Sunday, October 28, 2012

Garden of Gifts

Muscles strain and strengthen under wheelbarrow loads of compost. 

Palms blister and heal gripping shovel, rake, and cultivator.

Back bends sore over hundreds of lettuce plantlings.  

Hands crack dry embracing the dead-life-giving soil. 

Smiles grow in this land...this land of the living. 

It isn’t paradise, but it’s the closest thing this side of the Jordan. 

It’s the place where the dead give life, where storm is greeted as warmly as sun, where man links hand with the Creator. 

It’s a farm...a garden. The place God created at the beginning of time and then cursed for our blessing. It’s where hearts of stony self-service break into the rocks of life-giving, life-pouring, life-living gifts. Where child learns with parent and grandparent to give thanks in everything, to care for everything. To weep and laugh, to mourn and live life to its fullest. 

Oh, and others might scorn the simplicity, the humility, the sacred duty of those who kneel and pour their lives back into the ground they came from. They might deride the sweat, the tears shed over plants lost, the blending of hearts with the Creator - because they’re too busy to realize the glory in it.  

I’m guilty of that attitude...but something, Someone, is changing that. 

It has to do with gifts...counting them. Not gifts desired, but gifts given.

Gifts for those who wish to see - who take the time to see. Gifts for those who give everything.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Morning After...

It’s dark. The sun is a late riser these mornings. Seems it can’t get enough rest. I empathize. 

A train rumbles the earth in the distance howling its horn among the hills. 

Wind plays harmonies through my window screen breathing the music morning yawns. 

It’s October 23, 2012... 

And we’re still here. 


Time hasn’t stopped ticking, but have we stopped caring?

Is this day just another mark on the calendar? Another day of classes, work, busyness – or is it a reminder that should break our hearts, bend our knees? 

168 years. 

What are we doing? 

Have we’ve dwelt among the palaces of Egypt so long that we’ve “mistaken God’s purpose” (Edu 62)?

Is it possible that we need to unlearn,

“Now, as never before, we need to understand the true science of education. If we fail to understand this we shall never have a place in the kingdom of God.” (U.T., July 8, 1897)

Can we afford not to? 

Skies turn gray blue. The sun rubs its eyes awake. Heavy, dark clouds race on – morning rush hour on the prairies of Oklahoma. 

Do you see the need? 

Birds sing.

Sky metamorphosis to pinks and orange. 
It’s light. 

It’s time to see.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"That's One Small Step For Man..."

"First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth."

Sound familiar? If you're a history or space guru I would imagine you have those words memorized. 
That's right. 
John F. Kennedy.  

The day was May 25, 1961. Our country was charged with the task of beating the Soviets in the space race of putting a man on the moon. The command from the president was unambiguous and yet absolutely ridiculous at the same time. 

It would take billions of dollars, thousands of people, and technology that hadn't been invented yet. 
9 years. 
That's all the time they had been given. 

Seemingly impossible. 

July 21, 1969. 
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin make history.

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." -Neil Armstrong

America won! 

*all the space buffs cheer again (even though they could recite the story in their sleep)*

There's something thrilling about space work. It somehow manages to fascinate people world-over. 

But you know…there's another command yet to be fulfilled. 
The Commander of Chiefs has spoken…unambiguously. 

"Success in any line demands a definite aim. He who would achieve true success in life must keep steadily in view the aim worthy of his endeavor. Such an aim is set before the youth of today. The heaven-appointed purpose of giving the gospel to the world in this generation is the noblest that can appeal to any human being." Education 262

Notice the deadline is set. "…in this generation" 

Seemingly impossible. 

So why aren't we busting at the seams with enthusiasm over this command like our space friends are over conquering the moon?

It's not history. 
It's because our parents have read this quote, and their parents have read this quote, and their parents have read this quote…

And now we read it and say, "Uh huh…blah blah blah. It sounds so good, but really? C'mon, give us something more within our scope of capability." 

Ok, put a man on the moon. 

"Poor parallel. That's already been done. Scientists have proved it." 

Yes, but think how they must have felt before they proved it. 
JFK had no clue how to put a man on the moon any more than a fish can understand what it's like to be a bird. 

Realize though that our Commander and Chief knows how to accomplish His command. 

It has to do with one word: Education.

(p.s. we'll we get around to eucharisteo…that's coming a little later)