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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A country for cur-mudgeons.

There was a man. He took a trip to a far off country and there he settled for a short while. While he was there he found a puppy. The puppy was starving, badly beaten, diseased and living on the streets. The man sought out the puppy's owner and stated his intentions to buy the dog. The owner demanded a high price and without batting an eye the man paid it, even though it was far more than the puppy was worth.

The man nursed the puppy back to health. He found him a home where the puppy would be looked after and gave him a name and a tag so everyone would know who the puppy belonged to. One day he took the puppy for a walk, told him how much he loved him, told him he was going away for a while and that when he came back, he would take the puppy to his new home where they would always be together. He told him that while he was gone, he wanted the puppy to be a good dog.

And then he left.

The puppy waited. And waited. And waited. After about an hour, the puppy realized that this was going to be a long wait. Puppy's have no real hard ideas about time. The puppy grew up. He did his best to be a good dog. He got along all right with the other dogs. He worked hard for the people who took care of him. He enjoyed walks and hunts and riding in cars with the windows open. He even settled down with another dog who had a tag as well and they had puppies of their own who he told about the master and country that they would all go to someday. And life went on.

But every now and then, the puppy would catch a scent of his true master. It might be on another person or another dog. It might be on something like a tree or wooded path. It might even be on the wind at sunset, as if carried there from some far country. The master's country. His country. At first the puppy would be excited. He would jump up and look, expecting any moment to see the master. And he would wait. And wait. And wag his tail. And wait. And sniff around trying to find more. And wait. And after about five minutes he would realize that this wasn't the time. The master wasn't coming. Again.

Then the puppy grew sullen. The puppy would retreat to dark corners and lie there. As he grew older, he grew less patient. No longer would he jump up. He would test the scent and if nothing changed he would go back to what he was doing. He still tried to be a good dog, but something had changed. His caretakers did not know what to do. His mate did not understand him. His own pups avoided him when they saw that familiar set of his jowls.

The other dogs made where ever they were at, their country. They dug holes and spread around smelly things. They lived in houses and acted like children instead of dogs. They chased their tails and bit whoever they pleased and barked and barked and barked. But the puppy thought they were all fools. He knew where he belonged and who he belonged with and this wasn't it.

Now is about the time in most stories that the Master should come or the puppy should take matters into his own paws and start off to find the Master or become a bad dog. But that didn't happen so i can't say that. The puppy is still working hard for the people who take care of him, he is still teaching his puppies about the Master, still trying to be a good dog. In short, he is still waiting.

Lately, he's been trying to wait in a more puppy like fashion. 'Cause puppies believe!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Teach your children well.

Does the Holy God have specific plans for us or does Jesus not care what we do as long as we do it all for the glory of the Father?

i have two sons, the Ballyhoo, Happ and Rascal. They are both creators.

Happ is a philosopher. He has ideas that swirl on currents of emotion, they are ephemeral; solid in the moment and then fading before the strength of the next minute's passion. He is a drummer and it seems to me that music fits his building style. He has much to say, too much for static mediums. Paper lacks the acreage to contain his spiritual pilgrimage. Too many borders, too many boundaries. He is the cowboy and only the wind can encompass his art. And so i think he will most likely build with the wind and on the wind and the wind will take his creations to the world.

Rascal is an architect. Rascal builds ideas upon ideas. Carefully selecting the next stone, the next brick from among the pile. Then shaping it, knocking off sharp corners or fitting it into the construct. Rascal aspires to perfection and permanence BUT only what is perfect must gain permanence. All failed attempts must be learned from and wiped away. Only what is good, what is solid, what has obeyed and fit the design in his dream can be seen through and then seen by the world. Rascal is young, blocks are the mode for now but blocks are the foundation of the man he will become. It seems to me that he is methodically choosing and learning and experimenting with what will become the building blocks of his own soul, his own direction, his life.

As their father, i love seeing them grow like this. i love answering their questions and seeing what they choose to do with the things they learn. Do i care what they do with their lives? Hell yeah! i'm going to be a lot more proud of them if they truly follow their dreams whatever those dreams may be. i'm going to be a lot more proud of a musician and an engineer than a male prostitute and the front end loader operator down at the dump. They don't have to be famous or particularly successful. i just want to look down the table at Thanksgiving someday and see two guys who are living, not just surviving. Two guys who are pursuing something, not running from something. Two guys who are investing their time here and not burying their talents so as not to lose them.

But that's me, what does the Almighty Maker of the Universe think?