Month: September 2015

Expert Commentary

I know I’ve been missing in action.  It’s been a bit intentional.  I have needed some time to think, to expert-commentreflect and to look at the world around me.  There is so much going on, so many voices screaming in our ears that the noise is overwhelming.

For my part in this great noise, I want to find a place of silence to really hear God and know His voice, see His face, sense His heart….so I’ve taken some time to get away.

But today, I’ve found myself reading comments on Facebook. I know… huge mistake right?

It’s quite amusing really.

Now before I go on too much further, I need to clarify something.  I am NOT an expert at anything.  That is no surprise to those who know me.  I do have an opinion but in no way do I try to pass myself off as an expert on any subject.

Reading comments from people who I know barely graduated high school is just amazing to me. They honestly think they are so smart and have all the answers.

With the Internet and the ability to be shielded by a keyboard and screen, everyone seems to be an expert on everything. It is hard for me to really take someone’s opinion on a subject if they cannot spell or talk like they grew up in the “hood”.

People… just don’t.

spell2First suggestion… if you want people to take you even somewhat seriously, please, for the love of all things pure and holy… use a spell checker!!!

I have read more than my share of people using the word “no” for “know” as in, Dos anyone no whut time the game starts?”  or the often abused use of the variations of there, their and they’re as in, There dog is running lose down the street.”  These caught my attention as well, “I could not here cause the musac was to lawd.”  and  “I would like to take the time to address some roomers about me.”

For the record, most of the posts I read were not like the examples I am referring to.  However, there were far more than I cared to read.

Before you think I am only reading posts from people I do not know…  I’m not. 

I know a few of them.  I know where they come from and in most cases I know what level of education they have. Most of them have never traveled farther than 100 miles from their hometown except maybe for a trip or two to Disneyland. However they present themselves as experts on world diplomacy and the problems of this world.  

We are a nation of experts without truth.  It’s quite funny to read the bluster of words from someone trying to convince me they are right. 

Truth is that the education level of today’s “millennials” is less than their parents. The American Association of State Colleges and Universities report on education shows that the U.S. ranks second among all nations in the proportion of the population aged 35-64 with a college degree, but 19th in the percentage of those aged 25-34 with an associate or high school diploma, which means that for the first time, the educational attainment of young people is lower than their parents.

So here we are.  A culture of experts about nothing.  They comment on things that they have no Expertexperience in nor do they have the education or training to be the experts they try and pass themselves off on being.

Everyone is suddenly an expert and, since we no longer believe in truth in our culture, the one who can bluster the most, act angry enough or overwhelm the discussion with confusion usually wins.  

Or do they?

It seems we waste a lot of time with opinions, words, rhetoric and anger that does nothing at all.

And in the end… after all is said… nothing changes.

How about we start with truth, a foundation of some kind, and discuss issues from there?  Oh, wait, we can’t….no one believes in absolute truth anymore.

One area that really gets to me is when I read what people write and comment about when it comes to things of the Bible.  In most examples, it is discussions about things that have nothing to do with Jesus Christ and the salvation that He provided on the cross. People get so caught up in discussions that have no impact on where they or others will spend eternity.

I wonder what God really thinks about these “discussions”?  How silly this must sound to Him as people die without Christ.  How many wasted hours discussing nothing of eternal significance?  .

Yes… our culture is filled with people who believe they have all the answers. 

I wonder what kind of expert commentary and answers people will give when they stand before God and have to give an account for their life?   

My prayer is that I never fall into the trap of thinking that I am so wise that God thinks of me as a fool.

How about you?

 

Viewing Life Through A Broken Lens

About a year ago, I bought a used IPAD from a friend. I was told upfront thcrackedat the screen was cracked.  

And then I saw it. 

All along the left hand side of the screen was cracked.  It was bigger than I expected but I was committed to get it fixed right away.

For the first few days, it’s all I thought about when I tried to use it.  It was right in my face.  It seemed to be staring at me. 

It was the first thing I noticed every single time I used it.  No matter where I looked, it taunted me and contorted my view of the pictures on the screen.  I couldn’t wait to have it fixed now, but I needed to delay it for a few days.  I had a lot on my plate, so I planned to take it to get fixed the following week.

But within a few days, the cracks began to fade into the background.  A week later, and I’d all but forgotten the cracked screen.  

I barely noticed it.

