Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Explaining Your Life...

This is a title that’s been bouncing around in my head for some time. I would anticipate most peoples reaction to it to be one of, “To who? I don’t have to explain myself or my life to ANYONE!” and of course you don’t, but how about explaining it to ourselves? How well do we understand the various influences and circumstances that have each played a crucial role in shaping who and what we are today? How important is it after all? Are we still acting out the unresolved issues in our lives? Could we somehow be allowing ourselves to be victimized by our own flawed belief systems? One of the things that differentiates adulthood from childhood is the ability to “see around corners” and that is SO handy, but one day, usually when it would’ve been the handiest for it to of been true, we find out differently. We find out that when you think you know most of the answers…naturally they change the questions! We find out that there are things that will knock you down that you never saw coming…


the unofficial statute of limitations on blaming your parents for your messed up life is around 25-30…So I must take the responsibility for myself and my life from here and move on…”

Sometimes, believing that there are no exceptions or extenuating circumstances pertaining to statements like this is where people become confused. While the statement itself is true, it becomes more true when you add this to it… ”doing the best that I know how to do with what I’ve got” Our parents were supposed to prepare us to be successful in life, to of protected us from making bad choices that would hurt us… either then, or in our future, which is now. Those of us who had to raise our hands just then may of had to face adulthood “harmed”. Sub-consciously driven like spawning salmon to get our unmet needs met while disregarding what might of seemed to be more rational behaviors for ones which often inspire people to wonder exactly what we were thinking.

Another popular ”quip” used by a certain TV psychologist is that “If you choose the behavior, then you choose the consequences” that’s another phrase that is at times used to bludgeon people who couldn’t possibly of had any idea what the consequences of their behavior would be when they chose them. There are those of you who even now as you read this are feeling angry or are making that face you make whenever people say something you think is absurd… while thinking to yourself, “these people should just get over it, Lord knows I did” or “what a bunch of cry baby’s, just grow up and smell the responsibility” You’re anger is a connected issue here, perhaps you’re not nearly as “over it” as you think you are. What I’m trying to illustrate here is our lack of compassion, and our inability to fully appreciate the love that was shown to us in our lives. We see people through a one size fits all, good for the goose is good for the gander mindset. Our unwillingness to choose to see others in any other context only leaves us one other option…”As you sow so shall you reap” and brother,that’s OUR problem!

We’re people who were raised with some if not all of the so called advantages, but was it enough? Apparently not…We still find it necessary or preferable to build our house on the bones of others who “fell short.” It seems to somehow add to our own self aggrandizement if we can point to all of the people who failed to make it to where we think we are. I’m reminded of the quote, “If it’s a rat race, then let the biggest and best rat win”2536213068_ce3de9a6f2_b

And so it goes…

Whats the real purpose or benefit of being able to explain your life? I think I can sum it up by saying that “It’s not the things people call us that matter…It’s what we answer to” and that it’s only the things that we believe about ourselves that can be used against us by people who are inclined to do so. Knowledge is power, true ignorance may be bliss, but partial ignorance is like knowing just enough for us to be dangerous. Like we have just enough of an ego to be vulnerable to people who will try to maliciously lay guilt, lies and shame on you and yet not enough wisdom to understand that peoples condemnation’s of you are in reality more of a statement about them than they are about you. Since it’s kind of rare to be truly ignorant, or actually irrelevant, there is some merit to our having an understanding of a few critical pieces of truth that pertain to all of us.

Nobody just gets up out of bed in the morning and says “How can I screw up my life today”

Some people will talk to you as if you had, not true.

My parents were raised by people who passed on their dysfunctions to them and who also passed them on to me.

Blame is so pointless! blame who? your parents’,parents’, parents’?

And yet you persist in holding me accountable for being flawed in some way.

Which I will freely admit that I am, I’m just not accountable to YOU! friend…

I don’t believe in blame, I believe in blessing!

All of the most screwed up things we’ve done in our lives are related to our misunderstanding of God and of love, and our search for both.

It’s hard for me to criticize someone who rather than sit on the sidelines in the “No thanks, I’m “good” section of life chooses to jump right into the mud pit if they believe that the missing piece of their puzzle is somewhere in there…That’s whats called “courage” which reminds me of the opposite which is “dis” courage, which is what some of the “good” folks I mentioned before will do to you while you’re down there in the mud searching around for whatever it is you’re needing that you won’t find there and that most likely you will only recognize when you hold it in your heart…

As I was driving my bus route this morning through an extremely dense fog the point I’ve been trying to make suddenly came into clear view. As I see it, knowing who just needs a hug and who needs a kick in the pants is very close to being at the essence of love. At times it seems our approach to people is to teach them about nutrition while they're bleeding profusely, and then wonder why it doesn't help. It's all about comforting the afflicted,and afflicting the comforted.

This blog is personal to me, maybe it’s personal to you too. I think that we all find ourselves on both sides of the equation at different times on our journey. I want to say that I am a true believer in people taking responsibility for their thought life which is the ultimate deciding factor in all that happens to us and that it’s in our thoughts that our best opportunity to effect change in our lives is found.

Therefore, be of good courage, fear not, search on, bless your mistakes if they were a part of the process that got you here. There’s much work to be done, you’re help is greatly needed…

Romans 12:5-8

5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

The "Big Dance"


Few things in life have as much potential to restore in us a sense of all that is good and right in this country like high school sports does. Over the past few days I’ve had the privilege of chauffeuring the Couch School Lady Indians on their trip to the “Final Four” Class 2 championship tournament in Columbia, Missouri.


