Archive | May, 2012

your life is waiting

14 May

I showed up to the Jackson County courthouse at 8 am and sat on the non-window (unfortunately) side of a large florescent lit room. I was oriented by a well informed and reasonably fun staff and then I sat, in my non-egronomic 70’s style airport lobby reject seat, waiting for my turn to preform my civic duty, Jury duty that is.

I was sitting next to an average looking young man, probably a little younger than me. We exchanged the usual kind of pleasantries, passing the pencils to the end of the row and such and somehow suddenly I am hearing all about his fiance and how he doesn’t know how much longer that will last. The short version is that he moved down here to Missouri 5 years ago from Michigan to be with this girl. Me misses his large family and the deer hunting, muddy truck, fishing kind of life he grew up with. She thinks that’s too hick-ish, she’s a website designer and of course all her family is here. He likes her family, and seemed to be very engaged in helping out her dad with stuff.

BUT they don’t have similar values, they don’t have complementary interests and neither one is happy living where the other wants to be.

I just told him flat out, dude, you gotta go. He says he’s worried about hurting the family, (not so much her though). I said, really, you know what you need to do.

Later he said he guesses he’s just not very good at actually doing the things he knows he needs to do.

I’ve been thinking about this off and on the rest of the day. (All the trials we were potentially there for were settled out of court, so we got to leave 🙂 ) How many people have I known who have been exactly where he is. Doesn’t matter what the action is, leaving a relationship, a job, starting something new, being authentic, there are a thousand reasons why the thing should be done, and yet, something keeps it from happening.

Fear of the unknown can be paralyzing, there’s no question about that. And I’m the first to say it is wise to take some time to ponder something before jumping. But there comes a point where you are making yourself (and your friends) miserable with your indecision when you really already know what you need to do.

As the window at Creative Nectar Studio says “And the day came when the risk it took to remain in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom” ~Anais Nin

Many of the spiritual seekers I know know exactly what we’re talking about here. When your true calling butts up against your ‘regular life’ it can be painful and complicated to discern what the next step is. So I say again and again, you’ll know what’s yours to do, then you’ll do it. Then you’ll know the next thing and do that.

Unfortunately jury guy was not ready to ‘get’ that. To see that his waiting around is hurting everyone, himself, the girl, the families, his friends. He can’t have the life he wants, and neither can she, until he takes the plunge.

Since I can’t say it to jury guy, I’ll say it to you dear reader, today and every day: Answer the door, your life is waiting!

May the Forth

4 May

To me, there has never been a time without Star Wars. It had already come out when I was born, and The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi were not far behind. I remember some of the first movies my family taped off the air with our VHS recorder were the Star Wars trilogy. What I wanted for my 16th birthday was this:

 

The VHS boxed set, very cool for 1995.

So today, Star Wars day, May the Forth, I was reflecting on what about what make this series a classic with a huge and growing fan base. We’ve got a basic hero vs. villain storyline, great gurus and friends, exciting battles, a pretty girl (who sure ain’t no damsel in distress), spaceships, ewoks, and did I mention Harrison Ford? (wistful sigh) That is all great set up, George Lucas is a genius no doubt.

But I think, at least for me, the genius and lasting imprint is in what I have learned and how it’s effected my worldview/theology.

~ “Do or do not, there is no try.” Great quote and the basis of my first talk here at ministerial school. Now I am not absolutist enough to say that try should be eradicated from the vocabulary, there are places it is useful, but I don’t TRY to play golf, I just play golf. Now, I don’t do it very well by Tiger Woods standards, but I’m doing it, not trying.

~ The need for balance of the force. There seems to be a compulsion in our society to dig around in the ‘bad’ things and also a desire to ‘see the good’ in everything. When we watch the whole series, we see the line of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is fuzzy and complicated. This is just as true for my own experience and bringing balance to the forces in my life, to be mindful of the things that bring joy and peace to balance the ‘necessary evils’ of existence.

~ May the Force be with you. My understanding of the force is that it is everywhere, neutral, able to spring forth into whatever form it is called on to be. When we say my the force be with you, we cannot be compelling the force to ride sidesaddle with whomever you said it to, because it already is. It really is an affirmation or reminder of the truth that is, the force is with you, Period. It’s with everyone really, just often not utilized because of lack of knowledge or skill. But it’s still there, just like my understanding of God.

~ We all need masters to push our buttons and hone our skills. Teachers, friends, children, the jerk who is writing a check in the fast lane at the supermarket all serve to be our Yoda/Obi Wan. Do we heed the lessons? I hope so. Can we ever stop learning? I hope not.

~ There is a dark side within each of us but it is not irredeemable. The past got us here, but it is certainly not the final answer.

So there is my little ode to Star Wars. What have you learned from the series?

May the Force always be with you
Ra