Complacent

Complacent: (adj) showing smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements

Sometimes we forget the Earth is still evolving.

Because it doesn’t go on television, shout and scream, nor advertise itself unashamedly on the Internet, we believe that the Earth did its Darwin thing and decided to settle down somewhere near Naples, Florida, for a good, well-deserved retirement.

But the truth of the matter is, the Earth may be old in years, but it is constantly going through its “terrible twos.” It is a demanding toddler, requiring our funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cattention–otherwise it starts breaking things.

So even though the word “complacent” is normally considered to represent a negative emotion, connoting that one does not care, a bit of complacency is in order so we don’t come across thinking we are in charge.

I, for one, am complacent on the weather.

I know how to buy gear for the various threats and precipitation, so rather than studying it, cursing it or attempting to pray it away, I allow my emotions and soul to develop a needful numbness with a twinge of gratitude.

I am complacent on race.

Since it doesn’t make any difference and it’s foolish to talk about it, I will play like I’m mentally challenged when it’s brough up in front of me, because I don’t want to accidentally pop off something from my erroneous training, nor foolishly present myself as Mr. Universal.

Other areas where I’m complacent:

  • Gay rights
  • Abortion
  • Heaven
  • Hell
  • Chauvinism
  • And rising prices at the grocery store

Since most of these things do not affect me–and if they do affect me, they are completely beyond my control–any fretting, opinions or stomping on my part will be useless.

There is a wonderful phrase which I often remind myself of whenever I’m tempted to be engaged: “Be still and know that I am God.”

If there is a Being named God, and He has created a Universe, my stirrings are comical at best, and at worst, aggravating.

 

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Bridge

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bridge: (n) a structure carrying a path across an obstacle.

Less than five miles from my boyhood home was a covered bridge.Dictionary B

I often drove out there, parked my car and sat on the end of the bridge, looking over the scenery. It was so beautiful–so old-fashioned that it was nearly antiquated. But it still held the weight of vehicles and performed its natural function.

It was artistically placed in the countryside–so much so that I failed to realize that it spanned a ravine and expanse of water.

I giggled over its practical use because it was so attractive. Someone could have built something ugly to cover the water, but instead they constructed this gorgeous piece of architecture.

So stunning was its essence that I forgot it was just a bridge–a way to get from one side to another without falling into the valley.

It made me wax a little eloquent–or perhaps even over-stated.

For I tell you–never in our history has there been a greater need for ideas to bridge the gaps.

Maybe we could take a clue from the covered bridge and learn to make our notions and doctrines so appealing that people don’t notice that they are evolving from one point to another.

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Bolster

Bolster: (v) to support or strengthen; prop up.

CourtesyDictionary B

Reconsidering

Repentance

Smiling

Courtly manner

Good cheer

Slow to wrath

Reflective

Patient

Worry-free

Gender equality

Merciful

Tender

Enduring

Persevering

Determined

Watchful

Forgiving

Not too sure of yourself

Humble

Creative

Willing

Energetic

Tolerant

Evolving

Hopeful

Realistic

Loving

Exhorting

Faithful

Bolster these things.

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Ad infinitum

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Ad infinitum: (adv.) again and again in the same way forever. e.g.: registration is for seven years and may be renewed ad infinitum.

I’ve never been particularly impressed with the word “forever.”

To me, the weakness of eternal life is that it’s eternal. I guess the miracle of God will be His ability to explain how something that goes on and on can escape being repetitive, and therefore, boring.

This has caused me to be able to do my occupation as a vagabond artist. While others in my human family find it comforting to know where they’re going to be a year from now, I feel no sense of compulsion to dance about in the ballroom of security.

Insecurity seems to be a bad word, when actually, life itself is geared to be such. Guarantees are few, promises are many, sameness is unusual, but pursuit of identical results is universal.

Somehow or another, the key to life is not in looking for anything that lasts forever but to forever look for things that are lasting, but changing.

That seems to be a contradiction, doesn’t it? How could something be lasting AND changing?

There’s a little phrase in the Good Book that says, Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Kind of makes him sound like a Grandpa, clinging to his Beatles albums.

But actually, the way Jesus is the same is that he’s constantly and faithfully evolving toward meeting human need.  And since we are going through a similar process, being creatures of the earth, he has to have a lot of mercy and a lot of good humor in order to embrace our foibles.

I don’t need forever.

Matter of fact, sometimes I think the things we want to last for a lifetime are unrealistic.

  • I don’t require a lifetime guarantee on my muffler.
  • And perhaps even marriage would be better if we renewed it every ten years.

I don’t know–such decisions are reserved for individuals much more intelligent than me.

But ad infinitum is not necessary for this pilgrim. All this pilgrim needs is some turkey, dressing, a little gravy … and some cranberry sauce.

Acumen

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

 

Acumen: (n.) the ability to make good judgments and quick decisions, typically in a particular domain: e.g. business acumen

We have convinced ourselves that ability is best achieved through training—and by training, we usually mean some sort of educational process granting us a degree or license to pursue an activity.

Here’s the problem: I have been to many doctor’s offices, where there were all sorts of awards hanging on the wall, and the technician standing before me has the personality of a beleaguered slug climbing a eucalyptus tree on a very hot day.

I have been in the presence of clergymen who have a doctorate in Biblical studies or Christian counseling, who have an interest in books but more or less deplore the sight of human beings.

Acumen, in our society, is permission to pursue a profession because you have adequately written down the correct answers on a piece of paper in an allotted amount of time to demonstrate your present level of knowledge on a given subject.

  • It does not mean you care.
  • It does not mean you’re evolving toward greater understanding.
  • And it certainly doesn’t mean that you even comprehend the “damn” that the tinker is supposed to pursue.

To me, acumen has to be measured in a much different way. Matter of fact, if you’ll allow me a little piece of silliness, I think the word should be broken down to “act like you mean it.”

That’s how I determine if I’m going to put my trust in another human being’s abilities. Just as grace covers a multitude of sins, passion certainly can disguise some levels of lessons yet unlearned.

Would I rather have someone convinced they’ve already achieved the right to pursue their craft, or would I prefer someone who is feverishly interested in the task and wants to learn how to do it more proficiently?

To me, that’s a no brainer

I’m tired of looking into the eyes of Congressmen and even into those of our President, and seeing weariness and boredom instead of light and intensity.

I am fed up with individuals who labor behind the desk in Customer Service, who obviously would rather shoot people with a gun than address their complaints.

And I am never going to be amiable to the notion of attending a church worship service where some monotone, anemic declaration of faith in God is revered simply because it has descended to a level of adequate somberness.

We will become a much better country when we stop touting our history, pointing to the achievements of our past, and instead, build a fire under our young people to hunger and thirst for righteous conclusions.

Acumen is not a one-time arrival at acceptability. It is a driving force inside us that tells us there is more to come if we will just act like we mean it.