Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Morning Ritual

I don't know about you, but I'm not a morning person. I awake easily, but really functioning is another story. I stumble around for a few minutes, brush my teeth, read my morning devotional, check my Email, and drink a couple glasses of tea before I really wake up. Not exactly efficient, but it is a routine that works for me.

Thinking about my morning routine led me to think about other's morning rituals. And as I think about other's rituals my focus moves from the physical activities to the mental and spiritual realm. Which leads to the question, What do we do to get our spiritual and mental selves ready for the day?

Breakfast fuels our body physically, even if its a Pop-Tart and a glass of tea. The nourishment we put into our body is important as to the pace we set for the day. Too much sugar and we may start out of the gate quicker, but will fade down the stretch. Too heavy of a breakfast may give us fuel in the long run, but makes getting started more difficult. While I know this isn't groundbreaking news, it sets up the question that was asked in the previous paragraph. What do we do to prepare for the day spiritually and mentally? Or do we just expect those aspects to evolve, if you will, as they may?

If you are a Christian, how do you prepare yourself for the day? After biscuits and gravy, do you give any thought to the spiritual battle ahead? Do you pray that God will accomplish His will through you this day? Do you pray to be a Christlike example to those you meet this day? Do you desire to lead someone to Christ or to tell someone about Jesus? Or do you just save that for Sunday? Is your job more important and more worthy of the majority of your shared focus? Maybe you will be a useful vessel and maybe not; it's not really your call anyway...

And for those who want to make the world a better place and all of those appropriate adages, how do you prepare to do such? Have you considered your responsibility in this area or are you merely a mouthpiece? Do you have an actual role in making your community better or is it just lip service for your mental resume? It is easier to pass along the concept of a better place and hope someone else picks up the slack, isn't it? No need in looking like an out of place freak or a cock-eyed optimist...

If you feel that you are a teacher or one who breeds ideas into others, what is your morning prep like? Will you talk AT people today or TO people today? Will you focus on listening to others so that you may learn also or do you already know most everything? After all you are the teacher.

Whatever your role in your community, I suggest that you take a couple of minutes to think about how well prepared you are. Think about your morning routines and if it is effective at accomplishing your goals or if it's just lip service. Ideas are like silver in the mine, but hard to spend unless there is some work in actually mining it.

If we really want to impact those around us, we need to take our responsibilities more serious. We can blame atheists, thieves, politicians, democrats, slackers, malcontents, so on and so forth for the problems of the world but the truth is that they are acting exactly as they are supposed to act if they are indeed any of the aforementioned peoples. The responsibility to change others lies in the hands of those who want change and desire to do what is right, not in those who aren't equipped to do such.

So consider your role in your community. Then decide if you will just eat your breakfast and leave the rest to chance. Decide if you REALLY want to make a difference or if it just sounds good to you. Only you can determine if you will standout, stand up, and be a catalyst for the positive; or if you will simply blend in with the crowd, like cattle in a boxcar.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Deja Vu All Over Again

It's been a while since I have done any blogging and I feel that now is as good of a time as any to start in again. But I am not planning on starting in where I left off. I do, however, want to start all over, so to speak.

I have contemplated canning the entire blog and it's entries in an effort to begin anew; but that seemed drastic. There were some good entries that I am proud of. Some of the "blogs" had some positives to offer to society. Some blog entries caused people to think about things differently than they had before. Some of the blogs represented who I am and how I think, and most of you know that that is different in it's own sense.

But as I thought about other entries, I realized that many entries were polarizing to some people. I realized that just because I feel right in my own opinion, that I don't always need to verbally brow-beat others into buying into my school of thought. I can tell you that my intentions were pure and that I want to make the world a better place, to borrow an overused adage, but that doesn't always excuse my efforts. The end is not justified by the means. Regardless of how passionately I feel about issues, people, and things in general.

Also I discovered that even in the ugly blog entries, that they do represent who I am: an intense, passionate, hard-headed, flawed, hopeful, frustrated, angry, rebellious, caring, loyal, thoughtful, over-powering, over-bearing, opinionated man who wants to leave a mark everywhere that I have been. All of these traits are mine and to rationalize and make excuses for the bad traits only weaken and discredit my better traits, so there are no apologies offered.

But what I do want to submit are views from that same flawed person, but in a different light. I want to unite more than divide. I want to learn as much as I teach. I desire not only to understand opposing views better, but to acknowledge that they are as genuine as those view of my own. I want to show my own growth as an individual. That is why I didn't throw the baby out with the bathwater, so that not only myself, but everyone interested, can see the change.

I'm not promising drastic change in many of my opinions. God is always first and the Bible is my standard. I'm still very conservative and will still vote Republican in most elections. I'm still frustrated with the church and I still think most people are ignorant due to apathy and laziness. I detest most pop-culture and I'm still a little crotchety. But in my approach to how I express these emotions is where I hope that the difference will be seen.

So I hopr that you look forward to a few new posts very soon. Let me know what you think and hold me accountable to my pledge, as difficult as that may be. Work with me to unite different opinions and cultures so that we truly will be better people in a better place.