Cling

Cling: (v) to hold on tightly

I cannot explain the choices I make in the middle of the night, when suffering from a bit of insomnia and flipping through the channels on television.

In my conscious mind I am trying to find something that’s boring enough to put me to sleep. Therefore I often stop at religious programming.

Just a couple of evenings ago, I landed on a program with a preacher who had a Georgia drawl, explaining why he was not afraid to die. He became very emotional, citing that he knew he was going to go to heaven and spend eternity with Jesus. Surrounded by the dark room and feeling very impressionable in my nighttime skivvies, I nearly believed him.

I wondered why I didn’t feel that way.

I don’t want to die.

I don’t think it sounds interesting.

I get teary-eyed thinking of a world without me.

I can’t imagine how my friends and loved-ones will survive. (Maybe that’s why the Pharaohs locked all their cats in the tomb with them.) I digress.

I cling to life.

I am not a hypochondriac, but if one is needed, I can do a pretty damn good impersonation. Why? Because every breath, every pain, every trickle in my system makes me suspicious that it is the precursor of a wave of destruction.

I think it’s foolish to say you believe in a God who made a beautiful Earth and then to be in a hurry to get away from it, thinking that the upgrade will be an improvement.

I like Earth.

I like people–even when they’re unlikable, because then they’re a puzzle.

I like being around.

I like what happens when I’m around.

So I cling.

Whatever seems to be full of energy, vitality or just the general circulation of the blood, I support with all my heart.

It is time to admit that I am an Earthling who will need to be evicted to get me to leave my particular duplex. Perhaps my Creator has set aside a place for me in a spirit world which is beyond my comprehension. I cannot cling to that.

But I can cling to faith, hope and love.

These are the three things that matter. These are the three things that make Earth sweet.

And these are the three things that make me so glad that I’m still alive with people like you.

 

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Aspiration

Aspiration: (n) a hope or ambition of achieving something.dictionary with letter A

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick.”

I’ve always found that proverb to be deep and meaningful. For I believe we live in a time when hope is touted as a very powerful emotional yearning which draws us closer to our true goals.

Honestly, I don’t think anything could be further from the truth.

There are two aspects of human behavior which I think are dangerous and need to be handled carefully: complaining and aspirations.

They appear to be polar opposites–with complaining fostering the idea of negativity and aspirations touting that they are extraordinarily positive. But they are actually the result of one another, when we grow tired of pursuing each one.

  • People who complain eventually grow weary of their own negativity and start grabbing onto anything they can aspire toward for gratification.
  • And people with great aspirations soon run into reality and find themselves complaining.

There is an amazing holy balance available to us, when we avoid complaining, which is a cancer for creativity, by refusing to pursue unrealistic aspirations, which is truly the Petrie dish for all sorts of negative emotions.

What should our profile be? How can we look ahead with great hope without unrealistic aspirations?

I think it’s all found in the power of the concept of counting the cost. When you take a good, hard look at what you have, what you’re willing to do and what assistance you might require, you come up with a factual assessment of your actual.

If you ignore that and start aspiring to more possibilities than actually exist within the realm of your scope, then you normally end up looking and feeling like a fool.

Likewise, if you refuse to take this personal inventory and just complain about what you seem to lack, you never achieve any aspiration to get you down the road to at least get something started.

Of the three great virtues–faith, hope and love–hope, or aspiration, certainly takes the third seat.

Hope is the passenger we are allowed to take along with us once our love has set the mood for our faith to function.

Then our aspiration is grounded in reality … instead of fairy tales.

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Ascribe

Ascribe: (v) to attribute something to a causedictionary with letter A

Now that we know that “ascribe” is not the traveling companion of a Pharisee, may we take a look at what possibly could or should be ascribed to our lives and virtues?

  • My hope defines my flexibility.
  • My faith advertises my endurance.
  • My love is a beacon to my passion.

At least, this is what I believe.

I do meet people who have a great impetus to love, but they have not followed through on their faith and hope, so their affection is often temporary.

