History has its eyes on us.

Written Friday July 8, 2016 following these heartbreaking events.

I’ve often wondered if people living in a historically significant time know it while they’re living it. I’ve wondered if they see the story arc rising out of the smoke, the broken buildings, the damaged lives, or from the the victories, the great leadership moves, the acts of bravery and sacrifice.

I used to wonder if I was living in a time that would show up in history books as being remarkable. I read about all the significant moments textbooks could carry forward. I saw notable events in other parts of the world… the falling of a wall, the end of a regime. But in our own country, aside from ever-present political and economic tugs-of-war, all seemed merry and bright. Continue reading

A Time-less Day

My favorite kind of day is a day without any appointments. No marks to hit. Nothing scheduled. This kind of day almost never happens.

One of my favorite kinds of weather is cool and rainy and mild. Also fairly rare.

Saturday was a time-less, cool, rainy day. It was delicious.

We didn’t actually spend it lounging around in hammocks. We worked on projects and made progress on to-do lists but did it all at whatever pace, the combination of which filled my very soul.

Seriously. Delicious.

Have you had a time-less day recently? How did you spend it?

Beauty.

Blue-sky

When you come to the prairie for the first time, you notice the sky.  Admittedly, that’s not the first thing you notice; first, you simply cannot believe how flat is the earth, how sparse are the trees, how relentless the wind, and how absent is green. 

And then you look up.  And you realize you were wrong about the dominant color of the landscape being brown because you have never encountered so much blue in your life.  This is a pure blue… on a clear day it stretches all over the place, everywhere. It is relentless. So much that it hurts.

When I first drank in the powerful beauty of this sky, I couldn’t stop looking at it. It was immense. It made my eyes ache; all the ‘blue sensors’ were on immediate overload. So I had to look away. Still, it was visually intoxicating.  Look at it… too beautiful… look away. Could we capture it, I wondered, this blue that is painfully pure? Have we ever been able to replicate this? in t-shirts or Martha Stewart paints or something? 

Recently I realized that this is often my response to something with great beauty that can only be attributed to God’s work. I want to capture it somehow, or I want to turn away. Take a picture, record the moment, or escape. A tremendously moving experience in corporate worship will leave me desperate to replicate it, or in a hurry to shake it off as quickly as possible. A moment of emotion over the beauty of a redemptive story… I want to figure out how to bring it to my church or I hide and move through the emotion as quickly as possible.

There is no basking.  Apparently, I am not a natural ‘basker’. 

All these things– a blue sky, the mystery of worship, the power of redemption– are God-created, and we simply cannot replicate them.  So I wonder… is my response the normal human reaction? I want to capture this thing, this moment, but I can’t, and I also can’t withstand the purity of it, so I turn away. It’s a burning bush thing. It’s a holiness thing. 

Beauty. Holiness. What is your response?

the power of story…. the power of curiosity

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I love listening to Car Talk on NPR. I drive vehicles every day, but don’t know anything about fixing them. I just love listening to Tom & Ray answer questions from their callers. Something about a good story, people doing what they’re good at, and my own sense of curiosity.

I loved the movie “The Social Network”. I use facebook every day, but don’t know anything about writing code. Or navigating lawsuits. But the movie was fascinating. Something about a good story, people doing what they’re good at, and my own sense of curiosity.

Car mechanics and computer programmers should bore me, right? What’s the key to these things capturing and holding my attention?

Certainly, the content is responsible. Frame a good story. Sprinkle (or soak) with humor. Showcase people who are knowledgable, passionate, and interesting.

But the listener/viewer bears responsibility as well.  Bring curiosity to the table. Ponder, question, listen, watch, process, synthesize, and, most importantly, avoid arrogance. 

As one who listens, observes, and participates I hope I never lose my sense of curiosity. There are things all around us from which we can learn.  There is innovation everywhere that can inspire us to move in our own creative streams.  As one who creates content, I hope I always remember the power of a good story told through people who are living in their ‘sweet spot’.  

Tensions.

High_wire

Live responsibly, set goals, plan for the future.
Live by faith.

Raise your kids to obey you the first time. 
Raise your kids to be critical thinkers…to question the status quo.

Get out there and do something great for the world. Chase after God.
Just be. Rest. 

Create. Experiment. Build. Try things.
Simplify & organize.

Work within and maximize your strengths. 
Areas to improve… [list of your weaknesses].

Keep your kids close to you.
Let your kids fly.

Spend.
Save.

Live for others. 
Take time for yourself.

What would you add?