Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Simple Things

To find the beauty in simple things really isn't all that hard. If someone asked you about butterflies you would think, yes they are beautiful. Sunsets, The beaches of , well any beach, everyone would agree they are beautiful. Slowing down long enough to spend time in beauty is the key. Much easier said than done for sure.

There is so much to accomplish in this life. So much to do, so we can enjoy life. Balance is what it's all about, right? That's what we are all striving for. Striving for it in how much we work, shuttle kids to ball games, and spend time with friends. We strive for it with our spouses, our families and our hobbies. There are a lot of lives that run at break neck speed, most that run faster than mine, but we are trying to find that balance, so the sweet stuff doesn't get by us before we see that it's gone. I sure don't want to wake up one day to find that the finer things, the things that really matter have passed me by.

I think that will always be true however to some degree. I try to move through this life slower, spend time with family and friends. I share in great conversations around campfires quite often, spend time in reflection, and try to really engage the people along my path. Still it all goes too fast. I did slow down long enough to photograph the cricket shown here and spent time really marveling at how beautiful and intricate it is. I wish I did it more often. Life is a blur. We've heard it all our lives and now many of are sensing its truth. Savor the freshness of the morning, hug your loved ones like it's crucial for your survival. Look an elder in the eye and listen to his stories. Watch for just a minute the wonderment of a small child. The sweet stuff is around us all the time This is what I tell myself, I just don't listen as often as I should.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Reluctant Christian

For a long time when people asked me if I was a Christian, there must have been a puzzled look on my face as I searched for a way to answer that question. The word Christian comes with so much baggage and expectation and much of both of those I didn't want anything to do with. I always tried to look at my faith through the eyes of someone who didn't necessarily believe, or at least didn't follow a Christian faith.

I think what man has done to Christ is pretty amazing and many times comical. Sometimes intentions were good but many times God was just used to fill personal agendas. I wonder when looking down at the way some faiths are being lived out, if God is just shaking his head in a puzzled sort of way thinking, "y'all have missed it". I think God gets the whole human experience in all we do, as we bounce along the bumpers of life trying to connect, to find that harmony, that union.

This maybe a big limb for some people, but I'm not even sure we can disappoint him. The whole right or wrong thing. Perhaps there's a bit of sadness when we make a decision that takes us out of that harmony, but even those are good to learn from. It's always a journey as we move along the spiral, sometimes closer to our center, sometimes further away. But if we are intentional in our journey of faith, only being in harmony will feel right.

I have read about many forms of faith from Buddhism to Christianity. From Native America to Hindu. I think there is one Creator, and he gave us all a way to see him through our own cultures. . I am a member of a church and I find many good minds there and ones that allow me to expand mine. I hope my thoughts and beliefs will continually take shape as I grow older. For me, the walk and life of Christ is what I'm drawn to. It's what makes sense and is what captures my heart. Most everything else that humans attach to that is suspect and up for grabs. Anything I don't have to earn and is full of the purest love is for me. I believe we are all in this together and God shouldn't be expected to fit in any one box. So with all of the embarrassing TV preachers, the confusion of trying to make sense of it all, I am happy to live within the mystery, and more comfortable in being the reluctant Christian. Trust your heart.