Options

The fork in the road was a clear choice.  Left or right?  I was not sure.  Emma, the GPS in the Touareg, was lagging.  My choices were limited.  Should I take the left?  Was the right the better choice?  Which would get me to my destination?

In the back of my mind was a truth whisper.  There are always more options in a choice than you can see at the time.  We make think there is only one choice, at best a limited number.  Even when our choice is obvious, it may not be the best one.

When a commander in the heat of a conflict made a choice, “he decided to interrogate Paul under torture in order to get to the bottom of this, to find out what he had done that provoked this outraged violence.”  (Acts 22.24)  The choice appeared obvious.  It was easy.  Yet, time and more facts conveyed how wrong it was. read more

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Frustration

I like things to go the way I plan.  When things go wrong, taking corrective action is a natural response.  When things do not work the second time, the natural follow-on reaction is frustration.  Things should work!  Process should produce successful outcomes.  I cannot be wrong, so why is the result not what I expect?

There is a shelf in my study testifying to what can go wrong despite good intentions.  The goal was simple.  My measurements correct.  The process is straightforward.  The outcome should look good and work. read more

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Pivot

As the end of the year approaches, the “best of” lists are starting to find their way to our desktops.  Best films and best music are familiar.  The lists always seem to be expanding; best quotes, worst advertisements, and awkward moments are always fun.  Given that this year is also the end of a decade, the lists take on multiple dimensions.  As I read one person’s list of the best films of a decade, I realized that I had only seen one and at best recognized two more.  Most were unseen and unknown. read more

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Trust

I listened as two old friends, long retired, talk of a moment in their childhood.  Near their homes was a tall hill.  An older brother loved to take the two youngest (one of them telling the story) down the hill while they were sitting on the handlebars of his bicycle.  The hill was steep.  The path was non-existent and bumpy.  The danger was real.  Despite the screams, or maybe because of them, the adventure repeated itself for days and even weeks.

“Why did we do that?”
“Why did we trust him so much?”
“How did we survive unhurt?” read more

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Affinity

As a New Year approaches, I am aware that I have more gray hairs than not.  I realize my age.  There are days when I feel every day of it.  However, most of the time I still feel as if I am much younger than the physical measure.  When I look at my experiences, I find myself identifying with others who want to explore.  I enjoy those willing to try the unknown.  Life is for living.  Change and wonder are integral to everyday.

I think this connects me across generations to those embracing the same ideas.  When I see others relating across the gaps, I know I am not alone.  Paul’s comment reflects the factual foundation I recognize.  “And when your witness Stephen was murdered, I was right there, holding the coats of the murderers and cheering them on.  And now they see me totally converted.  What better qualification could I have?”  (Acts 22.20)  Yet, it was not enough to bridge the distance. read more

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Best

The banter was friendly yet competitive.  Who would be the best?  How could anyone judge?  Was there going to be a clear winner?  As the intensity began to rise, I realized that I was not in the fray.  It was a strange feeling!  Even more surprising was the awareness that I did not mind.  I was not going to be the best at their competition.  I knew it.  The reflection was a blissful moment of peace.

I am, by nature, competitive.  I hate losing!  I love competing.  Even when I lose, as long as I put everything I had into it, I enjoy the process.  I find the intensity and pushing one’s self to the limits brings out the best within.  I enjoy the push to be better, faster, and more effective.  There are no limits!  Bring it on.  Prepare to lose. read more

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Steps

My conversation ended midstream.  I thought it was important.  I was sure that my listener needed to know that I was explaining.  It seemed relevant and interesting.  As certain as I was of these things, it was clear that my audience of one did not share my view.  He was bored.  He wanted to be anywhere but where he was.  He had other things on his mind.

In an instant, I knew I had a choice.  It was a harsh one.  I could continue, pressing on with what I thought was important, knowing that I was and would be rejected.  Alternatively, I could stop, letting the conversation die.  It was a clear choice.  There was no middle ground. read more

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Hesitation

I needed one additional present for my list, well two actually.  As I walked through yet another store, meandering through the aisles, I attention drifted.  Why was I hesitating?  What was the big deal?  Was there a reason for my inability to act?

Christmas gifts can bring out the hesitation in all of us.  We want to find the perfect gift for those we care about.  Within our budgets, we want the best for our monies.  Even the simple things get complicated.

As my quest continued, I began to think of the ways hesitations permeates my life.  On many fronts, I find myself lingering in yesterday’s shadow.  It feels good because I know I survived yesterday.  The future is filled with uncertainties and alternatives.  Picking one with confidence is risky.  Knowing which way to go is rarely based totally on facts. read more

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Lost in Thought

I watched as he walked.  He was present, but not really.  His walk was slow, not quite straight, but clearly not drunk.  His eyes were looking straight ahead yet it was clear that he was looking at something we could not see.  I was about to say something, only to realize that he was locked in thought.  I was not sure if I should interrupt.  Was he a danger to anyone?  I did not think so, although I could see that running into something would happen in time.

Even as I walked away, I realized I had been looking at a composite of my life.  I like to be I am in control.  Even as I stake this claim, I realize a future event’s headlight has locked my attention.  I am making motions in the present while living somewhere else.  My mind is focused, yet it is rarely on the matter at hand. read more

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Qualifications

The process of filling gaps is repeating itself.  Over time, I have come to see job advertisements differently.  My initial view of a job advert was that it meant someone was going.  Their departure may not be immediate.  The advert was a signal that someone did not measure up so an alternative was required.

Time has given me a different view.  There are many reasons to recruit.  Most of the time, it is not negative.  It is not a commentary on those present.  It is a desire for More.  More help, more experience, more depth, more diversity, and more insight. read more

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