In those few short days, I grew accustomed to the cracks in my window.  I compensated for them.  I accepted them and the distorted view that came with them.  What had once been an obvious, irritating distraction became familiar enough that I looked right past it.  It was almost like it wasn’t there.

But it was there.

It’s like looking through glasses with a broken lens.  It distorts our view.  We don’t see things as we broken-glassesshould. An obvious lesson here is that when we ignore small problems, they grow bigger and spread.

When we avoid paying the smaller cost today, we’ll likely pay a larger one tomorrow.

But there’s an even more important lesson for me.  Maybe for you too.

Where else am I looking at my life through broken glass?  Good and bad, what’s true about me that I refuse to see? What’s in my way that’s obvious to everyone but me?

This week I found some things that I have been ignoring.  The cracks and broken pieces of perspective have come back into focus to show me where I have been living in denial.  I have been living my life by not acknowledging the obvious.  The issues associated with growing old and having serious health problems belonged to someone else and surely not me.

My mind and eyes adjusted so quickly to my bad situation that I no longer even saw things as they were.  I ignored the problem so well that I didn’t see the thing right in front of my face obstructing my view.  I looked past it, even as it worsened.  It became normal to me.

I have been living there, in denial, for a while now. I have a serious problem with high blood pressure and I have diabetes. No matter how much I would like to deny that these issues are true, I cannot stop them from affecting my life.

Last week I was having chest pains.  You would think I would have said something to my wife but I didn’t. I couldn’t rest and I couldn’t sleep. Much like the crack on my IPAD, after a few days of pain I just looked past them in ignorance. The more I tried to ignore the increasing pains and pressure in my chest the more I started having this sinking feeling and thoughts that I was soon to die.  I thought of impending doom. Still I did nothing. Denial and pride kept me from reacting to what my body was telling me.

After almost a week of this I finally gave in.  I could no longer deny that something was seriously wrong. I sent a text to mSky Highy wife and told her that I was having issues.

I soon found myself heading to the ER.  When I got there I was immediately rushed in to the cardiac unit.  Initial tests showed that my blood pressure was “sky-high” as the doctor put it.  I was about as close a person can get without having a stroke or a massive heart attack.  The reason for why this was happening was still lost to me but was obvious to the doctors that were treating me. I was soon going to get a real clear picture of why I was in the hospital and in the condition I was.

It was painfully obvious and acknowledged that I had not been taking my medications the way I should have.  My broken “lens” was ignored and I looked past these health issues as if they belonged to someone else.

They had to bring my blood pressure down slowly so as to not induce a stroke so I was subjected to a few days of tests and treatment to bring it down and get my diabetes under control. I can no longer look past these medical issues.  The good news is that my heart is in pretty good condition considering it’s owner. No blockages and the potential of stopping any more damage if I can get back on the path of good health.  I want to live another 30 or so years, and it was made real clear that I that will not happen unless I make some changes in my life. 

Another second chance.

I am home today… still having residual chest pains that will go away with continued treatment as prescribed. Reminders of a fool who still viewed his heath problems through a cracked lens. The signs were all around me. I just never let myself see them.

I have to ask myself some real important life questions.

Where else am I looking at my life through broken glass? 

Good and bad, what’s true about me that I refuse to see?

What’s in my way that’s obvious to everyone but me?

These are painful questions to wrestle with, and trust me, I’m aching having gone a few rounds with them.  But who wants to live a life seeing things as they aren’t?

We all need to see our circumstances as they truly are.  We cannot continue to look at life through a broken lens. Our challenge is to not ignore what’s broken.

If life isn’t shaping up as you’d hoped – If you’ve been circling back to the same person or problem again and again – If you’re in a destructive relationship – especially if it’s with yourself.

Maybe you’ve got a crack in your window. Maybe there’s something right in front of you obstructing your view, keeping you from seeing things as they really are,keeping you from being who you were meant to be.

What is it?  It’s not a mystery.  It’s in plain sight.  Once we name it, we can deal with it and move on.

So, go a few rounds with these questions that are taking me to the mat.

Am I viewing my life through a broken lens?

What does it keep me from seeing about myself?

What am I denying about the circumstances I’ve created?

What old pain have I grown accustomed to and embraced?

What if I laid it down?

What would be possible if you could see yourself and your circumstances as they truly are?

Answer them before it’s too late.