Clock

Clock: (n) a mechanical or electrical device for measuring time

Tick-tock.

Actually, I’ve never heard a clock do a “tock.” But many times, one has ticked me off.

I hate time–even though I have to admit the word “hate” is a rather vicious and overwrought expression. But the extreme dislike I have for the confinement of minutes and hours does threaten to become hateful.

Time never fulfills. The clock never has just the right amount to offer. There’s either too much time, which lends itself to all sorts of buffoonery and mistakes, or there’s too little time, and worry and fussiness set in, creating an old man or woman out of the youngest soul.

Occasionally I abandon the clock. I pretend it doesn’t exist. I wait for the sunrise to alert me of the day and the sunset to inform me of the need for an evening meal.

Yet that simple approach is quickly overtaken by the brattiness of responsibility.

Still, all in all, the clock doesn’t tell the time–it shows it. What will prove the value of my journey, the depth of my soul and the worth of my efforts?

Well, in that case, time will tell.

 

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Balm

Balm:(n) a fragrant ointment or preparation used to heal or soothe the skin.Dictionary B

Dried out.

The skin begins to flake and fall off because of a lack of moisture.

Got it. Some lotion, or balm, is very helpful. You also might want to drink some water.

But in like manner, our society is dried out. Pardon the expression, but we’ve become quite flaky.

To sit around and discuss the condition or lament our dryness seems futile.

We need a balm–something to spread all over us which will moisturize us and make us pliable to reason and willing to at least consider the truth. Those noble souls who are willing to bring that ointment to our society will certainly be doing the work of the angels.

So what is the balm?

I will give you a little secret. There are two things you can do which totally change the complexion of the human beings around you:

Don’t worry.

Don’t hurry.

Everything bad that happens in our lives occurs because we are worrying or complaining when opportunity knocks on the door, or we’re in such a hurry that we make stupid mistakes.

It’s no more complicated than that.

If you’re going to spend all your time hurrying to solve a problem that’s come up and the rest of the time, worrying about the next problem around the corner, you will be undesirable and a real flake.

Just bringing a non-worrisome attitude without hurrying is a balm of healing to our times.

  • Stop preaching.
  • Stop praying so much.
  • Stop trying to find the new solution to the old problem.

Don’t worry. Don’t hurry.

You will anoint every situation with newness … and bring “fresh skin” to the human race.

 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

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Allay

Allay: (v) to diminish or put to rest.dictionary with letter A

I put some thought to it.

Actually, I’ve only heard this word used in relationship to fear.

I supposed you could “allay someone’s burden.” Or possibly “allay activity,” but I’ve never heard the word used in that function.

But it is beautifully and spiritually applied when it allows us to confront and overcome the tragic trepidation that keeps us from achieving our fullness.

Allay my fears.

Matter of fact, I don’t know how far from the truth I would be if I said that fear is at the root of all the iniquity that profoundly cripples our efforts.

So having things that allay our fears may be the definition of a gift from God. How can we allay our fears?

1. By allowing ourselves to believe that the world is not really out to get us. The world is too busy with itself to have much concern over our affairs.

2. By accepting the fact that worry is not only useless, but it is a time drainer. It extorts from us the energy and talent we might have used to address our conflict.

3. And finally, that mysteriously but faithfully, life offers dilemma, which normally seems to have a briefer life expectancy than we prepare for.

Flatly, problems are lazier than we think they are. They depart more quickly than they threaten, stalking off to trouble someone else.

I was grateful for this word today. It lets me know what my job is as a human being–to allay fears … starting with my own.


Agonize

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Agonize: (v) to undergo great mental anguish through worrying about something.

Really?

I’m sorry. I always try to empathize with my fellow-men and women, but sometimes the causes and circumstances that promote frustration and agonizing concern just escape me.

Early on in my life I came up with a simple principle:

There is only one day which is totally beyond my control: the day I die. And all the imitators of that experience can be dodged, as if they were bullets.

There you go.

It reminds me of the words of Jesus when he told his friends, the disciples, that their buddy, Lazarus, was sick but that he wasn’t going to die.

The truth is, he did die.

But traveling to see him, to prepare for a resurrection, it would have been of little use to weep, fuss and agonize over his temporary termination. So Jesus told them it was “all cool.”

Now, I’m not talking about an optimistic attitude, which is often devoid of needed reality and focus. (In other words, people who always “look on the bright side of life” can be quickly dimmed by a single rain cloud.) But it is a needed perspective.

There are three forces that will work for us if we are aware of our own surroundings:

1. Mother Nature. She just has a way of doing things, and if you learn her ways, you’ve got the first four digits of the “pick six” in the lottery.

2. Fellow humans. Contrary to most of the television programs, the vast majority of humanity does not consist of pimps, thieves and serial killers. People actually do help more often than not.

