theranadamson

Recently, I moved into a new place. Metaphorically, spiritually, and physically. I arranged to go mountain biking with a friend and he was going to pick me up. I am a pretty organized person and there was a time that I could go from bed to ready to bike in 15-20 minutes, including eating a peanut butter sandwich. That was then. since my change, nothing was where I could easily get to it. The pump for the tires was in a storage closet instead of readily accessible in the garage. I went to get it, only to have to go back inside to get the keys. Then I could not find the chain lube. I forgot to bring a water bottle, only barely rememberred to bring my Camelbak. I couldn’t find my helmet, gloves, or shoes. It took me 35 minutes after I was dressed and ready before I was…

View original post 358 more words

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Job was a Mtn biker

Recently, I moved into a new place. Metaphorically, spiritually, and physically. I arranged to go mountain biking with a friend and he was going to pick me up. I am a pretty organized person and there was a time that I could go from bed to ready to bike in 15-20 minutes, including eating a peanut butter sandwich. That was then. since my change, nothing was where I could easily get to it. The pump for the tires was in a storage closet instead of readily accessible in the garage. I went to get it, only to have to go back inside to get the keys. Then I could not find the chain lube. I forgot to bring a water bottle, only barely rememberred to bring my Camelbak. I couldn’t find my helmet, gloves, or shoes. It took me 35 minutes after I was dressed and ready before I was gathered all together. We rode a great ride. It was a good thing the weather cooperated, I forgot my raingear.

Mountain biking provides a great metaphor for life. The best trails are intricate, difficult but do-able, and have some fun fast sections. The trail we did was just like that. After equiping ourselves for the ride and mounting our bikes, we started out on a gentle slope. The dirt was not sandy nor was it to hard. Our legs were just beginning to warm up. We pedalled smoothly and steadily. We laughed and joked. We let our minds, bikes, eyes, and hearts wander. The slope increased. There were more obstacles. Our pace slowed while our hearts quickened. We were focusing more on the trail, more on the path through the obstacles. The joking and conversation stopped for a moment. We uttered only support and encouragement at miraculous feats. Our bikes could do it. The rocks increased, the slope forbidding. We navigated. We planned. We persevered. Sometimes we made it, sometimes we didn’t. However, we kept moving forward to see what came next on the trail.

DOWNHILL! We pedalled faster and faster. Our bikes leaped in response. The obstacles became launching pads. The speed exhilerating. The grip tightened and the bike wobbled in protest. As the grip increased, the speed decreased. Deep breaths and trusting the bike and experience took over. The grip lessened, the ride continued.

Job knew the climb was to come. He had prepared in advance. He had worshipped and followed God not as a show, but as a need.  He didn’t know ABOUT God, he knew God. All his tools and equipment was present and ready for use. The hill came and steppened. The rocks taunted him. The navigation became difficult. He asked for help. He got no encouragement from his friends. And still he persevered. He tightened his grip and fretted to God. The deep breath from the Holy Spirit pryed his hands from the grips. He released. The ride was glorious.

I inspire to have the Faith that allows me to ride the rocky terrain, climb the mountain, release the grip, and persevere.

Posted in Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

I have three friends. I hold them really close and rely on them frequently. They are not friends in the usual sense, in that they have no body and no soul. In actuality, I can’t even really call them friends in that each and everytime I lean on them, I end up hurt. I know this, I anticipate it, but I still lean on them. The problem with friends like these is they urge you to focus on the past. They taunt you with the mistakes you made and require you to bury your head in the sand of miscontent. These friends speak loudly. they say there is no future, that no mistake is forgiveable (well at least your own mistake). They blind you to the future and numb you to the present. Friends is the wrong word, companions? Perhaps, presence?

The friends I speak of are: Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda.

Shoulda’s parents are Shame and Guilt. Shoulda always takes the tactic that Shame and Guilt taught him to. Shoulda preys on weaknesses and speaks about inabilities. Shoulda questions integrity and morals. Shoulda makes you look for socially acceptable explanations for socially inacceptable behavior. Shoulda’s children: Irritability, Bravado, Self-loathing, and Disappointment always accompany Shoulda.

Woulda creates the delusion that you can hope for a better past. Woulda is a two bit magician playing party tricks with memory and rationalization. Woulda calls himself an illusionist, others refer to him as a BS artist.

Coulda is the most cunning. Coulda likes to pretend that anything and everything you did is not your fault. It was circumstances. It was upbringing. It was missed opportunity. Coulda negates choices. “You had no choice because…” is a tattoo written on the face of Coulda.

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda live in the past. They dwell on it. They live in the shadows of your heart, mind, and soul. They are parasitic to life. They are corruptors of memory and progress. They seek to kill, hurt, and destroy. They tease you away from the crowd. Separate, you cannot stand.

I have a different set of friends. I have friends that speak softly. They comfort me by green pastures. They recognize my weakneses and mistakes. However, they add them up and dismiss them before they weigh and measure me. When in the Valley of Death, hand in hand with Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda, they swing low and carry me away. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. They meet me where I am and love too much to leave me there. They call me into moving forward. They lead me into a connection with them and others. They live in the light, they are the light.

