Busk

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Busk: (v) to play music or perform for voluntary donations in the street or in subways.

What is sacred?

Or for that matter, is there anything sacred?

Is Earth so earthy that everything is earthen?

Is there anything of heavenly quality on a miniscule planet orbiting in the midst of an immense Universe?

We certainly think there are sacred things–and it’s not limited to those who have a religious swing to their club.

No, everyone, in their own way, will make it clear to you what they perceive to be so important that it must never, ever be ignored, criticized or portrayed in an unseemly way.

The Muslims insist Mohammed is sacred. No pictures. No criticisms. No embellishment in any way, shape or form.

Some Christians are still that way about Jesus, but the Nazarene has certainly been allowed to tiptoe through darker halls of speculation.

Some people think money is sacred. Just ask them for some. They will explain in vivid detail how separation from finance is the true definition of being cast into outer darkness.They will walk by a musician busking on the thoroughfare and deem the musical effort to be glorified begging instead of allowing some humanity to dribble from them as they realize that this individual who loves music is merely trying to find a way to subsist while doing it.

The list goes on and on.

Motherhood.

Some people consider their sexuality to be sacred.

On Sundays in the autumn months, football is a sacred rite of passage in the United States. If you don’t believe so, factor this in–it comes complete with wings and fantasy leagues.

When I sat down to write this essay, I asked myself, what do I think is sacred?

I know the answer. But I’m afraid to speak it out loud for fear that people will accuse me of “busking” a foolish idea. Or worse, that I will be expected to revere my own assertion.

Yet I believe the only thing that’s sacred is the way I treat the next person I meet.

 

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Business

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Business: (n) the practice of commerce.

“Business as usual.”

Maybe if we clarified what “usual” is, we might have a better idea of the true nature of business.

If by business we mean simply finding a way to create commerce without any real concern except profit margin, then we unleash an unruly effort on the world that doesn’t seem to answer to any higher guideline.

But if we know what the “usual” is of business, and that “usual” has productive roots, then business can be a good thing–matter of fact, the heart of every endeavor.

For even the Good Book tells us not to be slothful in business. What is slothful in business?

Anyone who starts a storefront or an Internet escapade should ask two questions:

  1. Is this needed?
  2. Can I maintain quality?

Because if it’s not needed, it not only will have a short life, but it continues to increase the cynicism about true ingenuity in the marketplace.

And if the essence of quality if sacrified to manufacturing costs, then people will cynically hold a broken piece of junk in their hands that makes them further suspicious of the world as a whole.

Slothful in business is when we’re more concerned with producing than we are with being productive.

Not every corporation needs to have a noble cause–but everyone who decides to market a product needs to be able to give a quick explanation of its purpose and value, and also a guarantee that it was put together with tender, loving care.

Anyone who thinks that’s unrealistic will probably find him or herself in a slothful profile. And anyone who asks the two magic questions–is it needed and can I maintain quality?–is helping to build the trust among humans that is necessary to keep us from self-destruction.

 

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Bushel

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Bushel: (n) a measure of capacity

The Good Book was written in ancient Mesopotamia, translated in Merry Old England when men wore powdered wigs, and is now trying to be understood by a Smart Phone generation.

Problematic.

One of the examples that immediately jumps to mind is that Jesus suggested that we should not hide our aspirations, talent and insight “under a bushel.”

That was the King James translation.

Dare I say that most of the people in this country under the age of thirty have probably never seen a bushel of anything.

Most of them would think the word “bushel” is a mispronunciation of our 43rd President.

Yet truth leaps over generational gaps and maintains its integrity. Therefore we should take obscure terms and translate to make them comprehensible. (And by the way, the more emotionally charged we can make that presentation, to give it lasting quality in the human spirit, the better.)

Therefore, what was once translated from the Good Book writers as a “bushel” really is a prison cell–a place where we lock ourselves up and cease growing because the fear of failure, inadequacy, and even the apprehension over accidentally doing something evil has left us lying on our bunk, biding time.

We’re still alive, we’re still breathing, we’re still consuming three square meals a day and every once in a while we stroll through the court yard. But we desperately try to avoid confrontations and we shower in fear.

A bushel is where you gather an abundance.

There is so much fruit that you can’t put it in a bag.

A little box won’t contain it.

It needs a bushel basket.

