Friday, January 23, 2015

Change Hurts

Like many people hovering around the halfway point of their life, I have been redoubling and expanding my efforts to be healthy.  It's not because I wasn't already putting forth effort, it's because I want to do a better job of it.

In the last few years my wife and I have been kicking our respective butts to stay in shape.  We've been using a strong combination of running, weight training, and improved nutrition in order to do so.  And, with the exception of the occasional misstep, we've really seen some good improvement.

However, it hasn't been without flaws.

When one starts making progress in their workout routine, you need to start changing things up so that you don't plateau.  As you do this, you start finding the things that work as you tweak your routine.

This is all good, except that as you start to make gains, you can get caught up in the gains and miss the problems that are creeping up on you.

For example...

By the mid point of this last year, I had really been putting on some muscle.  My abs could more or less be counted visibly, my man-boobs had become primarily man-like and less boob-like.  My shoulders, arms, and legs were all taking a more pleasing shape.

However, what I had forgotten to take care of was maintaining proper flexibility.  I had been doing lots of stretching, but as my workouts were getting longer, I would catch myself not doing my stretching and yoga.  What resulted was that, as I put on more muscle, my body started to tighten up.  I didn't even notice until I was already there.  

I realized it one day when I noticed how much harder it was to keep good posture.  I had worked hard to regain my posture after I'd had some surgery a number of years back.  But suddenly it had seemed that standing straight was really hard.  

This was because my abs had become so tight it was causing me to curl forward.  It's a common problem in weight trainers.  Their shoulders start to curve inward and they start to have that muscular hunch in their back.  It's a flexibility issue.  All the front muscles are strong and tight and begin to bend you forward like a macaroni noodle.

This is really not good.

Well, after a string of injuries in the second half of the year, I determined to re-evaluate my workout and go in a better direction.

This year, I've been biasing my workout toward Yoga.  I am still doing strength training, but the Yoga has strength building as part of the moves even as it is increasing flexibility.  I'm also doing a lot of combo moves that work multiple parts of the body all at once.

Crawl push-ups.  Straight arm planks.  Straight arm side planks.  (those last two suck, by the way.)  Jump squats.  (those suck even worse.  I did 125 of them today.  I may never walk again.)  But I'm also doing things like modified warrior's pose with a twist for butt, side, and groin flexibility and hamstring and quad strength.  Sun salutation for hamstring, back, and butt flexibility.  Cobra pose for abdominal flexibility and spinal release plus arm strengthening.

This is just a few of the things I'm doing besides running and such.

And I'm seeing the difference almost immediately.

So, I must be feeling great then, right?

Not exactly.

Here is the problem.  It's not actually a problem, but it feels like it in the short term.  The problem is, my body was so out of whack, that it had done all manner of weird things to compensate.  But as I stretch, especially with cobra pose, the increased space in my spine as my core muscles relax and lengthen back to optimal size begins to do it's work.  And by "do it's work" I mean, my whole spine starts to loosen up.  And when this happens, things start popping and shifting and realigning.

I'll feel something move, then I'll feel three other places move in close succession.  And then, later in the day, I start hurting in weird places.  Not because I've damaged anything, but because I have freed things that have been locked together.  I have created an environment where my body can change it's position and move back to a better form.  And it hurts!  There is a lot of internal resistance happening.  I loosen up one spot, and I realize that two others are now out of position because their position was dependent upon the one thing I just fixed.  So, they now have to shift.  But every time something shifts I find another spot that needs to move.

And so the dominos of change fall.

You find that each problem was masking another problem and the whole process becomes painful.  Good, but painful.

Over time the pain disappears as the problems fix themselves and soon you find that all is, more or less, right in your world.

This is the great truth about change.  It hurts.  We want to hold on to what IS very tightly, even if it is harming us.  This is because we have found a balance, even if it is a precarious one.

Change undoes that shaky balance.  It forces us to let go of the things we held to so fiercely for so long. It forces us to experience something new and that transition process can be very painful.  But eventually, a strange thing happens.  One day we realize that we don't hurt anymore and we start realizing that our life has improved dramatically and we ask ourself a very probing question.

