Posts Tagged ‘life’

dandelions

Posted: June 2, 2015 in brain belches
Tags: , , ,

There’s really nothing pretty about a parking lot.

It’s concrete and cracks.

It’s hard and gray.

But, occasionally you will find something growing through the cracks…

A dandelion.

There it is, beauty in the bleak.

A flower in the middle of frustration.

It’s art emerging from the asphalt.

Sometimes life feels like a parking lot.

It’s cold, hard and gray.

You feel like you are just parked, not going anywhere.

You are living with more pothole than purpose.

Stop, take a deep breath and look around.

Find the dandelion.

Grab the beauty in the midst of the bleak.

It’s there, it’s always there, growing where you least expect it.

Don’t miss it.

Today, I want to start something.

I want to incite joy.

I want to wake wonder.

I want to get something started.

I want to banish boredom.

I want to notice the small things like june bugs and the smell of leather.

I want to listen to a child tell a joke.

I want to incite joy.

I want to wake wonder.

I want to cuddle with a beagle.

I want to live with a wide open appreciation of the gift of life.

I want to laugh out loud…a lot…maybe at inappropriate times.

I want to use my words to celebrate instead of criticize.

I want to incite joy.

I want to wake wonder.

I want to talk like a pirate for no apparent reason.

I want to eat a burrito that’s bigger than my face, or a corndog slathered in mustard, or a tomato sandwich.

I want to high five a stranger.

I want to sing in an elevator.

I want to incite joy.

I want to wake wonder.

I want to spread fun like chunky peanut butter and leave a little everywhere I go.

I want to burp as loud as I can.

I want to tell stories of hope.

I want to wear socks that don’t match.

I want to incite joy.

I want to wake wonder.

I want to be left breathless by something other than a treadmill, like maybe a rainbow or my wife’s beautiful smile.

I want to be uninhibited, unhinged and maybe a little uncouth.

I want to let the sun warm my face (unless it’s raining, then I want to let the rain beat down on my bald head).

I want to listen for the music that only I can hear. And, when I hear it I want to dance.

I want to incite joy.

I want to wake wonder.

I want to jump without caution and love without condition.

I want to learn at least 4 things.

I want to create something out of nothing.

I want to be amazed and amused.

I want to incite joy.

I want to wake wonder.

Then, when I finish the day I will be a little younger than when I started it.

And tonight, I will lay down to sleep without regret and I will wake up tomorrow and start something new.

Once upon a time…

Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper…

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale…

YABBA DABBA DOO…

Won’t you be my neighbor…

Waka waka…

Nanu nanu…

Duunnn dunnn…duuunnn duun…duuunnnnnnn…

Up your nose with a rubber hose…

Hulkamania is running wild brother…

Just the good ol’ boys…

Stay gold ponyboy…

I’m just a bill, yes, I’m only a bill…

Sit on it…

Ten four good buddy…

Give it to Mikey…

I pity the fool…

Well the south side of Chicago…

Hey, Hey, Hey…

HEY YOU GUYS…

Come on down…

FOOD FIGHT…

I’ll tell you once more…

You meddling kids and your dog…

It’s the great pumpkin…

Whatchoo talkin’ ‘bout Willis…

MARCIA, MARCIA, MARCIA…

A-B-C, easy as 1-2-3…

YO Adrian…

You can tell by the way I use my walk…

I think I love you…

We will…we will rock you…

I want to rock and roll all night…

I’m a little bit country…

DYN-O-MITE…

Live from New York…

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y…

It’s fun to stay at the YMCA…

They just wanna, they just wanna…

Walk like an Egyptian…

Schools out for summer…

Let’s be careful out there…

Luke, use the force.

 

 

I’ve always been fascinated with airplanes and flight.

The ability to leave the earth behind captured my imagination.

Much to the chagrin of my very practical Dad, I spent a lot of time growing up with my head in the clouds. I always wanted to get on a plane and crack the clouds. But, sadly it took me a while to get my feet off the ground.

In elementary school a lot of my friends got to fly. They would come back to school and tell us how great it was…there were peanuts and window seats and turbulence and blue water in the bathroom. They had been transported to magical places like Cleveland and Omaha.

BUT, the single coolest thing was when they visited the cockpit.

They got to meet the PILOT!!! Who, it seems, was always a tall, handsome man named Captain Dan who smoked a pipe. He saluted them and welcomed them in a deep, manly voice. They saw the instruments, dials and controls.

BUT, the crowning cockpit moment was when Captain Dan gave them some super cool plastic wings!

THEY GOT WINGS!!! I couldn’t stand it!

They were part of a club that I wasn’t! The club of people with wings!

They wore those wings to school with an authoritative swagger.