Some individuals ascribe to faith a religion about religious matters which offers no hope or love to the world around them.

To see the value of the human journey and the purpose for spirituality, you must ascribe faith, hope and love to what you do in the proportion which causes this trio to not only fellowship with one another, but become dependent on each other’s involvement.

I must have hope for mankind–otherwise my faith will be solely in God, when He insists that I include others. And in the process of including others, it’s a tremendous idea to find a way to love them instead of treating them like pets or pests.

What do I ascribe to my personal success, such as it is?

My hope needs my faith and my faith generates my love.

I would be frightened to disassemble them, because in doing so the whole system would fall apart and tumble to the ground … like a house of cards.

 

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Arctic Circle

dictionary with letter A

Arctic: (adj) of or relating to the regions around the North Pole.

There is a rumor that the polar Arctic ice caps are melting.

I’m rather disappointed with them. Is it too much to ask the ice to remain cold? After all, we’ve given you an entire circle at the top of the world, to perform your job, and now you decide to give up on the idea of being frozen…and melt?

Worse yet, further rumor has it that I’m to blame. You can’t even accept the idea that you maybe got into a heated discussion, which caused your drippage.

No, it’s because I drive a car or have some sort of carbon footprint that somehow or another brings aggravation to your well-being and makes you want to get smaller and dribble down into my circumstance.

This is a further disappointment in my life, which I believed would never happen. There is a long list of them and I shall not go into the number lest I put myself in a bad mood on this particularly delightful day.

But especially since it’s Christmas Eve and Santa Claus is up there somewhere near that Arctic Circle, you would think some of his magic would cause the region to “chill out.”

All my life I have just believed that the North and South Poles would stay cold.

I understand you can’t go up there and sunbathe, but you should be able to don a parka and have Jack Frost nip at your nose as you peer with dreamy eyes at the icy sculptures.

  • Is there nothing sacred?
  • Is there no reason in the midst of the madness?

I would like to see the Arctic stay freezing. I think it will help us have a sense of balance and believe in greater possibilities like faith, hope and love.

So if this means I need to spread the toes on my carbon feet just a little bit less, I’m game–because I want some things in life to be white.

The Arctic Circle and polar bears would be among them.

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Antithesis

dictionary with letter A

Antithesis: (n) something or someone who is the direct opposite of something or someone else. i.e. Selfishiness is the antithesis of love.

It’s all about the word “as.”

Even though I may be criticized for arguing with Webster’s Dictionary, since it is considered to be the ultimate authority on wording and meaning, I must tell you that calling selfishness the antithesis of love is a bit old-fashioned, uninspired and lacks practical application.

Sometimes we just say stuff because we think it sounds noble. Things like, “selfishness is the antithesis of love.”

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

I suppose if people were diagramming that sentence or looking for focus words they would choose love, neighbor or yourself, but actually, the key word is “as.” For after all, we actually do love other people in complete proportion to how we view and embrace “us.”

  • If we are plagued by too much insecurity, we tend to be suspicious of others.
  • If we’re too boastful and self-indulgent, we make the dangerous assumption that other people are the same as us, so we end up suspicious.

What truly is the antithesis of love is fear–and the worst fear in the world is to be afraid to honestly accept who we are.

Until fear is addressed, love is a theory.

Until anxiety is ministered to, we will have a tendency to fret and fume, allowing opportunity to slip away.

So if you take the big three–faith, hope and love–and look for the antithesis to each, I believe you will end up with a trio of human “nasties” which plague us all.

For I would say the antithesis of faith is presumption–people who assume that everything will be taken care of because they are special.

And the antithesis of hope is lying. Yes, nothing is more frustrating to our hope than when we are lied to by those who feel they can manipulate us.

And as I have already said, I believe the antithesis of love is fear.

What would happen if we just took one week of our lives and addressed the presumption, lying and fear which haunt our efforts, and reveal them for the charlatans they truly are?

At the very least … we might just begin to believe in faith, hope and love again.

 

 

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