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The Tense of Life – Future Perfect


GearsIndeed, time is a fickle thing, albeit a creation of our feeble human minds as a result of our inability to comprehend and understand the vastness and pervasiveness of God, the Universe and Eternity. Endless phrases have been captured (over time) characterizing and lamenting its stronghold over our human lives:

“Time is of the Essence”

“Can’t seem to find the Time”

“No Time like the present”

“I don’t have Time for this”

“There’s never Time to do it right, but always Time to do it over”

“Time waits for no man”

“Time heals all wounds”

“Use your Time wisely”

“Having the Time of your life”

the_time_machine_large_01In truth, time is but a fabrication and rationalization of our minds in an attempt to avoid confusion and chaos.  Simply, time helps us comprehend our existence within the limits of our knowledge. Now, let’s shift our perspective and view time from a spiritual perspective. As Christians, one of the tenets of our faith is the awareness and acceptance that each of us are born as imperfect beings, having inherited that imperfection as a result of the Original Sin committed by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The true beauty of Christianity, however, is that by being born again via Baptism, we are cleansed from sin’s blemish on our soul and are blessed to have the opportunity to live this earthly life in God’s Light, striving to become like Him, understanding that at times, we will falter and sin.  And in the wisdom of our Creator, He provided a mechanism for us to redeem ourselves of sins via repentance, along with his Grace via forgiveness.

“Yes, faith is a peculiar construct, however, those that possess it do not perceive it to be peculiar at all.  For you see, the expectation of faith is the realization that a life lived in God’s Light, following His Word, supported by love, kindness, humility, forgiveness and goodwill/intent, will be rewarded by the Perfect and eternal life in heaven, at some Future moment.”

Paradox_of_TimeThus, the Future Perfect tense of life; My Life.  I have but one breathtaking, awe-inspiring, profound, loving and Blessed word to describe this expectation in my life….  Hallelujah!  Be well my friends. Watch and Listen….  and be brought to tears in the Joy of knowing Christ.  God Bless You.

And for you “boomers”, let’s take a walk back in Time and relive another memory.

And something for the more mellow of us.

Lastly, how much Time do you have left?

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Living this Life of Paradoxical Proportions


Irony abounds in life, yet none is as stark as the one we call ‘life’.  When we wake each morning, we abandon the seemingly lifeless state of sleep and rest.  And even during that sleep, our minds wander into the universe beyond, our synapses firing at breakneck speed, creating the dreams of our presence, causing REM (Rapid Eye Movement), frantically searching (or creating) the answers to many questions, disguised as a trojan horse, our still and quiet life form, regenerating its power, absent of activity on the surface, while teeming with energy within.

In the effort to perform “good”, we invariably hurt others, sometimes the ones we love most.  Each of us, unique in our thoughts, our heritage and our personal life experience; from a distance, appear largely identical.  And to the contrary, identical twins are many times, in personality, aptitude and interests, anything but the same.

It’s as if the world around us is a mirror of sorts, reflecting our essence, yet creating something that is both exact and concurrently opposite from each of us.  As lightning at night, without the dark, there would be no flash.  As the rivers rush across the rocks of the earth, without the smooth and softly flowing water, there would be no sculpturing of nature.

For all the goodness in the world, there remains violence, hatred, jealously and despise.  It is almost as if one cannot exist without the other.  Indeed, what would we call day without night, cold without warm or sickness without health?  Ours is the world of Jekyll & Hyde.  All things are necessary for life as we know it to exist.  Does time truly and singularly, stand still while we dance our lives around it?

As we attempt to right the wrong, heal the sick and uplift the downtrodden, it may be, in reality, an exercise in futility as the universe forces the “survival” and preservation of opposites.  Yet, strive as we may, we are determined to alter the essence of the universe, with the false assumption we are greater or more powerful than it is.  There is likewise, humor in irony.

Ironically, as we toil to rid the world of all things we define and know as bad or evil, it is precisely these actions which maintain the existence of them.  What a paradox!  Perhaps the only explanation is that the world we know, requires this balance, the paradox we know as life.  Perhaps it is the eternal battle of good and evil, of all that is seen and unseen, the ying and the yang, that enable our existence and carry it forward into eternity.

It is through death’s door we must pass to realize eternal life.  In dying, we are transformed into eternal life.

A life of struggle, by intelligent design.

Spending a Life Time having the Time of Your Life


 

We’ve all heard it time and time again; “the time is right”, “time waits for no-one”, “there is always next time“, “no time like the present”, “have the time of your life”.  Yet as much time as we all have, in the end, we’ve all had precious little time to really live.  Doesn’t it go without saying, then, that we focus on making the most of the time each of us has; now?

As a writer, I am constantly inspired by the words of others and use those words to stimulate my own creativity, thoughts and ideas.  I’d like to share a story with you today that stirs emotions, conjures thoughts of the future, perhaps even the past, while anchoring us in the present.  It is an especially poignant story, considering the recent passing of Stephen Covey, the world-renowned author and motivational speaker.  Among his precious gems of wisdom and insight, one stands atop my mountain.  It is something he authored in 1994 and is called “The Big Rocks of Life”.

I recommend reading it over and over and over again, until it permeates and penetrates the deepest recesses of your mind, saturating your energy and causing you to contemplate the essence of your being.  Then, transform that understanding into observable action.