Chose your friends wisely.

Posted in Open Heart, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

biking and God

I went to church today. Yes, I know it is Thursday. I have been to this church before. I have been touched beyond measure there, and I have been bored beyond belief. I haven’t been real regular as of late, but I had good excuses. This church is different. there are no chairs, no walls, no structures. There are no stained glass windows. No one delivers a sermon. This is the Church of the Greater Outdoors.

I mountain bike, and I live in Colorado. It is an obligation to enjoy the mountains frequently. I set out on my meditative ride with worship music playing on my MP3. Well, worship music if Oingo Boingo’s “Dead Man’s Party” can be considered worship. I would have to argue it is a statement about how we go through life existing rather than living abundantly.

Jesus was there, speaking as I rode. Letting the fear and turmoil of the world of structures disappear. The Holy Spirit opened my ears and eyes for the blessing and wonders around me. God held me close.

I peddled my prayers, turning over ideas with each stroke. I worshipped God through the revolutions of the wheel. I obeyed the doctrine of the dirt as it called out to me. I passed the other parishioners as I rode. I passed the cautious walkers. Slow and steady they walked, each step planned and guided. I caught the runners, pounding the doctrine with each step, methodical in their approach. I sped by the biker sitting comfortable on his full suspenion bike, ignoring the turbulance. Each person moving to sanctuary, to their salvation. I sweated, prayed, cried, laughed. I was exhausted and trail worn when I finished.

I wwent to church today-did you?

Posted in Journey | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

homework assignment

I am a redeemed man, a beloved child of Christ, and I make mistakes.

I am a redeemed man, a beloved child of Christ, and I make mistakes.

I am a good and redeemed man, a beloved child of Christ, and I make mistakes.

I am a good and redeemed man, a beloved child of Christ, and I make mistakes.

I am a good and redeemed man, a beloved child of Christ, and I make mistakes.

I am a good and redeemed man, a beloved child of Christ, and I make mistakes.

I am a good and redeemed man, a beloved child of Christ, and I make mistakes.

I am a good and redeemed man, a beloved child of Christ, and I make mistakes.

I am a good and redeemed man, a beloved child of Christ, and I make mistakes.

I am a good and redeemed man, a beloved child of christ, and I make mistakes.

Now I just have to let that soak into my heart.

Posted in Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

mind games

The difference between a drunk and an alcoholic is a drunk thinks the problem is in his heart, the alcoholic knows it is in his head.

I say this to mean that the drunk presumes that they can think themselves out of trouble. they think that new tricks, patterns, or lies will work ‘this time.’ Some (most) think that they just need to redouble the efforts or have more heart to kick this thing. It was just because the heart hurt, or was weak, or faltered that they drank again last time. The alcoholic (or recovered alcoholic) undersatnds that their ‘thinker is broken.’ There mental twist and obsessions have clouded the heart, the emotions, the life from them. That simple knowledge and surrender, that tiny movement is the huge leap of Faith that is in the first three steps.

The codependent knows that it takes both heart and head to live, but has chosen to shield the heart from more hurt.

Being both an alcoholic and a codependent creates a tornado in the already cluttered mind.

The Grace given by God is that simply knowing that creates that shift and cracks the protective shell that allows the electric connection between head and heart. That connection is the difference between existing and truly living life abundantly.

Posted in Open Heart, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

have what and a smile?

Today, I decided to take a bath in Coke. Then I washed my car with it. I then scrubbed my clothes with it. Then I rinshed off my dishes. It was a good day. I figured that since the primary ingredient is water, it would be the same thing. It made total sense. Right?

Unfortunately, religion and denominations are like bathing in Coke. It is a clouded and diluted picture. We took the Living Water and added the high fructose corn syrup of judgement and condemnation. We jump to conclusions, listen and spread gossip. We choose sides in personal arguments instead of lending support. We took Jesus and added the caramel coloring of doctrine and all the shoulds, woulds, and coulds. We speak eloquently about Jesus while shunning others and looking down our noses at those who see the caramel differently. We take our Savior and add phosphoric acid. The acid of sacrificial wine that excludes all those who seek salvation. Then we add caffeine. The caffeine of a jittery Faith.

We have forgotten the clean and simple message of the Living Water. We forgot about Love, Forgiveness, Grace. Water is vital to living. Water is the majority of what makes up our substance. It is essential. It is pure and unspoiled.

 

Posted in Spirituality | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Pick your punctuation

The period. The exclamation point. The question mark. These end sentence pen marks are defining our lives in ways we can’t imagine. Punctuation adds flavor and style to what we do and what we say. These seemingly simple literary tools are the very building blocks of our death, our resurrection, or our lamentations.

Without the question mark, we could not call out to God, “Why me?” We couldn’t ponder the reason for life, or the existance of quarks. We couldn’t ask for our tuna sandwich without mustard. We would be immune from the imploring questions to discover kindred spirits or travellers.

Imagine a world without periods. Nothing would ever end. There would never be a new beginning. the next sentence, the next phase in our lives would be non-existant. Nothing would change, nothing would live or die.

