Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I tuned in Sunday night for the Oscar ceremonies. Honestly, I saw only a few of the movies nominated (Atonement and Juno) and I don't really keep up on the craft of acting, directing, editing, sound mixing, etc. Yet, there is something that draws me each year to watch a fairly self-obsessed industry congratulate itself. Maybe, it's the pretty dresses or the comedy or the random moments of audacity that occur when you have a room full of performers semi-live (that 5 second delay prevents some of the truly honest moments).

This year might have been my favorite Oscar experience, if only for the glimpses of true humility and delight in some of the winners. Sure there are those people who feel they deserve recognition for their work, the academy owes them a pat on the back and they sit smugly in their seat waiting for their named to be called, their peers to rise in applause and their egos to be stroked once again on their amazing achievement. Then there are those people who sit in their seat with a look of disbelief that they were even invited, that their name is mentioned among others of such stature, that the honor of even having a seat on the floor (near the front) might push them over the edge. Then when you watch their face as their name is called you see that glimpse of shock, awe, fear, excitement, and glee that is so refreshing it makes you smile and want to stand in applause for them.

Two such cases stuck out to me on Sunday night, Marion Cotillard who won for Best Actress and Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova who won for Best Song. From the looks on their faces as their names were announced to the humble and joyful speeches (if you can call them that) they gave in thanks I was impressed and taken back by the humility of three people who took complete pride in what they did and were flabbergasted to have been honored for something they love to do.

Humility is something we search for but rarely find. In a world of self gratification, self absorption, self obsession, and just plain self the humble spirit is squashed by our clamoring to compete and be better than the guy next to us. Now humility isn't self-depreciation or even lack of self worth but it's a special quality that is quietly sufficient in the knowledge that you gave your best and you don't need accolades to confirm that for you. It's a contentment with self that is possessed within you instead of determined by the ebb and flow of opinions of others.

We seek for humility but how often do we celebrate it? We call it a fresh breeze but seem to only notice it in the stifling air of arrogance and pride. Why is humility the exception and not the norm?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


The last week has been a confluence of what some people might call coincidence but I like to consider providence.

*Sidenote: Why don't we use that word anymore, providence? It seems to have gone by the wayside with the pilgrims or those old souls of bygone times who weren't afraid to call it when God stepped in and made His presence or hand known.

So in the midst of all these things coming together I had a great conversation with a kindergartener on Sunday that went a bit like this:

Hudson: You know the first thing I want to do when I go to heaven?

Me: What?

Hudson: Talk to God cause I want to know what His voice sounds like.

Me: Me too, Hudson. I can't wait to hear His voice.

The truth is, I can't wait to hear God's voice, to see if it sounds anything like James Earl Jones (my guess for the closest comparison). I can't wait to hear Him call my name and to know the sound of it. But in the meantime, my thoughts wander to this: How can I hear the voice of God now? How can I listen to hear His voice?

So, thanks Hudson for showing me the faith of a child, that honest, real, and expectant faith that grasps hold of the thought of hearing the voice of God and shares that hope with a huge smile on your face.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The problem with "fixing"


If you ever want to test the patience of a person give them a task, deadline, or goal and then hand them the one thing they need to accomplish this "something" broken. Talk about a trying situation. I see this everyday in my life when the copy machine has a paper jam, my computer won't bring up my email, I get a busy signal while on the phone, or the mother of all frustrations - TRAFFIC. Now there are those people who will dig in their heels, scream, and hit something (in the case of the copy machine that is) and then there are the "problem solvers" that quickly assess and make alternate plans or creatively make it work.

Ok, take the same situation and apply it to your life . . . . to your future . . . . to your heart. There are those things in life that we encounter that seem to be broken: the single man waiting for "the one" to marry, the wife who longs to be a mother but is finding those hopes dashed, the out of work 20-something that can't figure out their passion, or the Christian who finds themselves in a dark place of monotany and mechanical faith. You often see the same reactions as above, those who bemoan their predicament and those who seek to "fix it."

Now my question is this, is "fixing it" the right thing to do? Oh I admire all those who pull up their belts and get to work on making things better but is that all their trying to do? Are they getting to the goal in any way possible? And is that a good thing?

Focusing on the first and the last examples let's take a look at the outcomes:

Single man/woman longing to be married. Quick fix: Get married. It doesn't matter who, when, where, just get to the goal. The box is checked off, you accomplished the task, but was this the outcome you wanted? Is this what you hoped and dreamed for?

Christian in that place beyond questioning their faith but still lacking the passion they might have once heldfast. Quick fix: pray, read, study, talk the talk until you end up walking the walk or better fake it till you make it. Really? Is that the path to passion? Can passion be found in the mechanical quick fixes we immediately go to (or are led to believe (i.e taught) are what we should do)?

I often find myself in situations where I know the answers, I know the steps to "fix it" but a part of me holds back because they feel so mechanical, so goal driven, so end result focused. And while there is nothing I would want more than to reach the goal and hold that trophy (whatever it is) high in the air, I can't help but stop myself from going through another step by step fix it list. I want more, I want something real, something hard and difficult, something that doesn't look neat and clean and have a sure fire result at the end. I want real and often real isn't found with a "fix it".

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


So I'm trying to get back in the swing of things by blogging semi-regularly. Oh yes I do remember that time in my life when I blogged uber-consistently (say 5 days a week), but those days are long gone. I guess my current job/profession/life-altering 24 hour commitment showed just how much free time I had back in the day.

So an update:

1. I'm busy. Not the oh a few too many social commitments this month type busy, but "oh my gosh my calendar has never had so many notes jotted on it busy". Just to give you a taste let me ruminate (what a good word) on my upcoming "events". Weekly I have the following:

Sunday - church (7am to 1:30pm) - gotta love the mobile church (and I do, really, don't ask me this on Sunday at 7am and you'll get a more honest answer)

Monday - my day off, but really who are we kidding it's a semi-work day and a semi-sleep in day, then at night I get the awesome opportunity to co-lead a small group of college students who shock me each week with thier vulnerability and honesty about their life with God (oh and they make fun of me for being old - but hey I'm still cool in their eyes so who cares)

Tuesday - WORK and then BSF after my weekly drive to Big D (that's Dallas for those of you not in the know)

Wednesday - WORK and then Community Group with some gals from my church

Thursday - WORK

Friday - WORK

Saturday - SLEEP, well that and anything else that pops up

Oh and then there's the upcoming BIG events in my life:

NEW BUILDING - yep, our church is in the process of buying our own building. This is super exciting and such a blessing but also means that my weekends (and who are we kidding, my weeks too) in the month of march will consist of being at the building every waking moment

NEW YORK - oh yeah, I'm heading out with my mom, my sisters, and my friend kristi to the Big Apple for 5 days of fun

And well that's about it. It's a lot and it means I'm busy but I'm hoping to jump back into blogging a bit more consistently.

So what's up with you?