Why didn't we do it all sooner?

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Real Pretenders.

Happy New Year!

Sooo, the holidays... they happened.  That's always something.  But now it's 2015.  So, that also happened.

Do you know what my favorite "holiday" is?  And please don't read to much into this, but it's actually Halloween.  You know why?

I love costumes.  It's not the candy, or the "religious" history behind it good, bad, or otherwise.  I just always thought costume parties were super fun.  Getting together with friends and goofing off while pretending you are something else.  Or just dressing up as a walking joke where your costume is both the joke and the punchline.

In that sort of setting, it's all fun and games and good times had by all unless you were the guy who thought he was too cool to play along because "it's dumb and your dumb and costumes are dumb but I came anyway so I could tell you how dumb it is and be hateful."

Him?  He probably should have just stayed home.

But once you get outside of that type of setting and back into "real life", all the pretending becomes problematic.  With your friendships it's a bad idea.  In your marriage?  Definitely not smart.  At your job?  That one will catch up with you as well.  In real life, unless you are an actor, pretending will destroy you or someone else eventually.

Do you know why people hate Christians?  There are tons of great examples of why people hate Christians.  It's not all people, of course.  But of the people who hate Christians, there are tons of stories that illustrate their justified positions.  But the real reason that it boils down to?


Let me explain.

Christians are not the problem that causes people to hate other Christians and, by extension, God.  It's people pretending to be Christians who cause these problems.

Those of you who have experienced this phenomenon might argue that this describes most "Christians".  

Maybe you are right.

But this distinction matters.  Anyone can claim to be a part of something but not actually represent what it is suppose to be.  Christians who claim to be like Jesus, but instead find ways to hate everyone and everything.  They like the club, but not the character.

The problem with Christians is that they aren't all Christian.  This is a truth that needs to be accepted by both Christians themselves and by the people who have been damaged by fake Christians.  Those fake Christians do not represent all of us, even if we all get defined by their unacceptable attitudes and actions.

God is Love.  Therefore a Christian should also be Love.  Love is the very nature of who God is, therefore a Christian's nature should also be that.  Love is patient, kind, merciful, forgiving, and it keeps no record of wrongs.  It hopes, it endures, and it never fails.

People on the other hand... they fail.

A true Christian is one who embodies Love.  Love does not have to agree with someone in order to accept that someone.  Love does not have to agree with another beliefs in order to respect the one who believes them.  Love does not have to agree with another's views in order welcome them with open arms into their lives.

A true Christian would do all those things, and not be threatened by the difference.  If a Christian is threatened by another's beliefs, it's because that Christian isn't very confident in them self or their belief so instead they shift the focus to the other person and convince others that this other person is the real problem so that no one will look back on that particular Christian and find his or her flaws.

These fake Christians have destroyed so many lives for this very reason.  Pretending to be a Christian doesn't make you one anymore than pretending to be a banana makes you one.

You can be a Christian and be friends with someone who is gay.  You can love them, give them hugs, share your home with them, laugh with them, and in general make them a part of your life.  Whether or not you agree with them or their life is completely irrelevant.  If you can't be confident enough in your God and your beliefs to be with someone who is different than you, then it says more about you than it does about them or your God.

Do you think that person who has spent a lifetime confused over their identity needs one more person judging them for their own uncertainties?  Christians are not the judges of the world.  God judges.  Period.  It's not my job.  It's not your job.  Stop doing it.  We are to love.  God will sort out the rest.  We are not the convincers or convictors of the world.  God is.  He will sort that all out.  

You want to show someone God?  Love them.  God is love.  You want them to know God?  Represent a God who cares for them so deeply that they wouldn't want to do anything else BUT know Him.  Because that person who has just finished their gender reassignment surgery has suffered whether or not we wish to recognize it.  They have been judged and ridiculed and have lost friends and family over it.  Whether or not their choice to have surgery was the correct one or not is irrelevant.  We can't change what is.  We can only control our own choice.  That choice is simple.  Will we be a true Christian and show complete and selfless Love without demands or conditions?  Or will we sit in judgment on them proving for certain that we were never Christian to begin with?

