Foggy With a Speck of Spam sounds sort of like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs!!! I like meatballs!! 🙂
First of all, COLD Happy New Year! Hope you are keeping warm! 2015 will most certainly be a great one! I am warmed, in thinking God is good and has blessed everyone, and me with so much abundance, if we will only see it as such.
TOP FIVE REASONS FOR CELEBRATION: 1. I am regaining health and energy, and I will soon be swimming and kickboxing again! 2. I am going back to teaching….and can’t wait to see everyone I love at work! 3. My Italian missionary son is coming home in three months. 4. More and more, I am not a coffee addict 5. The days are getting longer….so this means more sunshine and added smiles as I increasingly venture outside!!!!
I have been thinking about my Italian son in Sicily. We had a wonderful skype the day after Christmas! Today I was thinking about how he was a track star in high school. As I write, I am not thinking of a tall pale Mormon missionary. No, I am imagining a ruddy, tired 2014 handing off a shiny silver batton to an anxious, strong, banty-legged anchor in a 2015 North Summit tank top, as part of a state championship 400 relay team. No bobble in the exchange. Seamless, oneness, in synchronized churning feet, huge pumping hearts and screaming lungs. United in purpose and action!
This track metaphore shouts FULL speed ahead……to nothing but goodness in our communities! This is my hope. Who knows…..maybe my boy will come home to run track again as a Wolverine, or some other wonderful Utah sports ambassadore mascott. Or not. Ute just never know! 🙂
Now I will address Goggles. In preparation, I GOOGLED goggles. There are so many images. Everything from goofy kids, to a polarized god posing mostly naked as Michael Phelps, to a video of recent snow slope fashion on Shaun White, the Flying Tomato, advertising ski goggles. “Nice goggles!” he says several times, from behind polarized frames and double piped, long ride, red hair. All of this carving, clicking and viewing toward….obtaining….a Vision for this post.
I listen to a favorite preacher of the Mountain air. He has recently spoken about the value of having a Life Purpose. I suspect the sermon was to prime parishoners for a New Year. A year with a more Godly vision oriented to dedicating this gifted Life Span, as a more holy time of resolute passion for Christ and genuinely compassionate service of others. A Christmas Presence more year round.
He PAUSED the sermon, to allow all to write, in one sentence, our own individual life purpose, or vision statement. At first, I thought my earbuds were malfunctioning. They weren’t. There is power in pause, silence, and in putting goals into tangible written form.
I wrote a sentence. It was a good one. I should type it in bold letters and hang it in my classroom. In writing to this prompt, I realized three things: 1. how much focus I was able to sustain in the brief exercise, 2. how only a few words can carry such power. 3. how the actuation of the goal will not be easy. The task was intentionally designed by the Pastor to motivate introspection and awareness. The targeted thinking was like putting on and lacing up running shoes. I donned my cleats with unrealistic ease, and with meaning.
Meaning is what I am in search of in 2015. I am hoping that the new year will not be about sprinting. Many start fast only to loose steam and quit. I want to pace my race, with regular slowing down, as I steadily stride toward meaning, understanding, and good works. The real test of faith will come in doing the distance for the glory of God and the good of others. In forsaking self. It won’t be easy, but I will attempt this running more joyfully. And, I will do it, knowing……I am not alone, nor do I want to be, as I run to Jesus. This is a portion of my multi-layered bloomin’ onion pyramid of goals. Sweet Vidalia! Ah!
Better clarity of purpose will come as I find my place in Christian communities, as I embrace the Word in the Bible and other volumes of scripture. It will come through sound thinking, careful, kind responsiveness. It will come in striving for consistancy, and in wisdom, discernment, exactness, and faith…nothing wavering. It will come through prayer, in prioritizing, and in seeking balance. These are things I am not good at. Many days, I start with a prayer wanting to love and to serve others, and end in despair recognizing I have mostly succeeded in being a lover of self. Clearly, I need to change my thinking before bedtime. Recalibrate continually.
Lots of days I see through foggy goggles, whether I am swimming, skiing, teaching, coaching, parenting, or friending. I want to become my best self, however, vision is blurred, as I am drawn into emotion and to the feel good of the moment. This is distracting. It’s not all bad, if seen and experienced in the Light, with the end in mind, but the world is a place of smoke and mirrors.
Don Miguel Ruiz talks of this, and the “dream of the world” and of the parasite, and of many lies that humankind subcribe to and proliferate from generation to generation. He shares ancient Toltec wisdom in his books The Fourth Agreement, The Fifth Agreement, and The Mastery of Love. I absorb this knowledge, paired with the story of God, lessons of the gospels of the Bible, parables, and metaphores, and healing words of Christ. Also, truth in another precious book called The Power, by Rhonda Byrne. This explores what Love is, how it works, and how it can be experienced with respect to the Law of Attraction. This and the writings of C. S. Lewis, and much more is delicious to my soul.
I am on a Love Mission to learn how to best love others and to love myself as I attempt to do no harm. Big resolution for a clutz in track spikes. Dangerous. Increasingly I can not afford false starts, or false moves. I am not a great runner. I simply like the great outsdoors and give it a run along the deer line fence. My heart mission, is risky. In sometimes trespassing, it becomes painfully humbling, but in Jesus, is turned to beautifully meaningful. It is fraught with more mistakes than achievements, but it is laced with forgiveness, hope, and charity.
Along my journey, I regularly check my email. Spam and scam have been appearing on my radar, and in my school mailbox. These are curious for their content, and also in the mystery of their existence. Such messages leave me wondering how they even made their way in through our district filters and firewalls.
Just before Christmas, I marveled at a spam promising me a million dollars from a California 44 million dollar lottery winner. I was named benefactor, even though I had never placed the said email in the first place. This was suspect. I momentarily became very excited! I was later angry that I had been sucked in. I was upset that I had given the ridiculous a place in my mind and heart for consideration, all the while imagining a Christmas Wish Come True for one of my less fortunate students. I had a hunch it was a scam. This didn’t stop me from dreaming, and wanting to believe otherwise. My imagination sometimes goes wild. It’s pretty fun.
Then today, I checked my email and found another spam. This was kind of funny and again involves my foggy goggles seeing and stranger understanding. The email came titled: “Alcoholism Help.” I am not an alcoholic. Thank God. Even so, I learned a hard lesson in my early college years, which involved a few margaritas, impaired decision making, vulnerability, and a Pacific Islander from work. The consequence of this chain of decisions was life altering, to unforgetable, but eventually forgivable. Hm. A different addiction.
Back to the email. After the words “Alcoholism Help” were these….“Make the Resolution to Yourself…..Overcome Alcohol Dependency.” So I began thinking. I am not addicted to alcohol, although I have experienced the negative effects of experimentation. I read again the title. This time I saw it differently through my goggles:
“Seek Help……Resolve to Overcome Yourself….Forsake all your Dependencies….Call on God and Come to Jesus.” Kinda sounds like a paraphrase of some scripture somewhere.
This is how my brain works…..Scrambled eggs and Spam. Yes. Sometimes I see…green, meta-cognitive metaphores meant for me. Perhaps they are whisperings and not simply goggy foggles, a rusty key curling a can of Spam, or a sketchy, stretch limo Scam man!
One final thought. My high school English teacher reblogged someone who spotlighted a quote from one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman. It works well with the New Year and goal setting, and puts at ease…. my broken beautiful. ha ha… I vaguely recall Gaiman giving an amazing college commencement speech somewhere, but I mostly remember his incredible book, The Graveyard Book.
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”
― Neil Gaiman
Ha ha! I want to do something good. Happy New Year! Shine bright! May all our dreams come true!