Or imagine a life without exclamation points. The birth of your children would be lackluster instead of blockbuster. The thrill of a new adventure would cease to exist. There would be no outrage, no joy, no thrill.

We are writing the books of our lives. As we live each moment, we are picking the punctuation. I have been in a big question mark phase for many years now. I questioned God for answers. I begged to know why I was at the point I was. Was He there? Who was I? How much of me am I? Am I growing or dying? Am I loved? Really? Am I known? The problem with questioning is sooner or later you get answers. some of my answers were periods and some exclamation points. I was alive, but not living. I was growing, but slowly and haltingly. I was loved, but I was not known. I was afraid. However, I am loved by God! I am designed to live life abundantly! I am known by Him!

What’s your punctuation?

Posted in Journey, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

silly fly–I can relate

Do relationships ever really end? Or do they just change? There are theories and movies and books and bar room discussions discussing the interconnection of all living beings. Some theologians talk about God being everywhere. Some pantheists talk about God being everything. Regardles, the idea is that instead of billions of individuals, we all have some interconnection. This means that you are connected somehow with the starving child in some tiny town you have never heard of. This means that you and I are connected in some sort of relationship. We might be spiritually linked, mentally, chemically, cosmically, or even gravitationally. At this very moment we have a relationship of sorts. Suppose that after you read this, you wander into the streets and find yourself in Colorado. I also wander out and we bump into each other because we are in a mystical daze. We laugh and talk, and perhaps you buy me lunch. Our relationship will always be changed. It changed the minute you started reading this and kept changing until we part ways after talking in the Mexican Food restaurant for 4 hours. In actuality it continues to change, just not as rapidly.

If relationships never really end, they are either growing closer or further apart continually. They might oscillate in a kinetic frenzy. they may flow along like the lazy river at a water park. They would be in constant flux. The most dangerous thing to do in any relationship would be to try and halt the movement. It can’t be stopped, only redirected. The trite movie comment that ‘I wish it would never change and always be just like this’ only serves to make us believe relationships are a destination not a journey. The relationship moves ike a fly through the room. When you catch it, it buzzes rapidly in your hand. It continues to move, just in a smaller space. When you trap it between your fingers, the noise gets louder and the panic mounts for the fly. When little boys pull the wings off, it continues to move, just moves differently.

I have several key relationships in my life that are changing very rapidly. Some have had their wings pulled off, others set free from the buzzing prison I created. I get the feeling that there are those people around me that think that meanness, vindictiveness, and anger can end a relationship. I really dont think so. However, try telling a buzzing wingless fly it is just different.

 

Posted in Journey | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

do you even know what day it is?

Easter Weekend. It is filled with mystery and intrigue. It is filled with sadness, fear, and joy. It is the best and worst of what it means to be Christian. It is a great metaphor to understand. I believe that we all have death and resurrections through our entire lives. There are some monumental ones like marriage, birth of a child, divorce. There are some small ones, ham on rye, stop lights, toenail fungus. As we frolick along in our metaphorical week, we go to work, pay the bills, eat dinner, watch reality shows on TV.  It is just life afterall. Inevitably, Friday arrives. Friday is that point when everything changes. It can be good, it can be bad, it can be tragic. It will happen. regardless of world view: we are in a fallen world or Poop happens. Either way–it will happen. After we get over the initial impact, we enter into a Saturday experience. I call this ‘tomb time.’ All I mean is that it is a time we feel isolated and in the dark. We are alone and nursing our wounds. Maybe we are smiling at Peter, or ruminating about Judas. Regardless, we are working through the changes from who we were to who we are becoming. We are cocooned. There are many times we get stuck in the process of grief and don’t get through the Saturday experience. We deny, block, forget, and ignore. Sooner or later, we will have to work through it to emerge on Sunday, resurrected.

Remember as a kid getting up early on a Saturday to watch cartoons. I used to think about getting up early because it made the day longer. Saturday was glorious. No school, no homework. It was freedom to not do anything. I think that God wants us to do some of nothing after we experience a Friday. I think He wants us to sit and rest, to BE instead of DO. Sit back, catch your breath, then heal and embrace new life.

I have been stuck in this Saturday. I didn’t even know it. I was not always the best kid and got into trouble frequently. In one instance I got caught smoking and stealing. My mom said, “Well just wait until your father gets home.” I got doubly punished, grounded and spanked. I didn’t know it then or for 35 years after that, but it left an imprint on my heart. It was at that point that I lost the ability to fully trust people that said they loved me. I felt betrayed by my mother for telling my father. I felt dismissed by my Dad as he laughingly showed me his bruised hand telling me how I hurt him back. I remember trying hard not to apologize about his hand, and the shame that I did so anyway.

I uncovered this scar on a journey into my heart and soul recently. I am fascinated to see it spelled out how I have reset this scenerio in differing degrees throughout my life. How my search for trust has been in an untrusting way. How I felt the need to be bigger and better, smarter and funnier, than anyone around me.

I have understood the Friday of that little boy. I have started the Saturday. I rested. I am. I caught my breath. I will heal, I will emerge, resurrected.

Posted in Saturday, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment