Friday, August 31, 2007

The Airport

Southwest has a new boarding process and I was in an experiment group to field test this proposed new process. You line up basically the same way but just more numeric phases with the same A, B, and C concept. You get a better look at people... I was there watching and it's the weekend before school starts and a man was putting his teenaged son on the plane and I heard him say " I had fun son, I'll see you next summer" The boy nodded and kept his eyes forward. "section 20-30" was called and he began to move toward the gateway door. The Dad stepped off the line and turned toward his son...the son gave the ticket to the steward and stepped onto the gangway and never looked back! I was watching, I kept watching... he never looked back. I quickly looked to the father who had turned and was leaving, already on his cell phone checking his watch. "see you next summer"...God hates Divorce because it tears worlds apart and hardens hearts and causes son's to resent fathers and never look back.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Two years after Katrina the destruction still lingers...All summer long we have had floods here in South Texas and the ground is saturated, it only takes a little rain to have to local creeks and rivers outside of their banks once again. A river is a life giving source but when in gets beyond it's banks it becomes destructive.
After some sage advice I have been working on my 'emotional bandwidth'. My intensity level is high and while that is a life giving source much of the time the saturated condition only requires a little moisture for that intensity to become destructive. My focus has been to keep it in the banks of what is beneficial and life giving.
Scripture speaks of the destructiveness of passion that has gone beyond the banks ( the banks referring to the marriage relationship) and that once beyond the banks it becomes destructive.
We all have these areas in our lives that we must monitor and take immediate action...because once the flood waters break the levee they are destructive and can take years to repair...if at all.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Chicago 'L'

The elevated train from downtown Chicago to the airport is great transportation. For two dollars you can travel most anywhere, faster than a cab could get you there. It's a swarming sea of humanity where Spanish, Russian and other unrecognizable slavic languages are spoken....and Willie Brown. Willie Brown is a homeless rapper who beat boxes in order to make a few bucks. I gave him two dollars and told him Jesus loved him and he began to beat box about the goodness of the Lord and the angels that he sends. I rarely meet anyone on my commute back home...even when I ride my bike...the cars whoosh by and everyone is tightly cacooned and plugged into something. I never have the chance to respond in faith, nor hear the poetic, toothless rap of a grateful homeless man. The conveniences that make life "easier" also make it easier to miss life.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Responsibility and Criticism

As I sat and listened to a friend of mine voice his concerns for another mutual friend he asked for advice. As I reflected and began to speak I found myself communicating a deep truth that I had been formulating for some time. I told my friend that intimacy implies responsibility...we become critical of others when we know them well enough to see their flaws, to see their weaknesses...that knowledge is responsibility, the responsibility to speak the truth in a loving way...when we refuse to have the tough conversations we wind up criticizing them...that is why the people you love the most can hurt you the most, because they know you so well, and it's also why we (over time) let fewer and fewer people in.
Intimacy "implies" responsibility or it devolves into criticism...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Never, Never, Never Give Up

A friend of mine has this saying Never, Never, Never Give Up and it's posted rather prominently in her office. As I was reading an article about a 59 year old man who went back to finish his final year of eligibility in football hat Sul Ross State I was inspired that regret serves only to inspire us to push forward. This Mike Flynt was kicked off the team over 30 years ago for fighting and it's one of his only regrets, he let his team down. Now just 6 years shy of retirement age he's made the team and returning to finish his final year of eligibility. Regret is a heavy bag to carry and it grows heavier by our inability to change the circumstances...then there are those who inspire us to Never, Never, Never Give Up. Paul said it this way " run the race so as to win"...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My First Day Back at Middle School

Tonight was 'open house' my daughter is entering the 7th grade at a public school and it was the first time I'd been back in well...30 years. It felt strange all over again seeing the ominous lockers that create academic anxiety just knowing your going to forget where it is or which hall and then not remember the combination. The painted cinder block and institutional decor...the teachers seemed nice enough but school hasn't started yet and the all too memorable exhaustion and defeat has not yet come across their faces.
Then the thought occured to me, that this is my baggage. My little girl is expectant and hopful, full of ideals and joy about learning and making friends. It could turn out different for her...maybe she will make a difference and stand out for Christ rather than go the way of the crowd. That is my hope... My skepticism tells me that by Christmas her soul will have been bruised by friends, teachers...the system. She's ready though, she's prepared...i hope....i hope...