Posts Tagged ‘Life’

I am a licensed CPR instructor for the American Heart Association.   I have been licensed to train those who are willing to serve as foster parents, in the manner to perform CPR.  Once my job required that I did this basically on a monthly basis.  However things change and jobs change, and that is not a bad thing.  As I was thinking about thhe classes that I would no longer be teaching CPR came to mind.  And I started to think about what CPR really is.

Of course it is  two breaths per thirty compressions.  And checking to make sure the scene is safe.  And doing other things not neccessarily in that order.  But those are the steps of CPR, what is CPR?  The answer I could come up with is trying to resart someone’s body by maintaining their heart and circulation functions.  You breath for them, you pump their chest so that the ciruclation will continue to flow throughout their body.  Your end goal is either to  resucitate the person, or keep the person respitory functions going until trained help arrives. All in all a good thing, no one would argue. 

But my thougght process couldn’t stop there.  I began to take it a step further and think about it from a different perspective.  First I looked at it from the perspective of the victim.  If I am unconcious, am I living?  Biologically I would propbably say you were still living.  Mainly because there are only two options.  Living or dead, and if your not dead, well then you are living.  But in that moment when someone else is breathing for you. When someone else is pumping your heart for you.  Are you living?  In one sense of the word I would have to say no.

You are exsisting.  You ar functioning but you are not living.  You are not awake. You are not speaking. You are not thinking.  At the moment when you require CPR you are a biological machine that has broken down and needs assistance in returning to living.  Random thought, yes.  But that is the way that I think.  And the fun doesn’t really stop there.

I began to apply this little thought of what does it mean to be living.  And after chasing a few wild rabbits down there holes I came back to a point that gave me a shiver.  Is God performing CPR on me? 

Think about that.  Is God performing CPR on me, or you?  I am not talking about GOd reeaching down from Heaven and with a huge hand performing CPR on me as I lie in the floor of my living room.  But is He required to perform CPR because I am not living?  Have gotten to a point where I allow the routine of life to become so ordinary that I miss the oppurtunities of each and every moment?  Have I lost focus on the important things of this life? Have I allowed ‘things’ to become my god,  or my focus?  Do I trust more in finacnial securities, or legal systems, or governments than I do in my God?  If I answer yes to any of those then am I living?

My answer……no.  I am functioning. I am a biological machine that operates through this life.  I am missing that I can have a realtionship with God.  Don’t read past that sentence without really thinking about it.  I can have a realitonship with God.   I can have life and life abundantly.  Not through the things of this world, but allowing my trust to be in God.  To be in the one who sustains everything.  There is so much more to life than working and thinking.

Is God standing over me, thumping down in my chest like the do in the movies, or on one of my favorite television shows, MASH.  You know the scene you have seen them on any medical drama.  The doctor stands over the patient pounding away on his chest, sweat is dripping down from his brow, his breath is labored from the exhaustion of performing CPR on a dying man.  And he screams something like, “LIVE! FIGHT!” And then there is that scene where the patient goes on the ventilatior, and the relatives have to make the decision about what to do next. 

What is living? There is so much more to this life, than just functioning day to day.  God is calling for you to live? So why not wake up and live with Him the way He wants you to. If you don’t know Him he still reaches out to you.  And the personal part that made me shiver, I do know Him, but I still ask the question is he perforrming CPR on me? Is my faith just a function of what I do? Is Church just a place I go? Is prayer something I should do? is reading the Bible, reading a book?

Life abudant is waiting, for each one of us to live.

Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Wonder Woman, etc. etc, etc.  There are hundreds of super heroes.  Each one of them is unique in what they can do and why and how they help the world around them.  Why do we love super heroes because we all want to be the one that swoops in with that special ability, the cool one liner and saves the day.  But have you ever noticed how superheroes always have a price to pay for that?  They have to loose the girl, keep the secret identity, live a solitutude life. 

We all want the flash of being the hero. The one wearing the mask and the cape.  The one that has the awesome power or ability, the one that has all the cool tools and toys.  But you know what is really being a hero?  Making a decision to do what is right, being there for your family, being the one that lifts someone else up to the forefront when they do something great.  That takes more courage and strength than even superman had. 

Don’t desire to be batman, be a man of character. A man of value.  A man of purpose. A man of honor.  In today’s world. And stay true to those words when the world comes to do battle with you. These are the heroes.  Why not desire to be a hero?

