The Hand that Feeds You?

When I was a kid, I really didn’t know what “poor” meant. I didn’t fully understand what it meant to have so little you had to ask for help from others. Surely, there are those who have less and knowing that only shows you how much farther “rock bottom” actually is. As a kid, I remember the feeling I first noticed when someone else had something that I couldn’t have, it wasn’t fair and it became difficult to justify why other people had nice things and a big house and all that while we lived in this trailer in some park hidden outside of town. I also remember how it felt when someone gave us something, it was as if we owed them something for their kindness. There was always some “I” attached to the conditions when someone helped “us”. At times, there was a reminder of how someone took time out of their busy lives to help poor little us. They broke away from all their responsibilities and all their fancy nice things to get closer to the dirt and give us some helping hand. For weeks, months, and sometimes even years there would be some reminder that we should be thankful because they helped us. We should be grateful. We should be respectful. We should always remember that they helped us because they were not poor. Continue reading

Empowerment

My father had once told me this story about my youth. He explained to me that I had once climbed up the shelves of the refrigerator to stand on the counter in order to reach the cookies that he had hidden above the refrigerator. Then he laughed and said that for some reason I took the eggs and put them in the butter compartment on the door and when he opened it they fell to the floor. I found humor in this as he told this story during his final days; I had been an adult for many years at this point and this lost event in my life created a smile and time for us to bond further before his days ended. I am quite certain that when this happened he found little humor in it at all, I may have been better off leaving the eggs alone. I don’t remember this event and I haven’t been able to recall what was going through my mind at the time. Nevertheless, I am certain I got more than my share of cookies out of it, and probably a few moments bent over a knee. Continue reading

Endless Treasures?

A recent discussion led to some thoughts about worldly treasures and what it is that we tend to want to take to the grave with us. All those generations before us whom hid their gold, silver, and precious gems deep within their tombs have proven that only the spirit transcends to heaven while all the riches of this earth are left behind to become plundered by those filled with greed. Why is there such a need to labor tirelessly for such earthly gold when it is the treasures or heaven we should be working towards. This treasure isn’t a gold or silver coin with the face of man embossed onto it for such is made of man and gives birth to greed and will become an anchor for the soul to the fate of this earth.

If we honestly think about what it is we spend this gold on here on earth we may just begin to understand what the true treasures are. We will spend our hard-earned money on all sorts of things that we feel brings us joy, happiness, and peace. We have been trading our most valued worldly gifts for these things from the earliest days of our labors. As diligently as we work to gain as much gold and wealth as we can, we work just as hard if not harder to seek out even the smallest amount of peace, glimpse of happiness, or ounce of joy. Don’t be fooled that an ounce of gold will always equal to a once of joy because joy will most certainly be in the eye of the beholder much like the beauty of this world.

If a rich man saves all his life and in his final thoughts he thinks of all his riches and wonders how he can take them with him he certainly will die with a sorrowful mind. However; if the last thoughts he has reflected all the moments of joy and happiness he will see his life pass before him and die in peace. The true treasures waiting for us in heaven will not be rewards of coin and paper currency or even credit or status. The endless treasures in heaven will be never-ending peace, eternal happiness, and fulfilling joy. If you truly wish to take all the riches from this world with you to the next then don’t fill your pockets with gold; this gold you may seek here on earth will not be worth its weight in joy pass the gates of heaven.  When your life passes before you fill your memories with smiles and love; this is what we all truly seek in life and that is what awaits us in the endless treasures of Heaven.

Happy Home … Happy Life

Recently I returned home to pack up some of my belongings. I have been spending the last two years a thousand miles from home trying to get things set up so my family can have a new start and hopefully a better chance at life itself. The plan was that I was to move down and start a business and my wife would stay behind and try to sell the house. The living conditions down here are not ideal and certainly are something I would want my wife to have to live through. The plan had some gaps and holes here and there but it was all we had and we definitely didn’t expect it to take as long as it has for either the house to sell or the business to start turning a profit. Clearly, we were in over our heads and now found ourselves at the point where there is no turning back. Continue reading

How Green was the Grass Where you Chose to Stand Alone?

This journey we have chosen to take was to see how green the grass was. We knew it was going to be difficult and that there were going to be dark forest that we would have to push through. We have become lost several times along the way and at moments we have even been blinded by the shadows of the world. We knew from the start that we must be persistent and become strong enough to cut the path for each of us to make it to the summit of this trek. We knew that one of us had to go forth ahead and clear the path of all hazards and make certain that the ground we would be standing on was capable of supporting all of us. We studied the map carefully and together drew out our route. This journey was not a selfish motivated separation, it was one that required suffering to ensure that others will have a chance to prosper.

This journey has become much more challenging than anyone would have expected. The path has become full of loose stones and exposed roots which has caused us to both lose our footing. One of us can see the direction we are to go and the other has decided to push through the thick branches in the direction they believe is the fastest way to the place they desire. We started this together even if we were many steps apart yet as we approach this false summit we find that we continue to choose our separate regardless of how much more difficult it becomes. Standing on this unsteady ground we see that the true summit is still so much more farther away. We also learn that your path has made you lose focus on what needed to be done and your goals have changed to what you want to be done. As it turns out this small summit you have chosen that is so far off course of our original point of interest only has enough room for one of us and the ground is not nearly as strong as the summit we were meant to climb which has more than enough room for all of us.

You have chosen to stand your ground and maybe you feel you will get what you want. I can try to stand alongside of you, however; there is no more room for anyone but yourself and I must think of the others who were waiting for us to tell them it was safe enough to travel and the ground was stable for us to grow. You have chosen your little spot in this world and it most certainly is all yours. Warning to all that pass that if they try to stand too long in your place they will certainly fall off the edge to the rocks below. Oh, the tragedy of this story that began with we and us and then you changed we to me where it may just end up with only you. Look up from your king’s mount on that false summit of yours if you can look up and please tell me if the grass if any greener where you stand. We almost gave all to take this journey and your desires have taken all that was left. Does it really matter now how green that grass ever was?

Random

There are these moments when we wish to reach out to someone yet we don’t really know what to say or even how to begin. We struggle to find words but they for that moment are in our thoughts. We have been led to believe that something must be said and when we think long enough to put words to the thoughts we end up losing that motivation and commitment to reach out in the first place. In the end, no words are found and no thoughts are shared and that person whom caught our attention deep within our minds never knew we were even thinking about them.

Sometimes it isn’t really about saying anything and certainly it’s not about fabricating some meaningless conversation just to have something to say. Sure, there are times when words need to be said and those words need to be encouraging, but that is not necessary every time we communicate. If we were to give life advice in every passing the we should just start handing out fortune cookies because that endless advice will become meaningless if it is not from deep within and does not fit the situation at hand. Sometimes we as humans just need to know that others are thinking about us and they don’t need to say anything at all. Continue reading

There’s No Safety in the Gateway to Poison

Recently, someone told me of a young woman who died in a few towns away from here. She died of an overdose in the bathroom of some fast food restaurant. This is such a sad story that so many of us hear over and over again. We as bystanders or onlookers who have no direct connection to these lost ones, we see that it is a sad thing, something that we wish someone would do something to prevent. We often ask “why would they do that to themselves” and “why won’t they ask for help” or even say “there had to have been something someone could have done to prevent this.” But realize this, that young person was a son or daughter of someone and those people are asking so many different questions. Those parents are experiencing emotions, pain, and are filled with so much sorrow and anger that no one can possibly understand. Continue reading