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Showing posts from November, 2015

Thankfully the Holiday is Over!

Of course, the title of this inspirational reflection is partly in jest.But part of me is serious when I say, thankfully, the holiday is over.Both aspects need some clarification and development.

It is clear that I offer a word play on the most recent holiday, namely, Thanksgiving.Actually, I am quite good with Thanksgiving Day itself.I appreciate that it is totally an American holiday.When we grow up Americans, it may be difficult to revel in that fact.Truly, it was when I was abroad one November that I realized all my family and friends “back home” were celebrating Thanksgiving and I was simply doing what routinely was to be done on Thursday in the country where I was living at the time.I missed Thanksgiving.
I like the idea of Thanksgiving.Certainly I and most of the people I know have been very fortunate.We all have much for which we can be thankful.I am ok with taking a day during my year and making it a special Thanksgiving Day.I can do that without falling into the trap of thin…

Saying Thanks

I had just finished my run (which in actuality is as much a walk as run), when I met a guy I know in the parking lot.We exchanged greetings and both headed into the Recreation Center.He was ready for his exercise and I was going to shower and head home.So we walked in together and headed right on into the locker room.He is not a close friend, but I was happy to see him and chit chat.

He is somewhat involved in athletics, so we have that in common.And of course, that is the easiest place for the conversation to ensue.We did not have sufficient time to solve the world’s problems, so we settled on solving the dinky problems within the college athletic system!He is fairly aware of some of the things I do for the athletic department, so the conversation was going to end there.I was robed with only a towel and was turning to head to the shower.
“Thank you for all you do for the kids,” he said.I was caught up short.“Seriously,” he continued, “I am thankful for what you do and I know the ki…

Catholicity

Theology of the Other

As regular readers of this inspirational journey know, I follow the writings of David Brooks.I find the topics he addresses to be very interesting and relevant.And I like the way he thinks about things.Thirdly, he usually offers some supportive material from people I may not know or have not read.He expands my knowledge and my capacity to think.In that sense I still am in school!
Anyone aware of our world in recent years knows about the terrorists who make life unpleasant and unpredictable for so many around the globe.That awareness goes back at least to 2001 for Americans, although there were certainly terrorists before then.And every few months it seems there is another terrorist event.Some folks are usually left dead, others wounded and a whole host of other folks are either mad or fearful.And that is the point of terrorism---it is disruptive of life as normal. In the current version of terrorism, ISIS gets front page.They are quick to claim responsibility for the calamity that has…

The Spirit of Innovation

Recently I was at a conference on innovation.In fact I had a hand in the conference even happening.I have not been using the language of innovation and certainly not the language of entrepreneurship until the last few years of my life.I would have guessed they were not relevant to what I was doing in my own career.But to my surprise, when I began to think about it, I realized I have been fairly innovative in my time.I just never called it that.
I have never started my own business and truly would not have thought about myself as entrepreneurial.But I now know I could start my own business if I wanted to do so.Likely, I never will, but I know I could.And so I have this newfound interest in innovation that is really an old interest in new language.I am intrigued by people who are creative and can figure out new things or figure out how to do old things in fresh, new ways.I am sure we live in a time where more people need to be innovative.I may not have too many more years to do this mys…

Spiritually Tired

Some days I am sure there are some spiritual lessons I missed!There is so much more talk and literature today on spirituality than was true in my growing-up years.Perhaps there was more in the Roman Catholic Church, but I doubt it---not for the layperson anyway.In fact, I never even heard “spirituality” language when I was a boy or even a young man.The talk was always about “religion.”For the most part, what I learned I learned by going to the little Quaker meeting.There was the Sunday School hour, which never seemed very interesting or relevant to my life.

I became more actively interested in religion during my college years.Part of the reason for this is those college years were the time I was trying to make sense of out my life.Today I would talk about that as learning how to make meaning in life.I feel fairly well along that road these days.But back in college I was trying to figure out how to get started.
I have learned a great deal from a variety of venues.Reading books, takin…

God’s Gift

Sometimes when I am outside, it hits me how majestic and wonderful nature can be.Since I grew up in rural Indiana, I have always known this to be the case.However, we live much more insulated lives than people did when I was a little boy. We live in controlled environments much of the time.We use air conditioning to keep it cooler in the summer and, then, turn on the heat to keep the rooms warm during the winter months.I am not complaining and am not suggesting we go back to the good old days!

But I do think living life in an insulated way leads more of us to live more unaware.Because our environments are controlled, we shape our reality as much as it shapes us.This does not make us crazy, but it does allow us to live in a kind of illusion.When it is nearly one hundred degrees on a summer day, it probably is a comfortable seventy-two degrees inside.We have little awareness of the reality of nature.And we never give it any thought that we are living in an unnatural world inside our l…

Change of Era

I really like Pope Francis.Of course, I have never met him and there is no reason to assume I will ever get close to him, much less meet him.In fact, I probably should not even say I like the Pope.Rather I like what the Pope is saying and doing.Somehow I assume the guy I would meet, if I met him, would be the kind of guy who resonates with his message.I am sure he is a steely kind of guy.You don’t become archbishop, cardinal and, then, Pope by being a patsy!
Most Catholics I know like the Pope, too.I know there are circles within this country and abroad that don’t like what he is doing.They perceive him to be a threat to the traditional Catholic Church they think this world needs.I figure when you have over one billion people in your organization, there will be some who don’t like you!My hope is he lives long enough to see much of his spiritual agenda realized. The recent speech the Pope delivered to a large gathering of Italian clergy meeting in Florence is a case in point.I don’t ha…