Archive for February, 2009|Monthly archive page

Forward Action

In Onward on February 26, 2009 at 11:58 am

I was looking for a book called Fierce Conversations recommended to me by a friend on the subject of life coaching.  Life coaching, if you are not familiar with it, is a form of counsel that is focused on the future.  It is less concerned with past hurt and more oriented toward forward action.

As I looked for this book, I had an idea that has been familiar to me over the years when I am in the library.  “I wonder if someone is watching me according to the section I am in?  Am I about to stumble upon great secrets of wealth, fame and notoriety?”  Such was the thinking.  I was curious about that thought though.  To some extent I believe that education can be a huge investment into the future.  It is through the books that I decide to read and study that I am becoming the kind of man who can tackle the future.

I was not able to find that book or another for which I was searching.  I was thinking in my head that it would be funny if the title of the book I was looking for was called, “How to Keep an Idiot Busy.”  I kept playing the conversation forward in my head until I was asking a secretary for assistance.  I let the internal comment slip hoping that she would find amusement.  After I let it out, I hope that she did not think she was the ‘idiot’ I was asking to do the searching.  I stumbled over an apology as she took me to find the books.  One of them was in pre-shelving; the other was in the correct location.  Maybe pre-shelving is the area being monitored?


Conversations in Motion

In Onward on February 20, 2009 at 11:32 pm

“Running is prayer for me,” the middle-aged man in the white coat told me.  “When I’m moving I feel it in my core.”  It was my first visit to the chiropractor (as a patient).  I could not tell if he was making the statements as to build a bridge or if there was something else.  A passion that could only come from deep love.  I could not help but feel like our conversation about spirituality was like two chess players feeling each other out with their first few moves.

“Kind of like Orthodox Jews at the wailing wall.”  I moved my piece.  His eyes lit up.  “That never occurred to me.  They are moving at the wall.  And I grew up Jewish; was bar-mitzvahed and everything.”  Then, he delivered the final move, “That could be the subject of one of your books – Prayer Movement.”

“Interesting,” I mused.  One hour earlier, I had met a published writer and athlete in the waiting room.  “Everything happens for a reason,” she reassured me, after a mutually interesting conversation.  I had given her my business card, one of the spares I keep in my wallet, which I have been replacing frequently lately.  It’s interesting how many people have been for me in this pursuit of writing.

Claiming the Car

In Film Reviews on February 13, 2009 at 6:59 pm

gran-torinoAs you may know, a Gran Torino is an old car.  Specifically, this film centers around Walt’s prize possession, his Gran Torino.  A Polish-American vet of the Korean War, Walt lives in a racially-diverse section of Detroit, which has changed significantly during his time there.  The ethnic diversity only incites Walt bigotry expressed in a myriad of ethnic slurs.  His young neighbor, Tao, whom Walt affectionately calls Toad, begins to be seduced by the only male figures in his community, members of the Hmong gang.  His cousin, ‘Spider’, heads the Hmong gang.  In the confusion, the gang members convince Tao to steal Walt’s Gran Torino as a rite of passage or initiation. Read the rest of this entry »

Re-Purposed in Freedom

In Spirit of the Disciplines on February 13, 2009 at 9:33 am

“Somehow the human species has an extraordinary knack for taking the best teaching and turning it to the worst ends.  Nothing can put people into bondage like religion…The purpose of the [spiritual] disciplines is freedom.  Our aim is the freedom, not discipline.  The moment we make the discipline our central focus, we turn it into law and lose the corresponding freedom.”  ~Richard Foster

Discipline has been a big theme for me in the past weeks.  Richard Foster’s words reminded me of the cost of true freedom.  Even in our country I see a need for ‘self-government’.  That is, the power of each individual to govern himself in areas of spending, giving, contentment, etc.  As Foster denotes, religion or discipline can easily become binding rules if my aim is not freedom.  My submission in spiritual disciplines (like prayer, contemplation, study, etc.) must continually be re-purposed in freedom.

New Found Freedom

In Uncategorized on February 11, 2009 at 12:26 pm

“One of the worst results of being a slave and being forced to do things is that when there is no one to force you any more you find you have almost lost the power of forcing yourself.” (C.S. Lewis The Horse and His Boy)