As One Week Ends
As this week ends, I have been thinking about the following questions. How would you answer them? Are you OK with what you answered?
NEVER HOPE ALONE
I have been paying attention lately, listening for the pronouns folks use when they talk about hope. By far, the pronoun I hear most often is “I”. As a result, I have begun to wonder if hope is a solitary endeavor, something one covets for oneself.
But that’s not all! We gladly suffer, because we know suffering helps us to endure. And endurance builds character, which gives us a hope that will never disappoint us… (Romans 5:3-4 CEV).
Hope never disappoints.
This is a very bold statement. I would guess many of you would question never having been disappointed by trusting in hope. And who gladly suffers? What’s the lesson to be learned from this piece of scripture?
Eating Without Hope
“To eat bread without hope is still slowly to starve to death.” Pearl S. Buck
Dieting is eating but it isn’t what I would define as eating to live. Having lived in New Orleans for several years, I experienced what it meant to eat and to live. Meals were savored, not rushed. Lingering over each bite of food while commenting on the flavors and aromas made eating so much more than just consuming food.
Eating in New Orleans was a social occasion. Good friends seated at a table sharing food, conversation and a bit of their respective lives. Food and drink were to be thoroughly enjoyed while you examined where you were in your relationships and where you might be going in your life as each day unfolded.
Food tasted better while eating with friends and colleagues. Each bite added to the sum of the experience known as lunch or dinner or a late night treat. Good friends, good food, good memories helped us to drift towards a sense of hope in our lives.
The hope we felt after sharing a meal was the hope born from being comfortable in the world, satisfied with our friendships, and literally full of nourishment. Hope seemed like a noble purpose to pursue, a reason to thrive. It resulted from the comfort of food, fellowship, conversation, and an awareness of living a full life, taking in all the tastes, all the flavors, all the textures and all the moments of calm relaxation. This was eating with hope, of being alive.
Yet there are many examples in the world of people eating without a sense of hope. And this taste of hope, while eating, is a form of starving – starving to death.
Standing in line, waiting for food, waiting to eat, waiting without a sense of hope, this is the starvation of which Pearl Buck speaks. You and I can quickly look up the statistics for those in the world who are hungry or malnourished. We can even go a step further and support organizations that seek to feed the hungry. But have we found a way to share the hope that might go along with a hot meal, any meal? Can we be present at tables where hope isn’t realized?
What about those who are alone at mealtime? What are we doing for them to offer them hope in their aloneness? What about the elderly, those confined to institutions and nursing homes? Is hope their companion at dinner? Or are they starving to death too?
“Every life should have a noble purpose.” What could be nobler than sharing hope and a meal with someone who might otherwise be eating, yet still be starving?
Growing a Moustache
Some time ago, I came upon this image while surfing Google Images. This image led me to wonder about three of my worst character flaws: lack of discipline, time management, and tendencies towards indecisiveness.
In the End Good Wins
“What an Outstanding Guy”
It is true that at some level we all want to believe that “in the end good wins.” I was reminded of this life lesson during one particular funeral at which I served as officiant.
Since that service was for a person who I did not know well, I asked several family members to add their comments to my more general comments. There was some unease about which family members would participate in offering words of remembrance.
Core Values Part Two
Knowing our personal core values helps us define our goals in life and as I suggested in Part One, affects what we hope to pass along to the next generation. Just as importantly, recognizing our core values can help us discern if we are living in such a way as to pursue some great vision, some noble purpose.
Core Values Part One
Not long ago I asked the members of a writing group to which I belong if they would share their thoughts concerning basic values. I asked them what value they would want to pass on to the next generation. Here are some of the responses I received.
In an effort to expand my abilities as a life coach, I am currently taking several continuing education courses. One particular lecture has me thinking. Do I live by fear or do I live by faith?