To my friends whose last  name is Jones, don’t worry, read on, this post is not about you.  No, this post is about that old saying ‘Keeping up with the Jones’.  That old say that rings true every day when we look around us.  It hit me this morning and I had to stop and catch myself.  

I was taking my Siberian Husky outside before I left for work and I was walking around our yard. Just letting my mind wander for a little while during the time that Sapphire needed to take care of business.  After a 12 hour work day, and staying up till one thirty to finish the work that I didn’t get done at the office after everyone else went to bed, the fresh air, the sunlight and the gentle Tennessee morning breeze was very peaceful.  I let my eyes wander to the bird flying over the tree tops, the squirrel running up the tree, the sound of the creek running over the rock, for a moment I was back in my mountains of West Virginia. Next thing I know Sapphire runs up to me ready to go back into the house, back to reality.  And don’t get me wrong reality is a wonderful place for me!

As I turned to walk back in the house I noticed that my neighbor has cut her grass last night while I was at work.  Her grass is nice and low and trimmed, and while mine it isn’t tall it is taller than hers.  The first thing that jumps into my mind is that I need to cut my grass.  Grass hat I just cut two days ago, and is not in the need of being cut.  Well not at least until I saw my neighobrs yard.  Then occurs to me that her grass is bermuda , and mine is fescue.  And for those of you that don’t have your own lawns to cut; bermuda grass needs to be cut very low and fescue grows best when it is kept taller. 

Why do we do that?  Yesterday morning I was just admiring how green, well cut, and trimmed that my lawn was looking.  But then my neighbors yard on the other side of me was the same cut, but not my other neighbor.  The moment she cuts her lawn I have to immediately cut mine.  We have to keep up with the Jones, don’t we?  Don’t believe watch your neighborhood this weekend.  One lawnmower will start, very quickly there will be another and another.  You think it is because it is Saturday or something, no no.  It is keeping up with the Jones time.  And I can prove it.  Find the yard that the neighbors on either sid e have cut their grass, see how long it takes for him to get that grass cut?

Funny how we always worrying about how someone else’s yard looks as it compares to ours.  Yet our yard isn’t the same grass, with utterly different growth needs, and plans for care.  If we do that with our yards how much more so do we do that with our lives?

Don’t think so? How long does it take for a new fashion to consume you?  Or, for me, how long does it take for the newest technology toy grab your attention? For me usually it is about two minutes after seeing someone else have it in their hands. 

God never told me to worry about what my neighbor has.  Matter of fact remember that old line, don’t covet your neighbor’s house, wife, or anything? Coming back to you, huh?  What is important is my relationship with him and how my life measures up to his standards.  How my lifestyle reflects him.  So when the Jones try to keep up with me, they are actually trying to keep up with Jesus Christ the Messiah.

Who are you keeping up with?

Types of People

Posted: June 6, 2009 in Culture, Hmmmmm, Left field
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I enjoy watching people.  There is something very intriguing about observing those people as they interact with one another.  How they look and speak to one another says volumes to those who are watching. This afternoon and evening I was working an  information table at a local grocery store to circulate information about the need of children who need foster parents, and how adults who would be interested can become foster parents.  There are volumes of books that can be written by the observations that I can make on how people speak to people that are standing at a table, or how much they don’t even look at it. But I am not going to write about that this evening.  There were two other people that gave me a prime example of the spectrum of humanity that is in this town of Columbia where I live.

As I stood at my table this afternoon two people came by me.  One was an older lady that pulled up in a nice looking fairly new, white cadillac.  I noticed her at first because she drove around at least six times before she found the right parking spot.  But in her case it paid off for her. She got a front row parking spot, that was maybe fifteen feet from the door of the grocery store and mee.  As she approached it was dicfficult to assess that her dress was very important to her.  Which in itself is not wrong. What was funny was the fact that she was walking with intent as she headed for the door. Head up looking around the parking lot as she observed the rest of area and then she saw me.  And she would not make eye contact with me as she approached the door.  She was either looking at the ground but then when she got in speaking range she was fiddling with something inside her purse.  As she walked by I said good afternoon and nothing else, no sales pitch, and no request to take a flyer o pen or anything that I would normally do when someone walked past a table that I am working.  And as she was an older woman I politely took hold of the tip of my hat and titled by head as I said good afternoon.  But not even a grunt was uttered in return.  Instead she walked right past and when she got inside the door she must have found what she was looking for in her purse because she quick looking and that head came up. And her stride returned to its dedicated pace.

I will come back to her, but let me introduce the second person that I wanted to share with you.

