Tag Archives: philosophy

Call Me Mr. Hare

Well, I haven’t blogged for two years but here I go again.  How time flies.  Since I last blogged, Obama was elected President (thankfully the world hasn’t ended), Haiti experienced a devastating earthquake, the world has seen a financial meltdown and the U.S. has been saddled with a bigger mountain of  debt than previously seen.  In the two years from the last time I picked up a pen (well, typed at my computer and blogged), Michael Jackson died along with GM and Ford, though the latter two have been given another chance at life.  Since 2008,  gold and silver have been on a tear, the Tea Party has taken center stage and pigs have flown.   That is, the New Orleans Saints have done the impossible and won the Super Bowl.  The point is, there has been plenty about which to blog.

I’m not sure why I stopped blogging, though.   Maybe  it got old.  Maybe I got busy.  Maybe it took too much precious time.  Maybe I ran out of things to say. Or maybe I just got tired of the process of blogging.

But then maybe I’m like the hare.  You know the story that,  in a nutshell,  goes like this.   Mr. Tortoise and Mr. Hare are in a race.  Mr. Hare sprints to a lead, takes a nap and wakes only to find that he was beaten to the finish line by the slow moving Mr. Tortoise.

I often find myself more like Mr. Hare.  I find it pretty easy to take hold of something and sprint all out and  even do really well at whatever the particular challenge is.  But then, in time, whether I’m distracted, tired, or just downright bored, I might just fade away into a nap of sorts, much like Mr. Hare.  Even so, after some period of time I wake up, only to find that I’m behind or that Mr. Tortoise has passed me by.

My blogging hibernation is  probably the result of a combination of things and is probably a good thing for me to reflect upon.   You see,  I can be very determined at times but that determination can wane into  laziness.  I can be very excited about something but  it can quickly become a bore to me as I become distracted by something new.  Sometimes I just have too many pots on the stove, too many irons in the fire.

I guess I could try and wax eloquent and be even more philosophical but alas, there’s something else calling my name.  So here I go again.  I’m off to the next project, the next distraction.  Who knows if I’ll be back blogging.  I’m sure I will at some point, maybe today or this afternoon even, as it seems I always come back to the things I leave behind.

Cows in the Road

The picture on my blog (at least for now) is a picture of four cows in the middle of the road in Colombia, South America.  We were out minding our own business, driving down the road when we came upon the cows in the road.  Now I realize that at least one of those boogers has horns and you might call it a bull, but for the sake of discussion and my blog (it is MY blog), they’re cows. 

We didn’t set out hoping to find cows in the road.  We had a destination, we had plans, we didn’t plan to stop, we knew where we were going and it didn’t involve cows.   But, alas, the cows were there and we had to stop.  Well, I guess we didn’t have to stop but we would have risked serious damage had we not stopped.  We could’ve hit the cows and wrecked.  We could have tried to avoid them, crossing in the other lane and hit a car coming the other way head-on.  But we didn’t because the natural thing to do when cows are in the road is stop … or at least slow down.  And we did.

That’s how it is in life.  Sometimes we’re headed down the road going exactly where we planned, when we planned and how we planned, living our own dreams and acting on our own desires.  We don’t plan to stop, we don’t imagine anything will really get in our way.  But inevitably, we come across cows in the road.  Suddenly, we’re faced with a decision.  The natural thing to do would be to stop or at least slow down and proceed carefully. 

Now it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what to do when the moo-cows are in the road.  But in life, sometimes we make it harder than it should be.  Instead of slowing down or stopping, we barrel right on through, causing more damage or problems than were necessary.  We could have avoided heartache altogether.  Sometimes we don’t adequately assess the risk and think things through.  We don’t stop and we don’t even proceed carefully.  We just keep on going and if we hit the cows or hit someone else head-on, who cares.  And then we (or someone else) is left to clean up or deal with the whole mess.

Sometimes, there’s not any danger at all, but stopping or slowing down is still good for us.  It allows us to take a few moments and see what’s there.  Stopping lets us enjoy the sights, the smells.  Taking pause lets us see the horns but it also gives us a chance to appreciate the surroundings.  In the picture, there are more than cows.  It was a beautiful day.  You can tell the sun was shining because you can see the shadows thrown by the cows.  There are trees and who knows what else if we could really see everything.  It actually was a pretty sight to see in its own right. 

We stopped for the cows.  We enjoyed the moment.  We put the plans we had on hold just for a few minutes.  Nothing was lost.  Had we stayed longer, who knows what we would have seen.  Maybe some other animals?  Maybe a snake?  Maybe some birds?

