Bear

Bear: (n) a heavy wild animal with thick fur and sharp claws which has many varietiesDictionary B

Is the key in knowing what, and then when, or is it more accurate to pursue when, while acquiring what?

Please pardon the philosophical approach.

Is when more important than what, or does what take primary position over when?

Let’s study the bear.

Because even though this creature is known as a lumbering mammoth of fur and flesh with a ravenous appetite, which can be quite dangerous if aggravated, it does spend much of its time sleeping in a cave.

The bear has simply discovered when to be industrious and what to do. The bear has also learned when to be lazy, and what is the best slumber.

I think we are either lazy when we need to be industrious, or industrious when it might be better for us to lay back and hibernate.

Think of it from the bear’s perspective:

  • Spring and summer come along, which have pleasant weather, lots of fish to eat and picnic baskets to poach.
  • Then there’s winter. Even though you have a coat, why use it?

So crawling into a cave, relaxing, realizing that most things are not blooming and that picnic baskets have been put into the closet for better days, you choose to survive this down period by resting instead of fretting.

It’s very ingenious.

It’s probably why the bear has survived the post-dinosaur era until now, with very little sign of disappearing.

So I guess to capsulize this into an easily remembered slogan:

Learn from the bear … and don’t do what you can’t bear.

 

 

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Battery

Battery: (n) a container consisting cells, in which chemical energy is converted into electricity and used as a source of power.Dictionary B

Click.

Actually, there wasn’t even a click. It was just a sense of suspended animation while I held my car key in the position which normally ignited my engine, but this time–no fire.

The radio did not work.

The lights didn’t work.

The car was suddenly cast into the role of being a one-ton paperweight.

All because my battery was dead.

It didn’t give me any warning. Oh, I suppose I should have been keeping up with its passing birthdays, but I didn’t.

So I, who just short moments earlier was in the midst of a deep discussion about some procedure to raise at the upcoming meeting, suddenly became a dumbfounded, indigent traveler, with no idea on where to go or what to do.

Fortunately, somebody gave me a jump to start my car and I drove down to the local Wal-Mart to purchase a battery.

Because here’s the truth: there’s just no goose without the juice.

Nothing happens without the energy.

As I watched them put my battery in, I waxed philosophical. (I occasionally do that, fostering an annoying practice which somehow refuses to leave me.)

  • I need a battery for my emotions.

I must remind myself that to feel things–otherwise I am not capable of being in relationship with other humans who, like me, are creatures of emotion.

  • I need a battery for my spirit.

Something other than prayer and Bible study, that proves that I am loved and there just might be something out there other than stars and molten lava on dried-up planets.

  • I need a battery for my brain.

Without that battery I cannot create the jolt which stimulates new ideas rather than pumping out all the training of my youth.

  • And God knows, I need a battery for my body.

Often the fuel I send to my cells better prepares me for a nap than a walk.

It only took them ten minutes to give my car the boost it needed to be a car again.

It made me wonder what I could do with ten minutes.

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Appraise

dictionary with letter A

Ap·praise:(v)assess the value or quality of.

I was nineteen years old and I had a great idea–at least, I thought it was a great idea.

My mother and father ran a loan company in our little town and in the basement of the structure, there were slabs of marble used for flooring and trimming. Apparently they were left over from when the building was constructed and placed down there because no one knew what to do with them.

The marble was beautiful, but terribly heavy.

My wife and I decided to bring up five huge pieces–because we knew they had to be worth a lot of money. As a matter of fact, we confirmed this by calling a local store which dealt in such commodities and asking what these units were worth.

Our minds were boggled by how expensive marble was, so we figured we would bring up five slabs, and probably take care of our budget for the next six months. Who knows? Maybe a year.

We didn’t think of getting them appraised before making the arduous journey of carrying them upstairs. So much to our chagrin, even though the marble pieces were very expensive at one time, somebody had determined that this particular design was outdated.

We even carried one of them across town to an actual dealer, who agreed that it was quite lovely, but that he had no use for it. When I complained, stating that the marble was just as valuable as it once was, he replied, “It’s not what the marble’s worth. It’s what people will pay for it.”

I never forgot that.

Without becoming too philosophical, let me say that we live in an age when we appraise human value, human life and even human interaction as priceless.

Yet when it comes right down to it, what are we really willing to pay to see other people secure, content, safe and happy?

It’s all too cheap.

And I would like to be part of a movement that reappraises human beings from conception to death with a more realistic price tag, which could actually be followed up with legitimate concern.

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Apparition

dictionary with letter A

Apparition (n.) a remarkable thing that makes a sudden appearance, especially a ghost.

I believe in ghosts.

Not the cloudy, smoky spirits of souls who have gone on to their reward or retribution. I’m talking about the ghosts of bad ideas, inclinations and fallacies that possessed our world in the past, and now have come to haunt us in the present.

  • Sometimes I just wish we could come up with new bad ideas.
  • Sometimes I just wish there was something new.

But instead we have the poltergeist of previous ridiculous concepts rising up from the grave, where we thought we buried it, only to spook us once again.

We don’t have new scandals. We have the spirit of Richard Nixon and Watergate infesting the present bodies of our politicians, making them do the same stupid mistakes he tried to pull off, which ended up with his destruction.

We don’t have music born of the spirituality and emotions of our own generation, but rather, grave-robbers who go and dig up the tunes of those who are now decomposing.

We are continually vexed by the apparitions of past failures or the ongoing celebration of victories, where the band has already played and marched away.

We spend too much time celebrating the past, forgetting the prejudice, disease and dumbness that prevailed.