May it's not sexual identity.  Maybe it's drugs.  Maybe it's addiction.  Maybe it's gambling addiction.  Maybe it's pornography and sex addiction.  Maybe it's depression.  Maybe it's suicidal tendencies.  Maybe it's any number of other "unacceptable Christian taboos".  But therein lies the issue.  There in lies the lie.  It's not about the taboo.  It's about the people.  And no person is unacceptable.  We don't have to be something we are not in order to accept someone who is.

Hatred and bigotry is a lie.

Love is truth.

God doesn't hate you.  If God hated everyone who had a messed up life, He'd have to hate everyone.  But God doesn't hate everyone.  God is Love.

God has declared all people worthy.

You don't believe me?  I can understand that.  I'll break it down like this.  Perfection does not equal worth.  We are not worthy because we are perfect.  We are all imperfect.  But our perfection or imperfection has zero bearing on our value.

We have value because of Love.  God loves.  He loves us so much He experienced death for us.  He says that He loves us with an everlasting love that has no height, nor depth, nor width that can ever be measured.  It has no end.

God would not sacrifice himself or anything of His for something that has no value.  That which has value has worth.  You have value to God, therefore you have worth to God, therefore you are worthy.

If you are gay, you are loved by God and are worthy in His eyes.

If you are an atheist, you are loved by God and are worthy in His eyes.

If you are an addict, or a murder, or a cheater, or a thief, or any other frowned upon thing, you are loved by God and are worthy in His eyes.

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, and if they do, they don't know God.  They probably aren't true christians.  They are the pretenders, because whether or not the details of your lives are perfect, and they probably are not, you are Loved by God and are worthy in His eyes.

That is the truth.  That is true Christianity.  That is true Love.  

Don't let the pretenders drive you from God.  They have no power over you.  They are powerless unless you give them power.  Don't hate God because some pretender hated you.  They do not represent Him.  They may have taken His name, but they did not take His Character.

Whoever you are, give God another chance.  I didn't say "church" or "christians" or "prayer meeting", etc.  Just God.  Start there.  Work that part out and then move on from there.  Learn to know who God is.  Figure that out.  Let that lead your path.  Let love lead your path.

Good night.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The "It's Been Too Long and, eep, It's Thanksgiving, No Wait That's Over" Blog.


Things got busy.  Super busy.  Really a lot busy.

October was really bad.  The first half of November was only slightly less bad.  Then I was gone.

But now I'm back!  (...hollow breeze... crickets...)


How about that Thanksgiving, eh?  I bet that was something.  A day where we practice gluttony and then lapse into a coma for an hour or so.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

We spent our Thanksgiving in Canadia (Canada, I know.) and New York City.

"New York City?!?  Get a rope."

(...hollow breeze... crickets...)

Apparently I was the only one who remembers that salsa commercial.  I digress.

Yes, we went to Niagara Falls on the Canadian side.  It's pretty impressive there.  Both the falls and Canada.  There is so much water going over the falls.  It's truly impressive.  The hotel we stayed at upgraded us just 'cause and we wound up on the 15th floor, or so, with an open and unobstructed view of the falls.  

It was pretty great.

I also discovered that everyone in Canada is really friendly.  I say "everyone" as if I met every last Canadian.  But everyone we did meet was really nice.  Even the border agent.  He was really nice.  He wasn't even phased when he asked me if we were carrying knives and I said, "yes."  I have a small pocket knife that my dad gave me.  I keep it in my pocket.  Like ya do.  He asked me how big and what kind, I told him, and he was all smiles and charm.