3. God. God has no reason to do anything but support his children. The only thing we have to remember is, this grace is bestowed to the humble.

Agonize if you want–but I will save that single moment of uncontrollable worry for my own death, and fight it off … until it’s absolutely mandatory.

Agitation

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAgitation: (n) 1. a state of anxiety or nervous excitement 2. the action of briskly stirring or disturbing something, esp. a liquid

Proximity.

It’s a great word. It means how close I am to something.

Occasionally I become very upset at myself for agitating my own spirit, allowing my being to be disrupted, disoriented, and lending itself to disorganization.

It doesn’t take me long to trace the problem. I put myself in too close proximity to something that should be further away. I even have friends and family who are best suited for spending time at a distance from me and I from them, so as to maintain the mutual love and respect that we both would hate to lose.

Agitation is a proximity problem.

It is difficult for us, as human beings, to sit ourselves down in the middle of our quandary, surrounded by the tension, and still remain rational and capable of solving dilemmas. It is necessary to create distance from anxiety in order to free ourselves from worry.

That’s the truth.

I know some people would disagree, saying it’s idealistic to think we can escape the surrounding “crush of crash” in order to make adequate judgments. But I have never been able to be agitated and be anything but a jerk.

  • I need distance.
  • I need air.
  • I need the ability to turn my back on the oppression, stoop down and “fiddle in the dirt with my finger,” giving my spirit the chance to calm down, and therefore, my mind the opportunity to clear.

If you reach the point of agitation, you’ve already missed your exit off the freeway of frustration.

Pull over. Get off the highway. Don’t try to text, drink your coffee, stare down at your computer and drive your car. It only feeds the agitation.

I do believe that everything in life is a proximity decision. And when we run across something that stymies us, it doesn’t do any good to try to stare it down.

Walk out of the room, buy yourself a minute, regain your soul, escape agitation … and let the better parts of you speak the wisdom that’s available.

Abustle

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abustle: (adj.) bustling; busy: the main drag was abustle with creative sidewalk artists.

One of my least favorite emotional states or climates for activity is frantic. This is why I don’t like “abustle.”

I don’t mind people being busy, but I don’t want them to let me know they are or appear they are on their “last nerve,” ready to explode with overwrought eagerness. I think the secret in life is to get a lot accomplished and surprise yourself at the end of the day with the list of successes, without ever appearing to lift too many fingers.

Yes–if we’re successful at achieving laziness but are still productive, we may have just discovered the true secret of life.

I get around folks all the time who move like gnats. Have you ever noticed a gnat? It has no particular direction and actually flies in little, tiny circles, attempting to locate some sort of goal that would give its life purpose. So one gnat in a room can be much more annoying than two flies. The flies are bigger and buzz more, but they do occasionally land and rest for a spell instead of continually fidgeting to make themselves known without any obvious purpose.

Do we really look more intelligent and creative when we’re abuzz? Does quickening our step get us somewhere faster, or just increase the possibility of tripping up? Is worrying the sign of true concern, or just an obvious admission that we don’t really know what we’re doing and certainly don’t believe in what we’re pursuing?

I do hate it when people say they’re busy. “I didn’t write you this week because I was busy.” So I guess that means that because I DID write to you, my life must be devoid of purpose. Or does it mean that I took the time to leisurely grant you three or four minutes of my thoughts to send your way?

Don’t tell me you’re too busy. Don’t run around all abustle, convincing the world that God is anxiously awaiting the results of your present adventure. We take ourselves too seriously. In the process, we admit that life is serious. In doing that, we stop having fun.

I am not busy. And if I am busy, I will stop immediately. I will not move one inch until my joy returns and I can go back to meticulously relishing every single moment of my endeavors.

Abnormal

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abnormal: adj. deviating from what is normal or usual, typically in a way that is undesirable or worrying.
So I have spent my life worrying people. I felt it was my job.

  • I worried my kindergarten teacher by coloring outside the lines. she felt it warranted a meeting with my parents.
  • I worried my high school football coach by choosing music over linebacking.
  • I worried my wife by flying out to Arizona to “rescue” her from her parents’ disapproval of me.
  • I worried people in the music industry by refusing to conform to trends, but rather, pursuing the melody in my heart.
  • I worried the political system by turning down the invitations to all of their parties.
  • I worried the religious system by believing in God without reciting all the prescribed words.
  • I worried my doctor by creating a scenario of longevity, wherein I have only a “fat chance.”
  •  I worried my family by continuing to faithfully execute my talent in a world which seems to be negating the need for gathering and fellowshipping.
  • I really don’t see the sense in living your life if you don’t worry those people around you who are content with mediocrity.

The truth of the matter is, there is nothing we regale, worship or believe in today that was not, at one time, abnormal.
Of course, some abnormalities need to be confronted and changed.

For instance, the idea that elected officials from varying corners of the country can come together and pass constructive laws …