this human shell to discard.

It is true; we all will come to that point of crossing-over. For my mother, it will be from a bed-board to a springboard, to life. When our time comes to step up onto the springboard, what will be our next step? Where will we come down? And what must we do beforehand to prepare?

[On Saturday, January 19th, 2013, at 1:57 p.m., Florence Adelaine Andersen Davis, jumped into the arms of our heavenly Father; there to celebrate His glory forever. She was 97 years old, by our reckoning. I am soooooo jealous.]

Mom- 27 Dec 2012

Following in the family footsteps,

Gary

sunday morning pancakes

Dr, Gary, Davis, Needinc, Clueless, Christianity, Christian, It’s no wonder so few people go to church. With our weekday jam-packed schedules, Saturdays running kids around to sports practices, home repair, grocery shopping, lawn (or snow) maintenance, finishing up some office work (shame on you), and, if we’re lucky, a college ball game thrown in; then maybe a dinner out with friends?!? Yeah, Sunday morning pancakes sound really good— leisurely, with blueberries, recently tapped AA grade New England Maple syrup, with fresh squeezed orange juice, Columbian Supremo coffee, Canadian bacon…, on the deck, or around the fire place. Either way it carries us to a time of refreshment and rest; whether with friends or family, Sunday mornings draws us into a place of peace & restoration. Now if churches would only serve pancakes… . O, never mind.

We live a pace of life that allows for few periods of rest, few times for revival for our bodies, of refreshment for our souls. Weekends often leave us exhausted for another week of work or family responsibilities. Vacations find us so tired from work that we need a minimum of 2 weeks off just to detach from the speed of our daily lives. The probability of sequential mini-breakdowns increases with each passing year. And high blood-pressure…, you probably already have it.

Ergo, we return to Sunday morning pancakes. Sunday morning is probably the only time in your week that you have to STOP and feed your spirit. What I’m talking about is pancakes! Heaps of ‘em! With friends. Sharing the joys and woes of the previous week. (Pass the Maple Syrup again, please. O, and some more coffee!) And if you find yourself in Jackson Hole, WY, drop into Jedediah’s. You’ll feel right at home as you’re served a breakfast like you’ve never imagined!

The point is simple. Each of us needs to set aside some time during our week when we put off the busyness of life to renew our spirits and restore our souls. Pancakes drenched in whipped cream & smothered with blueberries will go a long way towards renewing our spirits. But to refresh our soul, well, only the God who made us can do that properly. And there is no substitute, just like “genuine maple Syrup.” You need to find a church with a community of fellow (exhausted) travelers, just like you, who need a reminder from God about who you are. Jesus Christ came to redeem sinners.  Like you: like me.

Let the God who made you minister to your body & soul Sunday mornings. Then hit the blueberries & whipped cream.

 

Have a nice week,

Gary