Even the signs in Canada are nice.  They not only tell you the speed limit, but they tell you the fines for different speeds.  Let's say the speed limit is 100kph (kilometers per hour, because Canada.).  There are regular signs that tell you what the fine is for 120kph, 140kph, and 160kph.  And THEN, there is another set of signs that tell you the penalty that will go on your drivers record for the same speed sets.  "Demerits" as they are called and are measured in points.  I didn't ask, but I assume after so many points, they take your license, take your car, take your horse, shoot your dog, and then write a country song about it.

Na, they wouldn't do that.  It's Canada.  They are super nice.

The road quality was very nice.  The radio stations were nice.  The people on the stations were nice.  Their news stations were informative.  Their music was American, but with a side of Canadian.  I did hear some stuff I've never heard before.  And it was nice.

I decided that I could probably live and be very happy in Canada.  No, I know nothing about their politics and laws and such.  I'm sure I would check that all out before I made that decision.  But still, a really nice place with really nice people.

Then we crossed over into New York.

The border agent was a few notches down from "cheerful".  Not rude, but not not rude either (is that even a thing?).  But he didn't ask me about my knife, so, I guess that was good.  All he wanted to know was if we had bought anything and were now transporting it across the line.  I told him we bought a magnet.  For our refrigerator.  He didn't exactly go for his weapon, but I could sense that he wanted to.  I smiled, he grunted, then sent us merrily on our way.

Which was when I noticed the road quality suddenly go to hades in a hand basket.  Potholes the size of sinkholes.  The exit we needed was actually closed, which made us drive a bit through Buffalo, and the part that we skirted was significantly not clean.  I wouldn't say "sketchy", but I wouldn't say "not sketchy" either (still not sure that's a thing.).

Eventually we made it into NYC.  That's New York City for the uninitiated.  And let me tell you, it's pretty impressive.  I live in Chicago.  The city, not some suburb there of.  I'm used to sky scrapers and urban goodies, but Manhattan is dense.  And tall.  And large.

We stayed with some family peeps.  They live up high in a building with a view.  It was nice.  We spent three days walking Manhattan.  We walked over 35 miles in three days.  No, that's not an exaggeration.  That's an actual number.  The male family peep was tracking steps and gps-ing the journey for health purposes.  We walked 15 miles one day, 13 the next, and then 7 or so the third day.

I won't lie.  I was beat.  I slept really well every night.  

We hit pretty much all the major touristy thingies.  Our familial peeps were fabulous tour guides.  And even better, they knew were all the good food was.  More importantly, they knew where some of the good pizza was.  Now as I said, I'm from Chicago.  We know pizza.  But so does New York.  You don't go there to "eat pizza."  You go there to "get a slice."  And, you fold it in half, shove it in your pie hole, and like it.

Good stuff.

But you know what impressed me the most the whole time we were there?  It was how connected our family peeps were to their city and to the people.  They have taken the time to know their people and community.  They go places and chat up strangers.  They get involved.  They do community service projects.  And, whenever they'd see a homeless person, they would chat him up, learn who he was, find out his name, and then help him.

That's when I realized something.  I may be a "theologian".  A preacher man.  But those people were better Christians than me.

When I find myself not wanting to be bothered by people, they go out of their way to take the time.

Do we live what we say we believe, or is it just words?

I woke up in the middle of the night last night with this thought in my head.  As Christians we talk about proclaiming God's majesty.  Or His glory.  Or His kingdom.  Or His name.  And as literalist humans, we file that under "words about stuff".  But to proclaim a kingdom or a name is about proclaiming the IDEALS of that kingdom or that person who's name you proclaimed.  And if we are going to proclaim it, it's suppose to be because we not only believe it, but it's what we stand for.  It's who we are.

Not coincidentally, to "proclaim" something by definition is not only about words.  The word "proclaim" also means "to show."

So if I am going to proclaim the Kingdom of God and His Name, that means I need to be actually showing it to people.  Living it.  Being it.

By it's very definition, Proclamation is about Imitation.  There is no proclamation without imitation.

Who we are transcends our location and vocation.  We either represent and act upon a higher ideal or we don't.  Everything else is just talk and wasted time.