So, next time you see cows in the road, the moo-cows or just the cows of life, stop for a moment.  Look at what’s going on around you.  Think about what’s going on, evaluate the risk but also enjoy the time and see what else you see.  You might be surprised at what you find.  Then proceed carefully.  And did I say, there were not four cows in the road but FIVE.

Ten Ways Life is Like My Yard – Part One

Living life is a lot like caring for my yard.  Two years ago in September, my wife and I along with a few friends laid 22 pallets of Tifway 2 hybrid bermuda sod.  That is a lot of grass!  Now, I am not an agricultural, horticultural, archaeolgical or turfgrass specialist.  But there are some things I have learned about starting a yard and maintaining the sod.  As I look back on that, I realize that some of those things have some correlation or parallel with life.  So here are five ways that life is like my yard.

  1. There will be different growing seasons.  Last year, my yard’s first growing season, we had a pretty bad drought.  I had to constantly water it (until the “do-not-use-any-water-outside” notice came.  This year, we’ve had lots of rain and it has been pretty pleasant -in the 70’s this week in August in Mississippi is unheard of.  I haven’t had to use the sprinkler hardly at all.  Life is like that.  Sometimes there are very difficult seasons where the sun beats down, the heat is on and there doesn’t seem to be any relief in sight.  Other seasons, everything just goes right.  It’s pleasant, nice and it’s easy-going.
  2. With consistent work and care, it will be a very nice, pretty yard.  When we first laid the sod, we had to pour water to it, sometimes twice a day, for about 2 weeks until it got established.  When I’ve been consistent to water it, fertilize it, cut it and get the weeds out, it has looked nice.  When it’s been neglected, well it just doesn’t look as good.  Aren’t we like that as people?  When we’re careful to take good care of ourselves, mentally, physically and spiritually, doesn’t it make a difference?  Can’t people tell?
  3. It needs the sun and rain to grow.  Sometimes, the sun just gets so hot, I wish it would go back in and not come out again.  Sometimes it rains and seems like it will never stop.  But if there were no sun and if there were no rain, my grass wouldn’t grow.  In life, there are those things that we just wish would go away and then there are the times that we just seem overwhelmed and flooded by our circumstances.  Those things, though, are what often help us to grow and mature as people.  As much as we’d like to tell them to go away, it’s through the experiences, whether good or bad, that we are made as people and our character is developed.
  4. You can’t get too complicated, especially early on, and overfertilize.  This is where we tend to try to make things complicated sometimes.  I was told that you don’t want to use any fertilizer on new sod until it’s been through the first growing season.  You can “lightly” fertilize it but you especially don’t want to use any systemic weed-killer.  As the yard progresses, you can use more and different products to fertilize and weed the yard.  I’ve kind of found that too be true in life.  “Keep it simple, stupid,” has been a catchphrase I’ve heard a lot.  Sometimes we try to make life too complicated when simplifying it is what we really need.
  5. Unless you do something consistently to get and keep the weeds out, they will eventually invade it and make it unattractive.  When I first laid the sod, there were no weeds.  For the first year (since you’re not supposed to use weed-and-feed) I was pretty good about handpicking the weeds.  But as time as gone on, that has been more difficult as more and more weeds or unwanted grasses have crept into my yard.  After cutting, as the grass grows, those unsightly weeds are more easily seen.  We live life with a lot of “weeds” in it.  Those weeds grow and if we’re careful not to get them out of our lives and control them, they just have a way of taking us over and controlling us.

When the Game is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box – John Ortberg

I read this book earlier this year and it quickly became one of my favorite books of all time.  Ortberg captures the meaning of life when he compares our life to a game of monopoly.  As we journey through life, the focus often tends to be on how much money we make, what position we can attain and the comfort that we’ll enjoy in retirement.  But when we die, the game of life is over, and it all goes back in the box.  As the back cover of the book asks, “What did you win that you get to keep?”  That is the question.  What is it that we’ve accomplished, earned or made that we’ll get to keep?  What will last beyond today and tomorrow?

Do Babies Go to Heaven? (Part One)

I wrote a post recently entitled, “Good Morning From Heaven.”  In response, a reader commented about the death of infants and their final destination, struggling over two opposing points of view.  From a biblical perspective, there is no verse that says, “all babies will go to Heaven when they die.”  It would be nice if there were such a verse.  But there is not and what we are left with is trying to understand, with our limited human capacity, some of the difficult questions in life. 

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