If we don’t believe that God has called us to be fruitful, we will arrive with a tiny teacup instead of showing up with a gallon jug.

 

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Bushed

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Bushed: (adj) tired out

“Be zealously affected by a good thing.”

What does it mean?

Allow ourselves to become emotionally stimulated, involved and energized by the fact that we’re pursuing something that has value.

There are two reasons:

First, it’s a lot easier to be successful when you’re excited about your pursuits.

But secondly, it quickly establishes the projects that have value and bring happiness, and those that don’t. If we decide to treat everything the same in our lives, we soon feel bushed–totally exhausted, carrying ourselves like a leaden weight from one mishap to the next.

There has to be a difference between the pleasure of going to a grocery store and buying food to eat, and cleaning the underneath of the refrigerator. If both evoke the same weary reaction, then you have accidentally turned your life into a grindstone instead of a merry-go-round.

Added onto that old adage of “being zealously affected by a good thing” should be the closing remark, “and be gloriously, deliciously tired over a sense of accomplishment.”

This is human life. This is why we are here.

Otherwise, our facial expressions and lack of passion simulate a premature death.

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Bush

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Bush: (n) a shrub or clump of shrubs

One of the more comical things to pursue is a return visit to the homestead of your youth, to discover that everything is half the size, half the beauty, half the value and therefore, half the blessing.

I did it.

I went back to my home and just had to giggle all through the process, peering at the lawn I was convinced was twenty acres in size when I had to mow it, but now seemed barely large enough for three children to play.

The brick home I remembered as being hugely sufficient was now a postage stamp for a very tiny letter.

But there, next to the driveway, was the bush–still remaining–always a great paradox to me, or maybe even a metaphor. Because every year this bush sprouted little red berries, which looked so tantalizing, but my mother insisted were poison. And every time I reached over to pick them, or even touch them, she screamed her warning about their danger.

Yet in all the years we lived there, nobody ever tried to remove the damn bush so little fingers wouldn’t be tempted. It just sat there, being beautifully red with fruit, crying to me to disobey my mother and pursue the wonder of the unknown.

Yes, now I know how Eve felt.

 

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Bus

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Bus:(n) a large motor vehicle carrying passengers by road

I was a town kid.

Growing up, I always lived close enough to my school that I was expected to walk.

I would occasionally complain that I was at least a half a mile away, and maybe the school bus could pick me up. The administration thought it was neither valid nor particularly humorous.

So I never got to ride a school bus.

It was annoying. Other kids who came in “from the country” always got off the big, yellow magic machine with frowns, and I thought to myself, don’t they understand the beauty of the moment? They’re on a school bus. I’m walking or peddling my cheap Schwinn bike.

Then came football season.

Our first two games were held at the local field, so there was no travel. But the third game was scheduled away from our little burg, so required a school bus to take the team to the game.

Even though I was excited about playing the sport, what really thrilled me was that I would get to climb on a school bus and travel.

It was a road trip.

I couldn’t sit still in my seat. I kept trying to get everybody to sing songs. I even fought back some tears over the sanctity of the surroundings. I was so loud, so overbearing, so all-encompassing that the coach finally screamed, from the front of the bus, “Shut up! We’re just going to Mount Gilead!”

My fellow teammates laughed.

But I was hurt.

It is an evil thing to quell the enthusiasm of an expanding mind.

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Bury

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Bury: (v) to put or hide under ground.

Everyone loves a good resurrection. No one wants to bury anything, to see if it can be awakened.

Yes, for a resurrection to occur or even for a revival to be plausible, we have to admit something is dead–and bury it.

How do we decide if something is dead?

It doesn’t have a pulse.

There’s a good sign. The lack of a pulse is a pretty clear indication that something should be buried.

It doesn’t have breath.

We find ourselves staring at it instead of experiencing conversation, with enthusiastic ideas spurting forth.

It starts turning gray.

Yes, even when things are valuable, you need to make sure they don’t turn old.

It decays.

And as it starts to fall apart, it stinks. Maturity is when we stop pretending that something isn’t smelling up the joint, and we talk about how bad it reeks.

It’s not responsive.

The world is going on around it, and there is no acceptance, realization, acknowledgment or participation.

It’s in the way.

Because it does not offer contribution, it clutters.

There are many things in our society which are dead and need to be buried, but we keep them around because we have a flag to commemorate them, a sanctuary to revere them or an office building to house them.

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