The wings made a powerful statement. They said “I have left the ground, I have flown and I have the wings to prove it!”

MAN!!! I ALWAYS wanted those wings.

The problem was that the first time I ever flew I was 18. It would have been a little awkward to go into the cockpit looking for wings.

But, MAN! I wanted some wings!

Because I knew something… Wings are wonderful things.

They take us places.

There was a time when people lived their entire lives with their feet firmly planted on the ground. Then on December 17, 1903, two brothers from Ohio, with no formal engineering training, neither even had a High School diploma, defied gravity in a crazy looking flying machine over the dunes of the North Carolina outer banks.

They discovered Wings! They took off. They left the world behind.

We were born to fly. We were meant to go to unimaginable places and defy gravity.

You were born to be a charter member of the club of people with wings.

The Engineer of eternity wired us to fly and HE gives us wings.

Isaiah 40:31 says: “those who trust in the Lord will find new strength, they will soar high on wings like eagles.”

Here are our flight instructions: Trust God and get wings.

Trusting isn’t always easy, but evidently it’s necessary flight training.

Want wings? Trust God, wait on Him, listen to Him.

We need to learn to trust in God because He is our air traffic controller.

He sees things that we don’t. He creates conditions. He knows the exact right time to take off.

He gives us wings. Those wings give us the unnatural ability to defy gravity. The ability to soar above situations.

Airplane wings are strong. They hold the entire weight of the plane PLUS the stress put on them by turbulence and control forces. BUT airplane wings will eventually fail if over stressed.

The Wings that God gives us will never fail. They are spiritual and not bound by the laws of physics.

God gives us wings.

They give us the unnatural ability to soar over anything.

We have the supernatural ability to withstand any turbulence in life. That’s good because there will be turbulence, the winds will howl. Things are gonna get bumpy.

Please fasten your seatbelts and return your tray table to its full upright position… And trust your wings! They will take you places. Wings take you places that you can’t get to on foot or by car. God gives you supernatural wings that take you to unimaginable places and help you do things that you could never do in your own strength.

God gives us wings.

He is the air traffic controller AND the pilot. He gives us wings and he gives us our own unique flight pattern.

We don’t work to get our wings, we trust.

In elementary school, the only thing my flying friends had to do to get their wings from Captain Dan was walk on board! They just got to know the pilot. He gave them wings.

It’s the same with us. You can’t grow wings. They can only be given to you.

Get to know the pilot. He has a custom made set of wings for you. Wings take you places.

You were born to fly. You were designed to defy gravity. God will give you wings. You will soar above.

Don’t let anybody or anything clip your wings. We do that. We listen to the critics, to the ones who have never left the ground themselves.

The Wright brothers had a lot of people telling them that they would never fly. They didn’t allow the haters to clip their wings. They did what had never been done. You get to do the same thing.

Don’t get grounded by fear, doubt or insecurity. Don’t get grounded by comparing your flight plan to someone else’s. You were born to go to starry, faraway places…places that can only be reached if you have wings!

Wings are wonderful things!

BIG thanks to my pilot friend, Rich Wenzel, who gave me some great insight into leaving the ground behind.

I’m getting old.
Oh, it’s true.
This little pirate is looking at 50.
I’m okay with that. I’ve had a really good time getting here.
I think life on the other side of 50 is going to be even better.
We are all aging.
It’s amazing how age just grows on you.
It’s also amazing how we try to fight it.
We don’t want to look our age.
We want to look young, fresh and vibrant.
We live in a cosmetic crazed culture.
We are obsessed with youth.
We try to go young.
People do a lot of cat scratch crazy stuff to look younger.
We nip, we tuck, we peel, we get Botox.
If you have done any of these, my intention is not to shame you.
My intention is to say you don’t need it. You are enough.
You are beautiful and interesting.

I look in the mirror and my face gets a little more interesting each day.
I discover new wrinkles, new bumps and blemishes.
I’m okay with that because each line contains a story…they shout “I LIVED!”
Laugh lines are my favorite, they announce that I lived and I laughed….alot.

When I Photoshop away my imperfections it seems that I also Photoshop away a fragment of my soul.
It seems that my imperfections and my soul are attached at the hip.
When did looking old become such a bad thing?
True attractiveness is found in the authentic.

Proverbs says “Gray hair is a crown of glory.”

I like that!

When we talk about getting a little work done, it should have to do with our soul or character, not our face.
When we value appearance over authentic we run the risk of losing our true selves.