What is it that you believe and, more importantly, what are you doing about it?  Just as importantly, what does how you live say about what you believe?  And I'm not talking about rules or laws.  I'm talking about character and compassion.  Love and integrity.  Selflessness and the need of people.

I hope you were inspired, some how, to look closely at yourself this Thanksgiving.  Not only to see what things you are thankful for, but to see if you are ever the thing someone else is thankful for.

Maybe the answer to that question is important.

Have a great night.

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Garlic Blog

Hey and stuff.

Living in Chicago has many benefits that come with it.  A great public transportation system, tons of music and sports, and even more great food.

It's that last one that really pleases my wife and I.  We like us some good eats.  Probably a little too much, do we like us some good eats.  

It's ok.  You know you do too.

What makes it better is that recently, not only have we tried to eat healthier, we've had to start eating around food allergies.  One of the big offenders is gluten intolerance.

Don't you roll your eyes at us.  It's a real thing shut up.

Fortunately, there are some really good vegetarian/vegan/gluten free places in Chicago.  We have no problem continuing our quest towards gluttony here.  Yay.

For example, we found a great pizza place that not only makes high quality pizza, but also delivers in our area AND offers gluten free crust.  Now, I will admit, the regular crust is better than the gluten free crust, but it's still good both ways.

Yesterday we tried a different pizza concoction from their "gourmet" pizza menu.  It was a garlic pesto something something.  And it was super duper mediocre.

Seriously, we were pretty disappointed.  Not because it tasted bad, but simply because it didn't taste anywhere close to as amazing as we had hoped it would be.

More importantly was the side effect that the massive amounts of garlic and pesto caused us.  One word to describe the after effects would be "unpleasant".  Two other words would be "holy crap!" (no pun intended.  Actually, that was totally intended.)  Eight other words would be "my god, what did you do in here?!?"

So, in hind site (or is that hind smell.  Get it?  Because it stinks.  Never mind.), perhaps it wasn't the smartest thing we've ever chosen to eat.  

It's like garlic is just being exuded from our pores.  (In fact, it may well be exuding from our pores.  Amongst other places.)

It's amazing what happens to your body based simply upon something you put inside of it.  It turns out that whatever you do inside yourself has direct implications for what happens outside yourself.  One very clearly creates the other.

No, we are no longer talking about garlic pizza.

You want to alter your world?  You want to change the things around you?

Then change things inside you first.  It's amazing how that effects everything else.

Just don't start with garlic.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

The New Car Blog.


11 days since my last post.  That seems very unprofessional.  The reason is (insert lame excuses: here).

Well, I have news that I know every one of you will be super excited to hear about (cough cough).  We have a new car.  And by "new", I mean used.  But only just.

It's a 2013 Subaru Legacy.  And it's absolutely fantastic.  

All wheel drive.  Excellent fuel economy.  Tons of room.  Super comfy.  And it rides and handles crazy good on two-lane country roads at extra-legal speeds.  Or, you know, so I was told and did NOT actually do myself this past weekend on the way to an outdoor wedding.

Also, because it's such a late model vehicle, it has all the fun toys.  Things like hands free bluetooth, iPod hook up, and other stuff that largely don't matter.

I enjoy driving this car quite a bit.

And let me tell you about the great deal we got.  

Actually, lets not talk about that.  I'm still having nightmares about all the money this great deal is going to cost us.

But that aside, it's really fantastic.

We have a tendency to drive cars until they explode from old age.  Our other car we've owned since 2006.  Almost nine years.  It's a Saturn Vue and has 205,000 miles.  It's so wore out I don't think I could pay anyone to take it from us.

No, I'm not going to pay anyone to take it.  

We had a Honda Accord up until two years ago.  We drove that for 16 years.

So, ya.  We wear cars out and make sure we get our money out of them.

Which, perhaps is one reason this car seems so amazing.

Our Saturn is wore out.  It rattles and squeaks and is covered in scratches and cracks and it eats wheel bearings for breakfast and and and...