I believe in ghosts because we refuse to inter the past.

So we just keep living this stuff over and over again … like a bunch of tales from the crypt.

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Apparent

dictionary with letter A

Apparent (adj.)1. clearly seen or understood; obvious. 2. seeming real, but not necessarily so.

All of our eyeballs have been blurred, leaving our vision tainted.

Perhaps it was the disappointment brought on by the tension of adolescence, or some hidden prejudice inserted into our thinking by well-meaning parents.

It might have been high expectation which was dashed and brought crashing to the earth by the flak of reality.

Somewhere along the line we began looking at the world through clouded lenses of bigoted conclusions.

Therefore what is apparent to one person is not equally as apparent to another. Matter of fact, we’ve developed a whole philosophical approach to the issue, insisting that we’re all quite different, and in our difference we find our “special purpose.”

Yet it doesn’t occur to us that if we all have different views of what is necessary, beautiful and spiritual, we’re more likely to collide into each other in the dark than to embrace each other in the light.

I do think it’s important that we come to some common ground on what is apparent, and even if we don’t completely understand it, submit to the wisdom of some very essential precepts:

1. We are not here alone.

In other words, we cannot live our lives as if there are no other human beings, and trying to pursue our goals without a belief in a Creator can be more frustrating than enriching.

2. The truth will make you free.

Lying is a detour which takes you through town, past the beautiful houses, but always ends up at the city dump. No one ever gets away with lying–and truthfully, the longer the deceit is disguised, the worse the retribution.

3. Miracles are God’s business, but talent is mine.

There is no replacement for ability applied with hard work. Those who peddle shortcuts, easy diet plans and get-rich schemes may be the closest thing we will ever see to flesh-and-blood satans.

There are things which are apparent. If we agree, we can begin to pull together instead of pushing and shoving each other. But to get this done, we must stop believing that the Earth is a series of human islands instead of a continent of brothers and sisters.

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Anvil

dictionary with letter A

Anvil: (n) a heavy steel or iron block with a flat top and concave sides, and typically a pointed end on which metals can be hammered and shaped.

I took a long moment to think this one through.

I like things that make me think because thinking is admitting that you don’t know and you aren’t afraid to learn if any information is actually available.

Here’s what I came up with:

You’ve got one big piece of metal in your hand in the shape of a hammer that’s hitting another piece of metal really hard to put it in shape, while a very sturdy piece of metal beneath it withstands the blows and remains firm so as not to inhibit the shaping of the object.

They’re all metal.

Some of them just have to be stronger than the others to sustain the pressure.

I know that appears to be too philosophical, but if you pause for a moment, it really isn’t. It’s just practical.

For a brief season, we have children who are brought into this world and must be molded, guided and shaped into human beings. I must warn you, they do not arrive human, but rather, as self-centered, egotistical, overly intelligent little monkeys who need to be removed from their jungle environment and taught the ways of true humanity.

There’s a lot of debate today on whether there’s some hitting and beating needed in that process.

Let us agree on the following four points:

1. There are moments in raising a child when you are well prepared to kill them, and if you got the right jury, who had also parented, you might get off for time served.

2. Since the sensation is common to us all, what sets us apart from those who end up damaging their children instead of helping them is what we might call “holy restraint.”

3. Holy restraint is not achieved without pursuing something holy. To do that means you need to invest your brain more than your brawn. The advantage we have over children is that they’re just not as smart as we are yet. And the second advantage is that we control the macaroni and cheese.

4. A child who learns is like a piece of steel that is squeezed between the hammer and the anvil. Since both of them are stronger, he or she will eventually find a reason to comply.

Now, I realize the analogy doesn’t work well because the hammer actually hits the steel against the anvil. But since our children are made of flesh and blood instead of iron and alloys, it might be a good idea to adjust the strength projected to the object addressed.

As flesh and blood, they need wisdom and guidance from people who know how to outsmart them.

Parenting is more about trickery than it ever is … about spanking.

 

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Anti-septic

dictionary with letter A

Anti-septic: (adj) of or relating to substances that prevent disease-causing micro-organisms.

They put a sign on my door.

Apparently, my condition was common enough that these signs were readily available for ordering from some medical supply house.

The sign read, “This patient is septic.”

Nurses and doctors started walking into my room wearing gloves and masks. I felt like I was in a horror flick and had unfortunately been cast in the role of “the horror.”

What they discovered was that I had an infection which had spread throughout my bloodstream, and therefore every excretion from my body, including my sweat and spit, was toxic.

It was weird.

It made me appreciate the term “anti-septic.” Because when I was anti-septic–completely against the concept–people liked me a lot more and didn’t have to bundle up like mummies to be in my presence.

They put me on a treatment and within a couple of days they were able to remove the sign and my practitioners stripped themselves of all necessary protection.

Now…without becoming too philosophical, we can be septic in many ways, including emotionally, spiritually and mentally. All “septic” really means is that we are poisonous to those around us. It would be good to engage an anti-septic at that point, don’t you think?

So when I am emotionally septic–in such a bad mood that I’m not fit to be a caretaker of snakes–I quarantine myself so as not to spew unrighteous feelings into the air to infect the general populace.

When I’m spiritually septic i spend some time thinking about how blessed I am, and then, with tears in my eyes, apologize to a generous Father in heaven, who is waiting for me to come to my senses.

And when I’m mentally septic–promoting my own prejudices instead of truth–I allow myself the grace of shutting my mouth until some healing can happen in my thoughts.

Anti-septic is a good thing. Because septic kills.

And we certainly have too much of that going around, don’t we? 

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