“The Big Rocks of Life”

by Stephen R. Covey

One day this expert was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration I’m sure those students will never forget. After I share it with you, you’ll never forget it either.

As this man stood in front of the group of high-powered over-achievers he said, “Okay, time for a quiz.” Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed mason jar and set it on a table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.

When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, “Is this jar full?” Everyone in the class said, “Yes.” Then he said, “Really?” He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks.

Then he smiled and asked the group once more, “Is the jar full?” By this time the class was onto him. “Probably not,” one of them answered. “Good!” he replied. And he reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, “Is this jar full?”

“No!” the class shouted. Once again he said, “Good!” Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked up at the class and asked, “What is the point of this illustration?”

One eager beaver raised his hand and said, “The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it!”

“No,” the speaker replied, “that’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.”

What are the big rocks in your life? A project that you want to accomplish? Time with your loved ones? Your faith, your education, your finances? A cause? Teaching or mentoring others? Remember to put these Big Rocks in first or you’ll never get them in at all.

For me, it’s all about core values and applying those values to determine how you spend your time, who you spend it with and what you learn about yourself and life as a result.  Introspection is the key that reveals your true self and unlocks your future.

Please leave your comments to share your thoughts regarding your best use of time and why.  Be well.

 

 

Is Reality Television the Scourge of America and the Family?


 

The buzz of Hollywood, the fatal attraction of entertainment, the mesmerizing capture of our attention by television and video.  It has lured us in, stimulated our senses, and in some cases actually entertained us.  But mostly, it has altered our sense of what is real and has blurred the line between reality, fantasy, fiction and entertainment.

Most disturbingly, for many individuals, it has largely REPLACED true reality as truth.  If you contrast most of what is available on television and in movies, you will find it does NOT reflect the reality of mainstream America nor the real lives of most Americans.  It is primarily “wishful thinking”.

The increasing stresses and pressures we all face as human beings, with our families, jobs, neighborhoods, schools and friends have collectively made it very attractive to seek outlets to relieve the stress, or make it completely go away, at least for an hour each week, as we watch these reality shows.

The “inconvenient truth” of this reality is that we watch an inordinate amount of television each day and week of our ‘lives’.  According to a U.S. Government, BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) study in June, 2012 (using 2011 data), the average person over age 15 spends 2.8 hours/day watching television.

Considering work, travel, sleep and miscellaneous daily activities associated with normal living, i.e., laundry, cleaning, cooking, prayer/spiritual health, administrative/financial, personal hygiene; I would offer that the average person realistically possesses at most, less than 6 hours of ‘free time’ every day.

Doing the math, then, 2.8 hours of watching television equates to roughly 47% of our discretionary time every day.

If we consciously choose to invest that amount of time every day for this single activity, it will consequently and realistically impact or alter our sense of reality, our ability to think, apply logic and ultimately influence how we make decisions.  Much like the age-old saying, “You are what you eat”, I propose that cognitively, “You are what you watch”.

The BIGGER question is what impact Reality Television has already had on the ‘Family’ as the core social unit for us as human beings?

 

Distractions – How a Fraction has become the Whole


Math has always been an important and intriguing part of my life as I’ve fascinated with the likes of Fibonacci, Archimedes and Pythagoras.  In a more easily understood real life context, I’ve learned an inverted fraction is simply flipping the top (numerator) and bottom (denominator) numbers.  And, at its most empirical level, a fraction is really nothing more than a visual approach to division.

Viewed through the lens of our existence, our total life is the denominator and how we collectively spend it is the numerator.  One of the truths I have discovered in my lifetime is that the world is full of distractions, some as it were, appear to be meaningful aspects of life, while others are inherently recreational in nature.

What happens, however, when these distractions, viewed as a whole, become nearly as large as our existence?  Quite logically, they distract us from our real purpose for living in the first place.  They consume our existence as the ocean swallows the ship in rough sea whose captain is unable to navigate the turbulent water or the ship that breaks apart as a result of poor construction… or geometry.

As imperfect beings, we have all been driven to the brink of excess by an attraction, dare I say, addiction by the likes of professional sports, education, exercise, social media communication, travel and technology.  So much so, that if you take a step back to change your perspective, most will find that nearly 90% or more of our waking moments are spent with non-essential activities, leaving precious little time for self-assessment, introspection, meditation or prayer and self-improvement.

Life happens quickly, lest we forget to “smell the coffee”.

In effect, our distractions have become our life.  If you literally break down who we are, the word being; you will find the root of the word is to BE.  But, just what does it mean to BE?  Among other things, it means to breathe, to communicate, to maintain our health, to work, to play, to relax, to learn, to relate.   It’s pretty apparent how easy it truly is to forget to pray, to acknowledge our purpose, to grow  in spirit, to care and to become more knowledgeable about our existence, current and future.

There is much to be said for effort directed at maintaining balance in our lives.  We all struggle with the stresses of daily living.  From a higher plane of thought, however, most of these stresses or stressors, we (ourselves) have created.

Before the world (and our lives) pass us completely and irreversibly by, we need to spend more time on the essence of our BEing…  After all, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience.  We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”  Teilhard de Chardin.

The life we create is, after all, of our own free will.  We must all choose wisely.

 

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