It's been a good car, but it's close to done.

The Subaru is close to new.  Only 18,000 miles.  It still has that new car smell, although, I think dealerships have a spray for that now.

But I wonder, would I think my "new" Subaru would be as awesome if the car I was comparing it to wasn't so... not awesome?  What if I was comparing our Subie to some other car of equal vintage and class?  How would it compare?  Would it seem as great?  Would it be amazing still?  Or would it fail by comparison?

Sometimes when something get's old anything new seems like a revelation and you just can't wait to get away from the old thing to something better.

No, I'm not talking about cars anymore.

Relationships are funny that way.  They can become old and run down.  Stale and broken.  You can get so caught up in the routine that we don't even notice how run down it is getting.  It's easy to get so used to it that you forget to take care of all the little maintenance details.  And then, before you realize it, it just doesn't run anymore.

It's a shame, really.  Because, with the proper maintenance, they will go the distance.

Love is funny that way.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Just A Little Something

Hey all!

Well, I'm finally back from vacation.  Actually, I've been back for a week or so, but I got sick during vacation and at the same time as returning had to prepare for all manner of presentations and did not have the time or energy to put out a post.  

But I have a few minutes and felt I needed to put something out, even if it is pretty short.

I could talk about vacation and such, which was great, but instead I'm going to make a small but important point based on an interaction I had with a person at a recent thingy I did.

"Thingy" is the technical term for what us preacher types do.

I spent a day doing presentations and Q and A time after we returned from vacation.  I had almost no voice at all, so, it was a long day.

I won't go into all the details of what we talked about and discussed, but I will tell you what a person said to me after we were all done and my voice was finally completely dead and we were all ready to go.

As is often the case after a presentation or a sermon or a talk of any kind, people will come up and say hi and such.  And, normally there is a broad range of response from people depending on who they are what they took from the whole experience.

One thing I had been trying to accomplish was to encourage people to truly think about their lives and what they believe and what they do with both of those things.  Don't just blindly stumble through like a bull in a Star Wars collectable shop, doing more damage than good.

Unless it was a prequels collectable shop, then stomp away.  

I'm looking at you Jar Jar Binks.

One man in particular came up to me and started the conversation like this.

"I know what you were trying to say."  (First thing people say when they are about to politely disagree.  If they aren't worried about being polite, they just start by calling you names.  True story.)  "But one thing that makes the culture of the country I come from better than yours (he actually just said where he was from, but I'm not trying to hate on his people, it isn't the point or the problem) is that we never question anything.  We just accept it all and stay faithful no matter what.  We always do everything we are told and believe."

Now, at this point I was sick, tired, had no voice and in general wanting to lay down right there and pass out.  Two of the organizers saw me after I finished speaking and they said, "Holy cow, you look horrible!  You need to go home and rest."

That's never a good sign.

So, because of this, I just had no ability to have a long discussion and/or argument with the guy.  It probably wouldn't have helped anyway.

So I thanked him for his thoughts and told him it was great to meet him.  Which it was.

But let's think his statement through for a moment.  

Never question anything?  Accept anything told to you just because the source is "official"?  Never go deeper into the source or material or bother to learn why someone interpreted something the way they did?  

What if that person made a mistake?  What if they didn't know what they were talking about?  What if they themselves were complete ignorant or mislead?  What if they were purposefully deceitful?

Never ever ever just accept something simply because someone said so.  Not even if you agree.  Maybe especially if you agree.

That is super dangerous with a side of extra stupid.  This is how damaging and hurtful beliefs and practices are started.  This is how lives are damaged and ruined.

From a Christian standpoint, the bible even tells us to test and measure.  Using the concept of faith to promote ignorance is evil.

And if you are not religious of any kind, well, the same still holds true.  And perhaps you know it to be true more so than the rest of us.  And for that, I'm sorry.

Never be afraid to ask the hard questions and go against old programming.

You might be surprised the good will do you.  And just as importantly, the good it will do for someone else.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Moments of Time.