Life is a journey.
We are meant to constantly going forward into uncharted lands…places we’ve never been.
As we travel we assemble a pack of experiences, memories, lessons learned, life lived.
We are moving from one season to the next.
We love…we learn…we leave…we LIVE!!!
Every season is meant to be lived to the full.
Enjoy young.
Enjoy old.
Enjoy the time in between.
We should celebrate each new season while holding onto the things that really matter from the previous seasons.
There is a wisdom that comes with getting older, but I think there should also be a great silliness too.
We should learn what should and shouldn’t be taken seriously.
We should learn what does and doesn’t matter.
We have to value the authentic, the real.

Wrinkles are a sign that we are growing into ourselves.

They should be worn like medals!
We have stories to tell and songs to sing.
They are written all over our faces.
Why would we erase that.

I wonder if Alexander the Great had a kid brother named Otis the not quite so impressive.

That would be a lot of pressure! “why can’t you be like your brother? He’s just so…great!”

We do that, don’t we?

We compare, we notice, we measure.

Comparison.

It comes from others…

Why can’t you be like your over achieving brother, super attractive sister, well-adjusted friend, etc. etc.

It comes from ourselves…

If only I had that job, body, situation, face, talent, house, etc. etc.

We compare.

We look at what others have and we use it as the ruler for our own standing.

We compare and it’s killing us!

Comparison is a deadly pastime, a not so silent killer.

It kills creativity.

It kills joy.

It kills dreams.

Comparison kills any chance of you being the one and only, super amazing YOU!

You get your eyes off your assignment…it is left undone.

YOU are the ONLY template for YOU.

There is no other.

You are the only YOU that will ever happen…EVER.

Comparison cheapens that.

Don’t compare.

It kills.

Don’t compare yourself, don’t compare others.

We sometimes use comparison as a weapon to kill the potential in others.

Comparison shuts down the spirit.

Comparison imprisons the heart.

Break the chains of comparison.

Notice and celebrate the “never before and never again”

There is completely original interestingness.

It’s in YOU, it’s all around YOU!

Never to be repeated, never meant to be duplicated.

Completely original interestingness.

The loving proof of a Master Creator with a wild imagination.

Why in the world would you want to kill that?

For one brief shining season in the late seventies I got to live out my underdeveloped hoop dreams…

I played basketball…in Oklahoma, a state known for its football.

Yes sports fans, I was a card carrying member of the FOR ( the Future Owasso Rams).

Sadly, despite the name, my athletic career never really had much of a future. It wasn’t because of a lack of passion, I was passionate!! I wanted, desperately, to be an athlete! But, I was destined to become an athletic supporter.

I wasn’t passionate about competition or the game. I was passionate about trying to get a girl…any girl…to notice me. I had learned that girls liked jocks and so, I wanted to be a jock. So I begged my mom to let me join our city league, the mighty FOR. We practiced on Tuesday nights and played on Saturday mornings in the city recreation center. It was a loud metal building that smelled like a combination of feet and Funyuns.
This was back in the golden age of kid’s sports when not everybody got to play. You only got to play if you had actual skills (or if your dad was the coach). I didn’t get to play…at all…not once…not a play.

I would strut out with the team in my immaculately clean uniform (my mom didn’t have to wash my uniform all season long…I didn’t sweat once)
I would take my place on the bench and I stayed there for eight weeks.
The only dribbling I did was when I fell asleep with my mouth open.
I was completely aware of my lack of hoop skills. I mean, come on! I was slow, I had no depth perception and I was two feet shorter than everyone else, not really a lethal combination for basketball.

So I devised a plan. I had good friends who were also really good athletes. This was the beginning of middle school. So, we were still a few years away from not being able to talk to each other because of the whole social classification thing. My very kind friends picked me for their team. I was glad because they were really good.

We went undefeated and I had absolutely nothing to do with it.

I would strut out at the beginning of every game, walking proud because I was part of the first place team. My super cool blue and white uniform was clean. I sucked in my gut, pulled up my tube socks and tried to look cool. Without her knowing, I used my mom’s mascara to draw manly pit hair on my hairless armpits (that only worked because I didn’t sweat).

My only athletic injury was a butt cramp was sitting on the bench too much.

At the end of the season, I got a shiny plastic trophy.
I had a uniform, I thought I was a part of the team, I got a trophy.
But, the truth was that I really wasn’t fooling anybody but myself!
I hadn’t contributed anything.
Sometimes we treat life like I treated basketball.
If we just associate with the right people. If we look the part…that’s enough, right?
But, Life was never meant to be a spectator sport.
We were never meant to sit on the bench and be content with getting a trophy at the end of the season.
Don’t let your fear, insecurities or lack of skills keep you from living!
Leave your mark on the court.
Play…play hard.
Even if at first you stink.
Even if on some days all you have to show for your effort is a sweaty jersey.
Play…get off the bench…leave your mark.
Eventually you will find what you are good at.
Don’t think that you can just hang out with the right team, you have a role to play.