The second person was a man, and now he must have come in the other door, or already have been in the store when i set up my table.  But judging by the items in the one bag I wouldn’t think that he had been in the store very long.  As he came out the door it was very easy to judge that he was a man that worked for each dollar he had earend by the sweat off his brow.  His clothes were covered in dirt, and oil.  His hands that were wrapped around his bags were pretty much brown and black with dirt.  The hat and t-shirt that he wore had numerous sweat stains all over them.  As he passed by I spoke by saying good afternoon. He looked at me and smiled and returned the greeting. He asked what I was doing there and I shared it with him as I handed him a brochure about our foster care program.  He politely took and reviewed it before slipping it into his bag with his groceries.  He shared with me that he and his wife had children that were grown now and he wished that they could take in some more children but they had purchased a msaller house now that the children had families of their own and he didn’t have an extra bedroom.  He said good bye and reached up and tipped his ballcap to me and as I returned the getsure I noticed his free hand moving to his back pocket.  He takes his wallet out before I can say anthing to him.  As I thank him, but politely share that I can not accept the donation he smiles and wishes me a good day and I do the same to him and he walks out into the parking lot.

Rember the other lady?  Figured you would.  A few minutes later she comes back out of the store her shopping cart filled with two of the small plastic bags that maybe had ten items in them together. Nothing large or overly heavy, but she was older and I can not fault her for using the cart.  She walks past me her eyes intently focused on the parking lot like she is searching for her car that is fifteen feet directly in front of her.  I wish her a good evening but she still doesn’t acknowledge my greeting. She moves past placing the two bags in the back seat of her cadillac.  Then turns to come back to the store with her empty cart.

Now let me stop and set the stage here of where my table is at.  All around the entrance to this particular grocery store are flowers that the store is attempting to sale.  Behind me is a small alcove area of the front of the store where they have set up a patio furniture display. 

Now the lady pushes her shopping cart the fifteen feet across the road. Instead of taking the cart inside the door that is in front of me and returning itt to the rows of carts that are maybe a few feet inside the door she turns slightly and goes behind me.  She pushes the cart up next to one of the patio tables and leaves it there.  She is maybe another five steps from the front door and the other carts.  Now she finally makes eye contact with me, and then quickly looks away as I smile and turn away myself.  I watch her as she returns to her car with that stride of confidence and then drives away.

I wish that I could say that I was making this up.  But why would you need to make up stuff like this when truth is som much more ffun.  Every bit of thsi story is actually true, you just have to decide which type of person you want to be.

Another Day

Posted: June 27, 2008 in Left field
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I was driving into work this morning. And as many of you can say I was thinking that I had another day to go through. Another list of things that had to get done, and another schedule to complete, goals to achieve. But thank God it is Friday, but there was still another day that needed to be done. But as I was driving I plogged in the iPod and started playing the new Matthew West album that I downloaded earlier this week. 

As I listened to the first track of the album, “Something to Say”, God really spoke to me and challenged me.  The first song is called Something to Say, and  it leads off with the line ‘7:32 and I wake up and prepare to face another day’ or something like that.  (Forgive the paraphrase Mr. West.) And I started thinking about facing another day. 

How often at the start of a day do we think about another day that we have to face.  And we think that it is the worst thing. It is going to be a long day, busy, stressful, hard and difficult.  And many times days can be like that and at the end of the day you are wore out and ready to crash into the bed. 

Yet this morning God reminded me about my day yesterday.  It was a day where I was able to hear both my parents say that they were proud of me and congratulate me on being placed in a place of service in my church.  I was able to see the excitement and enthusasim of my daughter when the UPS man delivered her Animal rescuer vest like Diego’s.  And watch her show me every little feature, and see the joy on her face.  I got to spend an hour playing and having fun on the new Rock Band for Wii with my wife.  I was able to hang out with a friend and meet some new people.  I was able to spend time in prayer and study, and continually grow closer to God.  That was my day yesterday.

Now that doesn’t mean that yesterday didn’t have its stresses, its appointments, its tasks, its meetings that had to be done.  But how pale do those thing compare to the smile on my daughter’s face, the laughter of my wife, the fellowship of a friend, the closeness with my Savior. 

So when I thought of another day. I had to stop and ask God to give me another day like yesterday.  So when you think that you have to start another day, give it a minute and think about the blessings that yesterday held. And instead of thinking of all that you have to do today, think instead of all the exciting blessings that God has in store for you through this day!