Cattle Drive, Fort Worth Stockyards, April 2010

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The New Ecologists

As I was driving to the church today I had a curious experience. Immediately in front of me was a young man driving in his light blue Toyota Prius. It was politically correct with its hybrid engine whirling away as we drove down the street. I must have seem terribly out of place and out of connection in my Camry with the regular gasoline burning engine.

He drove with the windows rolled down, while I—with a much more sensitive demeanor drove with my windows up and the air conditioner cranked as high as I could get it. I despise arriving with my black shirts dripping in sweat. The young man was admirable in all of his comportment until I spied the chink in his armor. I should have noticed it sooner.

He left arm was flopped out the window with a cigarette clutched between his fingers. There is something so inelegant in the way a young man holds a cigarette in his claws. He usually draws his fingers in close like he's grasping a baseball. A woman, contrariwise, will extend her fingers so that the noxious tube of tobacco seems to float against her hand. This youngster was definitely more of the bear claw type.

Hadn't he heard of the dangers of smoking in school. I'm assured by my children that they are told that by their teachers. Has he not heard the alarm sounded from the media at night warning him of the perils he was entering? He obviously heard the necessity of conserving energy and fuel with the heightened shrieks of the eco-maniacal left drumming their cadences into a religious overture. That did seem to make it past his ears. But smoking? I'm afraid that he probably heard that with the same ears that passed over the sex ed material.

Then I saw the truth. I was dumbfounded. I can't believe that I hadn't realized it before. We pulled up next to the red light and casually… calmly… he tossed his cigarette butt out the window onto the street. Hmmm. He had been bullied into being ecologically wise in his car purchase but when it really boiled down to being consistent in his life, he just tossed it all out the window.

Maybe I'm a cynic. I don't think so. But I found tremendous hope in the future in his little demonstration (as well as a little disgust). I suddenly became hopeful that an entire generation hasn't been lost, that they will be able to see more clearly as the grow up. Maybe they haven't been completely brainwashed with the silliness that the schools teach now.

I even allowed myself the secret pleasure of a new mental image. Someday, when he has learned to think for himself, when he has come to see all of the tomfoolery and buffoonery and preachiness of the left he'll simply come to a stop light and toss it out the window.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I recently have been able to reconnect with some of my old friends from high school. Thankfully we're not too old that we can't remember each other any longer, just too old to recognize one another if we walked past each other on the street. None of us look the same. Well, okay there are a couple who look very similar but they're rare.

Reconnecting is an interesting thing. We often pick right back up where we left off years ago in the summer of 1980. Things have certainly changed us but inside we are still the same persons we were.

That, I think, is good news. Too often we tend to think of ourselves as adults who have to have answers and solutions for our daily problems, and tragically we extend that to assuming we have all of the answers all of the time. But late at night when we lay our heads down on the pillow we know that that is simply a mask that we're all too comfortable wearing. We still carry inside us the same wide-eyed kids that saw Star Wars for the first time, or Yellowstone National Park. We aren't completed jaded. It's always a temptation to become so, but even then we occasionally stumble across our feet and find ourselves in awe of something.

That is a profoundly wonderful thing because unless we recognize that we don't know everything, we can never have faith. We have to recognize that God really is above us and bigger than we are. We can't squeeze him into our little noggins and expect him to still be God. We're simply creatures after all, and far from omniscient. As I like to say in my adults' classes, if we have managed to get God all figured out, then our God (in this case it really is god not God) is to small, or our heads are too big.

There's another wonderful thing about reconnection. And that is simply that we can re-connect. We can always move our hearts closer again. This may be in the sense of renewing friendships long neglected, or it may be rekindling the love we once had for God. The intensity of that love can wane and become lukewarm far too quickly in our harried lives. But like the father of the prodigal son (that gospel story is really about the father and not the son), God waits for us to come around the corner and walk home.

Spiritually we all need to reconnect. We need to do it every single day as a matter of fact. That is, in part, what prayer is all about. Prayer isn't simply to ask God for this or that, to forgive this or that, to help this one or that one. At its absolute core it is to reconnect. To weld ourselves to God with such passion and intensity that we experience the burning of that love all through the day.

So, I for one, am thankful for reconnecting. It's essential for us to move forward. I hope we all dust off our kneelers and open our hearts to the deepest reconnection which all connecting and reconnecting is intending to point us to.