Our journey began with a proper send off by the whole school, the surrounding municipalities gave us a police, ambulance, firetruck, escort through town…People lined the streets, waving and honking, it blew me away! We’re talkin’ small town Americana at it’s finest.

Shortly after our arrival we set off to explore the venue, it was quite impressive!

It’s a fairly new facility, a part of the University of Missouri sports megaplex.



On the day of our first game we arrived and were ushered through the myriad of security checkpoints to a separate practice court for some last minute fine tuning. As the team was practicing I stepped out into the doorway of the auditorium and watched the first game of the event begin.

Our team lost both of the games it played, and it’s left me a bit at “loose ends”…


Of course it’s a great honor to even make it to this level of competition, and for some, that’s enough…to make it. To win it all requires the same thing from any champion, to step up and step out, to risk stumbling, to recover your balance, to be able to say at the end that you left everything out there on that court..


People will sometimes say, “I just had a bad game, I didn’t play my best for some reason”…And I understand that under some circumstances, especially with women…

If you’re intimidated by your opponent, and you decide mentally that loss is inevitable, being able to explain it away won’t expose you to the same personal vulnerability that saying “We played our best, and JUST GOT BEAT!” can… It’s rarely so simple, and usually gravitates toward the lower echelons and becomes a “head hunt” of sorts. It reminds me a bit of what columnist George Will referred to as the “Sainted American People” who couldn’t possibly be responsible for the huge mess we’re in…

The Last Two Minutes

While I’m obviously just a simple bus driver, I’ve watched a few basketball games. One thing seems abundantly clear to me. Beyond physical conditioning which in teenagers is less of a factor, it’s entirely a mental game and mostly comes down to who handles the moment better…Teams can play fairly competitively for a time and then after one team makes a few shots and takes a small lead the other team often becomes discouraged. I’ve seen teams go through the motions for the most part the whole game and then suddenly in the last two minutes start playing like the world’s on fire!

Suddenly, they WANT to win…but it’s too late.

For the last 50 years, we as a nation have conducted ourselves in a very similar manner to these high school kids. We’ve had some poor leadership, we’ve made some mistakes, we’ve seen the rest of the world pull ahead of us in education, and other quality of life issues and we’ve kind of gotten our head down. I can also relate to plodding along as if there was an unlimited amount of time to set things right, I suppose that the “mad scramble” we see going on in this country right now isn’t much different than the “two minute drill” either.

Think we’re going to win?

The moral of the story is the same in both instances,

Our success is based in our ability to work together as a team.

To put aside our personal agenda’s and adopt a greater vision.

That vision has to come from our leaders.

A man will follow another man that he believes knows the way.

A real leader inspires faith, courage and cooperation among people.

They say things like,

“Sure, right now things may look bad…but guess what!”

“We’ve merely fooled our opponent into thinking that we’re done. He’ll never expect us to come at him like we’re going to, we have the element of surprise on our side and right now is the precise time to boldly strike out and seize victory”

“When we act as one, our individual power is multiplied far beyond the simple sum of it’s collective parts”

“This is the great secret all champions learn, all who are victorious in whatever arena they are tested.”

All of us must attend our own “Big Dance”

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Expression is a word we use to describe the "means of conveyance" of an otherwise intangible or abstract concept,quantity,or feeling.

In mathematics, specifically algebra, it's a symbol or a combination of symbols representing a value or relation to each other.
There's an order to it, and a beautiful symmetry that's most appreciated by those who understand it's language.

A2 (x+y) > X (a-y) = ?

It's what we as humans do to interface with the world, we express ourselves through our verbal and non-verbal communications and through our behaviors toward others and ourselves, the study of which is called, "psychology."

Music is also a profound method of expression.
Armies march to the syncopated rhythm of drums, people fall in love under it's "influence." Musical harmonies have a very real effect on the chemical and electrical functioning of our brains, who hasn't been enchanted by it's beauty, or somehow been moved by it's resonance within us?

In the field of quantum physics, they have whats called a "Theory of Everything." It has to do in part with whats called "String Theory" which says that at level's way smaller than we can see with an electron microscope everything is small vibrating loops.

These "loops" are thought to be the common denominator of all physical sciences and that by studying their "expressions" they could give science a whole new perspective on the physical laws which govern all aspects of life as we know it.

That's why it's called the theory of everything...

I believe that the consummate expression of anything (including science) is art...

In this instance,I prefer to think of it as a "He-art" (He, being God)

because I think that "He's" in it, He created it, and His fingerprints are all over it.

Why not? a simple loop shaped like a heart is a representation of love.

(get over the corniness of this, lol it's my theory and I'll tell it like I need to)

Like some sort of microscopic signpost that announces to us that the next stop ahead on our cosmic journey will be "love-Town." How funny would it be if some scientist was looking at these "loops" with a microscope and he turned up the power and saw an eye looking back at him? That kind of gives new meaning to the gospel hymn...

"Oh Let Us Magnify The Lord"

It makes sense to me that God would structure our world in such a way that we all have an equal opportunity to, through our own individual perceptions and aptitudes, come to know His "expression" of love towards us.

It transcends our differences, it's there in all things, it's the ultimate explanation of "matter" at any level,whether it's microscopic or as big as the universe! It's a theory that doesn't appear to rely on any deeper explanation. Personally, I don't need a microscope to see God or to witness His miracles...but then I'm not a physicist, I'm a philosopher (of sorts). We both know it's an elephant we're describing but we each have a different foundation on which to base our understanding, not of just the elephant but of our creator and the many ways that He expresses Himself, His relationship to us, and His great love for us.