This may seem unrealistic, even delusional; and much of the time, it has felt that way to me. But I’ve been here before, and know it’s not unrealistic at all. One drawback: it will pull me even farther away from the societal mainstream. But if I feel a “call” toward anything at all, it’s this path that I feel called to.
In a blog post of July 19, 2014, I declared my ambition to become the “Nemesis of the morning glories” in the garden out behind my church. My plan was to spend four hours per week specifically weeding the morning glories in that garden.
On Monday, October 20, 2014, I wrote, “The morning glories are vanquished. As of today, they are under control throughout the entire garden.”
From a 03/31/08 e-mail to my supervisor at the dollar store. This was a young man who had never had a paying job before, and thus certainly no experience in supervision; and I had a mind to give him some pointers on the nature of leadership. Previous conversations had already established that he regarded himself as a devout Christian.
2A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death. Continue reading Leadership, Patton and Jesus
Learning happiness can take you out of your comfort zone.
So, there can be a learning curve as one comes to tolerate and manage greater degrees of happiness and prosperity than one has been accustomed to.
Some time ago, this short, very thin Korean immigrant with shoulder-length gray hair began coming to the shelter. When he first came here, he was in bad shape; he appeared to have no resources at all.
Everyone has problems; always have, always will.
But some problems are better (more desirable) than others.
I have some of the best problems in the world. Everyone should have such problems. They’d be so much better off.
For example, this man shows up every time I look in the mirror, and I’m absolutely hating on him. He’s so good-looking, I can’t stand it. I’m jealous.
Originally posted 2014-12-31.
1As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.”
The disciples want to place blame. Their posture can be referred to as fault-finding, judgment and condemnation. Jesus calls attention to the opportunity to heal, to do good, to make a beginning.
I don’t like Elder Conrad.
At the shelter, they compel us to attend chapel every night. A different group presents each night, following a monthly rotation. Elder Conrad and his group come the second Sunday of each month. In nigh on four years, he’s never said a single thing I felt merited attention.
There is one exception.
Continue reading “Son”
Here is a short list of things I can be grateful for.
|✓||A clean sheet every night*|
|✓||A clean pillow case every night*|
|✓||A blanket every night*|
|✓||A pillow every night*|
|✓||A hot shower every night|
|✓||Clean clothes available every day|
|✓||A good supper every night|
|✓||Financial resources: At this time, anything I want, I can get.
(Anything I can’t get, I don’t want.)
|✓||Moral support from my family, my friends and my church. A ton of people are pulling for me, hoping for my prosperity.|
|✓||The best problems in the world. (See next Wednesday’s post.)|
*(To my knowledge, no other shelter in Baltimore City provides these things. If you don’t bring your own, you sleep on a bare mat. A change in that situation is something to earnestly hope for.)
Originally posted Christmas Eve 2014.
Sooner or later, it had to happen.
Sunday, about 14:00, I had just bought my second coffee at McDonald’s. I put it on my table and, as they require me to do, took all my things with me to go out and smoke.
Outside, I took one more shot at trying to understand how evil — negativity, conflict — happens.
There are those who say that evil is necessary because without it, humans would never be able to appreciate joy. I have never found this believable.
Continue reading The inevitability of evil