Help Us Help Others

Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

You can't fit a square peg into a round hole.

You can't fit a square peg into a round hole.

It is cold this morning. The temperature gauge says 28 degrees. It is still dark, even the sun gets up later this time of year.

As I sat in my chair, watching the dark shape walk past the house, deer walk past in the morning, occasionally stopping to munch grass and stuff that deer find appetizing at this time of day, my mind began to wander.

I began to think about circles; how circles have 360 degrees in them.

I think my mind was stuck on degrees, more aptly the lack of degrees that was currently in place on my front porch.

As I thought about circles, and the 360 degrees contained within them, I started to contemplate triangles.

I think I was having a brain freeze and could only use half of my brain, thus the fact that triangles have 180 degrees in them, only half of what circles have.

As I thought about triangles I thought how two triangles placed in opposite directions make a square. Actually, two triangles placed in opposite directions can make lots of things, one of which is a square.

I started to think about a square.

If a triangle holds 180 degrees, then two triangles hold 360 degrees, the same as a circle.

But squares don't look anything like circles, and circles don't look anything like squares.

Yet, they have so much in common.

Did you know that circles are actually a whole bunch of straight lines attached to each other with obtuse angles?

So if squares are made up of 360 degrees and circles are made up of 360 degrees, and squares are made up of straight lines and circles are made up of straight lines.

Why do we look at them so differently?

Maybe it is because we are only looking at them in a very shallow sense?

When we take the time to learn about circles and squares. When we take the time to learn what makes them up. We see that in fact, they are more alike than we could possibly imagine.

If something as seemly different as squares and circles can have so much in common.

I wonder what this world would look like if we actually took the time to learn about our neighbor.

Square pegs, round holes, not so different after all.

Lord, give me you eyes, Your ears, Your heart. Give me the courage to look at people as your creation not just as "other people". To see we have much more in common than not.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Sitting in the Membership/Healthy Living/Personal Trainer/Group-ex office.

Good morning,
I pray the day has found you well.

I am sitting, yes sitting, in the Membership/Healthy Living/Personal Trainer/Group-ex office. Why am I sitting in the Membership/Healthy Living/Personal Trainer/Group-ex office? Great question, I am sitting in the Membership/Healthy Living/Personal Trainer/Group-ex office because construction is going on in my office, which by the way is also Kari's office/mail room/printer/meeting room.

We are in the middle of a huge remodel/expansion at our YMCA. A remodel/expansion that when finished will provide even more space for us to positively impact peoples lives.

But for now, I am in the Membership/Healthy Living/Personal Trainer/Group-ex office.

It is interesting to sit with people while they work.

Trainers are in and out.

Group-ex instructors are in and out.

Membership staff are in and out.

As I sat watching staff do their thing. I began to notice how they multiple-tasked. They are good multi-taskers.

I began pondering about multi-tasking. In fact I began pondering about tasking in general.

I began to ponder, "Are we really ever present at all."

I started thinking about how when I am doing something, I stop thinking about what I am doing and start thinking about things I still need to do. Then when I start doing the next thing I start thinking about what the next thing is to be done.

In fact, right now I am doing the thing that I was thinking about doing while I was busy doing something else.

Brother Lawrence did something called, "Practicing the Presence," he practiced being present to whatever he was doing. He took it a step deeper though. He practiced being present to God. If he was doing dishes he was intentionally present to washing dishes. Not just to be present for dish washings sake, but to be present as if he was washing a dish Christ would use.

I wonder what life would be like if we all were as intentional to being present for the sake of others, the way brother Lawrence practiced presence.

Something to ponder.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Dancing for God

Good Morning,
I pray that the day is finding you well.

The wind was blowing the other day.

I noticed a leaf being blown in the wind.

First it blew one way, then another.

I watched as it went back and forth tumbling along. Tumbling over its stem then over the tips of the leaf.

I sat there for quite a while watching this leaf.

At first I was amused by the back and forth action, thinking about how the wind changed direction causing the leaf to change its direction.

I thought about how the leaf really didn’t have any say, or influence, on where it wanted to go. The wind was in control.

I began to think about how most of us live and work at the whim of others. If someone decides to go another direction, or the economy takes another dip, our job might go away, and we will have just about as much say in it as the leaf does with the wind.

Then God said, “Relax and watch the leaf.”

I sat silently watching the leaf.

After a while my heart began to change.

I began to see the leaf differently.

I began to see it dance.

It no longer was this out of control leaf being pushed here and there. The leaf was dancing.

A still small voice said, “This leaf makes me smile. It is dancing for me.”

I sat there and watched the leaf for quite a while.

In the end I was no longer thinking in a negative fashion. My thoughts went to thinking about all the blessings, and small miracles that happen everyday. I just need to have eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to accept.

My prayer is that we all choose to see the beauty in God’s creation, to see a leaf dance; to ask the question, are we dancing for God or merely allowing ourselves to be blown out of control?

It is a matter of perspective.