Hola and such.

As my vacation to Colorado looms ahead (as such there may be no post next week), I've been thinking about my previous trips there in.  We always enjoy our time there.  Great views, great people, and great atmosphere.  Fun times had or not had.  Laughs laughed and tears shed.  All of the weird and wacky and odd.

And as I tried to turn the way back machine on, I started realizing how odd the things are you sometimes remember.

The strong smell of cows drifting in from two towns away.  That time 12 billion moths tried to invade our home during the time we actually lived there, and had to duct tape all our windows and not used doors.  The great snowball fight of June.  The great snowball fight of August.  The 70 degree motorcycle ride in February.  Getting shocked so hard by static electricity that it left a mark.  Having a very large and bearded man stuff my man bits into a led "cup" during my fun times in radiation treatment.  Receiving my three medical tattoos.  Having squirrels practice parkour off my legs as they tried to steal my granola whilst hiking in the mountains.  Skiing into a park bench.  Accidentally being led into my first Black ski run and learning how to stop with my face.

It turns out if you bite down really hard into the snow...


There are so many memories.  So many things that pop out once you start to remember, or when something trips a memory long dormant.  Things you hadn't thought about since.  Things you had hoped to never think about again.  Things you were reminded about by others that you hadn't expected them to remember.

I think I told you the story already about the time I fell down Mt. Elbert, and while laying there recovering I was robbed of my food by a squirrel and a bird?  Well, there was another person there with me when it happened.  A nice man who was one of the supervisors of us kids.  I was 10 at the time.  He was much older.  That's how supervision works, or so I'm told.

Well, as coincidence would have it, I ran into that gentleman about a month ago.  I've only seen him a couple times since those young days.  I was down helping out at the summer camp and he showed up, saw me eating lunch, and came over to eat his and say hello.  He asked me how my parents and brother were, and after all the base pleasantries were done he asked me this:

"Hey, do you remember that time that one bird stole your apple after you fell down the mountain?"

He had a sly grin on his face.

"Do I remember?  How could I forget.  I can't believe YOU remember that."

I was pretty surprised he remembered that, although I suppose I shouldn't have been.

He then laughed.  "Ya, that was pretty darn funny."

I decided not to ask if he meant the bird thief or me falling.

Probably both.

But it was funny that he remembered that.  After all these years, and it's been almost 30 since that time, this man remembered that day.

As a response to seeing him, I was reminded of a time I ate at his house, and while sitting at his table, a spider dropped down from the ceiling and tried to snuggle up with me.  

I hadn't thought of that in years.  I'd only ever been to his house once, so I suppose there wasn't a large cache of memories to pull from.

But this caused me to think about something.

How many things like that are buried somewhere in my mind?  Little memories laying hidden in my brain waiting for the correct stimulus to bring them out?

That probably sounds like a stupid question.  You are probably thinking, "well, all of them."

And, of course, you are correct.

But that's not what I mean.

I'm talking about the significant moments.  The moments that stood out.  The moments that taught something.  The moments that COULD have taught something, but it's been relegated to the closet of our minds in favor of a more recent moment.

How many moments lay hidden in our minds, moments that formed us and made us who were are, for good or bad, that we have forgotten about?  And, if we could remember, would those formative moments lose their power over us?

Because if there is something that formed something negative within us, this might be important to discover.

I realized as I thought about the old memories that perhaps I have taken so many of these formative moments for granted.  That I haven't truly recognized their significance.  That I have let them fade instead of keeping them strong in my mind.

What would our lives look like if we didn't let ourselves forget the important moments?  Or maybe the more important question is, what if we actually recognized the important moments for what they were?

That last one is really the trick.  Recognizing the profound while you are in the moment.  Sometimes the profound jumps out at you.  Sometimes it passes by unnoticed.

As I started remembering all those old memories, I realized how easy it is to forget important things or to miss important things.

Don't let those formative events pass you by unnoticed.  Be aware always of the importance of what happens around you.

It might be, you know, important.

Have a great night.