Compromise

After multiple decades of pushing myself, at times beyond the limit, there are a few lessons that continue to linger as painful reminders.  Near the top of the reminder list is the reality that as hard as I push myself, as painful and on the edge of collapse as it might seem, there is something within me that can continue, if only for a bit longer.

I listened to conversation where someone was complaining, exhaustion and weakness being the theme of the day.  If one paraphrased what he was saying it would echo a psalm; “I’m weak from hunger and can hardly stand up, my body a rack of skin and bones.” (Psalm 109.24) read more

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Miles

I grew up with a myriad of unique family clichés and metaphors.  With each there was a story from my father or mother that we knew well.  After hearing the story again and again, we knew the meanings without thinking.

“It’s good enough for Blackie,” referred to an exacting professor my dad had in university.  His demand for student perfection was so high, that the recognition that a project was finished and as perfect as we could make it, was an verbal acknowledgement to the precise standards set by a teacher and legend. read more

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Morning After

As I catch up with individuals starting a new chapter, there is a recurring theme in our conversations.  Overall, it is one of optimism or hope.  If I go just beyond the surface, there is also a level of uncertainty that haunts many.  Life’s uncertainties are a reality for individuals with the benefit of time and the scars to show how harsh it can be.  I can feel the two edges in our conversation.  They see what might happen in all its glory, good and bad.

I wish I had guaranteed answers that spoke of wonderful outcomes for everyone.  To the individual that says “I’m at the end of my rope, my life in ruins,” (Psalm 109.22) I want to express hope and optimism.  If one just endures, if only for a little while, then good will come.  Even as I write this, I struggle to repeat the words because I am unsure what will happen in her or his life. read more

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Directions

It was a classic Singaporean tourist scene.  Near the edge of Orchard, a shopping street which is the want to be equivalent of Madison Avenue, stood a Chinese family with three rolling pieces of luggage.  Mom, Dad, three kids – my guess is sixteen, fourteen, and nine.  The kids were patiently following the parents lead, as the mom and dad struggled to get the orientation for their paper maps.  Given their direction, I could only think of one hotel within a half-mile of the directions they could possibly go!  The fact that they were lost and headed in the wrong direction was obvious to anyone familiar with the area. read more

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