Thursday, November 12, 2009


Seeking refuge from the chaos, I recently found an oasis in the form of my daughter’s wedding. It was a welcome and joyous relief! Most importantly, the day was filled with incredible happiness and fun.

The campaign trail had long ago taken its toll on my stamina and I crossed the finish line on pure fumes. I was fortunate to make it a competitive race but ultimately, came up short in my quest. Surprisingly, there was as much relief as disappointment in the loss.

The oasis has slowly dissipated over the last week, but the calm has remained. I am committed to regaining my life focus…which means getting my priorities back in alignment. My aim is to simplify. Life, by choice, has been much too complex lately. I’ve been juggling far too many balls, and while I’ve been largely successful at doing so, my arms are tired. I’ve already begun the process of unwinding my elective responsibilities and expect to enter the New Year completely free of obligations. It’s necessary.

I’ll continue to rest until the forest swallows me up again. When it does, I’ll be ready to resume my search for the right path.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Surprisingly, many people think of me as a patient man. I’m always amazed at that assessment because I know the truth – I’m not as patient as I appear or would ultimately like to be. Patience is probably one of life’s hardest and most important lessons. To learn patience…well, you have to be patient.

True patience is hard to attain because it competes against so many of your other emotions. Emotions that can unleash themselves in a hurry and without restraint if you’re not paying close attention. I’m a long ways from really being patient but I appreciate that some people think I am – that hopefully means I’m making progress.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Clearing

I’ve arrived at the edge of the clearing. I’ll be free to move in whatever direction I choose…at least for a while. I’ll be back in the woods eventually, but for now, I’m relieved and invigorated by the latitude afforded in the open space, despite the vulnerability.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Back to Basics

Priorities are being re-prioritized whether I like it or not. I suppose I half-expected it to happen sooner or later…and now it’s later. It’s an adjustment I’m willing to make anyway so the transition will be easy enough. I lost the path long ago – destined for the circuitous route through the underbrush. I’m blessed to now possess a machete and am determinedly cutting a swath to travel. It isn’t so much where it leads in the moment, just that I keep moving forward with purpose. I’ve begun to wonder if the path is actually beneath me after all, and the hardship and uncertainty of the undefined trek is intended. Either way, I’m up for the task.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I haven’t seen the path now in quite a while. For most of the past week, I’ve been mired in quicksand, but I luckily was able to grab a branch and seemingly will survive. My priorities have become crystal clear (funny how adversity does that) but the challenge to consistently keep them in proper perspective remains. It’s inevitable something will have to give. Like the Old Man, I have to recognize my limitations. For the moment anyway, I’m content to catch my breath. I know I’ll figure out the right balance but first I have to listen better. I’m reminded that the journey is not based on how much I think I know, but rather on my application of God’s truth on the course of daily living.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Some of the old me made a public appearance tonight. It's not something I'm proud of. Anger is a selfish emotion. It's quite often unproductive. I need to do better. I need to renew my resolve. I need to reinvigorate my patience. Where the heck did the path disappear to? I'm way deep in the woods again but somehow I've wandered far from the path I'm supposed to follow. I need guidance. Fortunately, I know where to get it.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I've been thinking a lot about my Dad lately. I'm not really sure why but I suspect it's because of the mounting instances in life that I would've ordinarily shared and discussed with him. I find myself thinking for a few seconds of how my Dad will react to something before I remember he's not with us anymore. I wonder if that happens to other people too?

I'm sad when it happens but I'm glad I remember him by the things we once shared in common. I suppose it's normal. His birthday is Tuesday.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Life Analogy

A friend of mine emailed me a story worth reading. Unfortunately, I don't know the author so I can't attribute proper credit. I hope you take a moment to read it through too, but more importantly, take the lesson of the story to heart.

Mayonnaise Jar & Two Beers...

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in frontof him.When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed...

'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else---the small stuff. 'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.' The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.


Thursday, February 12, 2009


I wrote about progress elsewhere today and found this quote by President Barack Obama that seemed appropriate to the theme of this blog.

"If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress."


I recently got a peek behind the curtain. Although the wizard’s motivation was not entirely unexpected, the overt emphasis on certain aspects of it was surprising to me nonetheless. I suppose you could characterize my experience as receiving a hard dose of reality. I can’t really say I’m disillusioned but my idealism certainly took a battering in the moment.

I held out no real expectations of the encounter itself. I obviously have no grasp of party obligations and power structure. I surely don’t have the proper appreciation of the role money plays in the process. Deep down, I knew I probably couldn’t fit into the established mold, which I’m pretty sure was reflected in my answers. If I emerged from the room with my idealism in tatters, I’m pretty sure my integrity emerged intact anyway. I definitely found out a little more of who I am.

Overall, it was a valuable experience for many reasons but not one I’m ever likely to repeat. Like Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home.”

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Back On Track

It looks like I get to resume my journey along the original path I was following after all. That suits me just fine and is what I expected to occur. It was a worthwhile delay for me, however, because it resoundingly resolved a reoccurring dilemma I'd faced. I look forward to the defined path.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fork in the Road

An interesting thing happened on my way back to the path. I stumbled upon another path, a parallel one. In fact, the paths actually were often the same. I didn’t even realize it until I came to the dreaded fork in the road. Why does that always seem to happen after you think you’ve figured things out?

This fork was different though. Usually, I only have to ask myself questions, and then proceed. This time I was confused and had to confer. I’d been at this fork before. This fork shouldn’t have been there and it wasn’t supposed to hold interest for me anymore anyway. Yet surprisingly, it did.

The decision to proceed along the fork was made rapidly. But then a gate appeared which required me to answer more questions. Questions I didn’t anticipate from questioners unknown. It is likely I may not be able to take the fork in the road after all. I’ll be happy to take the path left to me if that is the case.