Friday, August 07, 2009

America the Beautiful (But irrationally disturbing)

A short, true story.

Sam & Amber relocated from Lexington, KY to Tampa, FL. Sam & Amber purchased a new home. Sam & Amber realized that they needed garbage can lids for the garbage cans that they had. Sam went to home depot. At home depot, one cannot buy a lid separate from a trash can top. In HD's defense, they had the exact same number of cans and tops, so it kind of made sense. One of the Sales associates sent Sam to Wal-Mart in search of the elusive standalone garbage can lid. Sam entered Waltonland full of hope, and left questioning the future of his country.

Upon entering the hardware area, Sam located approximately 15 lids that didn't seem to have a matching can and thought "This is going to work perfectly. Great!" Sam asked the hardware worker if they were sold separately and the worker told him that they were not, and that the lids would most likely be thrown away. Sam took 3 lids to check out of the store hoping someone with half a brain would sell him the lids and was asked to remove himself from the normal line and go to customer service. Sam then talked to two successive customer service managers and was denied buying said lids because "they don't have a barcode." Sam contemplated walking out of the store with the lids since the inane inhabitants of Waltonland would not accept his polite remuneration for the product they seemed to sell.

Sam left dejected and without hope. He just wanted trash can lids and got a reality check regarding the future. A representative government might not be a good idea in countries where people have no ability to think.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wilderness Camp

It would be astonishingly and offensively presumptuous to imply that I truly experience wilderness times. I am blessed beyond belief. But for many of us, even when life is good, it is challenging. It gives us opportunities to learn, improve, or to break, walk away. I thought it would be useful to put down some thoughts that I've either learned or heard in the last few months during some hard but hopefully fruitful times. So here you go...Wilderness thoughts.

1. You can walk in the same circle many times, but ultimately, you are still going somewhere. You're just going to take a lot longer walking in circles. "You'll know you're in the right place when you've never been there before." Often the difficult time makes the good time possible. If we do not suffer, we often do not know good to be good, or at least as good as it it.

2. Going into the wilderness yields riches (though likely not monetary ones). When the Israelites left Egypt, they took plunder while being set free from slavery (are those reparations?). We can take many riches with us if we are willing to ask. I'm hoping one of my great riches out of this time is an increased faith. I think it already is to some degree as I continue to lean onto God, realizing I have very little to offer to situations. There are many others that need not be mentioned here.

3. Complaining is bad. Don't believe me? Look it up. That's the simple answer, but we have the ability to choose a good deal of how we feel and what our life looks like. I'm not implying that we won't have gut reactions, nor that difficult things do not require grief, mourning, and sadness. Only that we often miss the mark because of our selfishness.

4. You aren't in the wilderness because someone brought you here to die. You're on a journey. You'll get there faster if you learn from wilderness camp.

In contrast, life changes are extremely hard and put great stress on relationships, faith, income, and everyone around you. I am blessed to be surrounded by so many good people who have made this transition a sad, amazing, heart-breaking, hopeful thing.