Friday, July 27, 2012

New Year's Resolutions...Part Two

In case you missed my last blog post (cue gasps of incredulous disbelief from my legions of adoring fans Mom), please read here. For those of you brave souls following along, let's move on to the next item.

Be Intelligent
I’m not just talking about intellectual intelligence; today you can Google just about any topic and become an expert within the hour. Even so, learn from others – be hungry for knowledge. That way you’ll have information in your own head, so you can make good choices in the moment. When presented with a difficult decision that you need to make in a split second, God help you if you have to search the Internet for a solution. Be in the position where you can search your own brain. When it comes to intelligence, I’m also talking about emotional intelligence…having the ability to sense when those around you need help, a hug, or a shoulder to lean on. Be interested in others, for every person has a story. Be intelligent in your choices; this life of yours isn’t a practice round. Be intelligent with your words; people may not remember exactly what you said or did, but they will always remember how you made them feel. Be intelligent through your actions, because they speak volumes about the stuff you’re made of. And when someone says, “You’ll regret this...”, chances are fairly high you will. Especially if you're under the age of 25. There are certain parts of your brain that won’t fully develop until you’re in your twenties, especially that little thing called foresight. So, sometimes it’s OK to rely on those who have it. And no matter how old you are, when your parents start a sentence with, “If I were you….” they actually aren’t trying to make you gag. Rather, they probably just want you to avoid making the same mistakes they did.

Foresight allows you to always picture the next scene – whether it be driving too fast down a gravel road or not treating your loved ones with respect when you open your mouth and let fly. After it’s all said and done, you can never take it back. Simply put, once you’re in the ditch, you’re in it. And since I’ve spent the occasional stint in the odd ditch, I can tell you without hesitation there are much better ways to spend your time.

In my mind's eye, I'm floating down a river.
I feel the sun on my face, 
the gentle swell of the water carrying me,
holding me, encasing me.
There's no particular destination.
I'm not in a hurry.
I notice everything around me.
I'm at peace with where I'm heading,
even though I can't see beyond the bend.
I spread light and joy to those I encounter.
Something happens...
It shakes me.
I lose sight of the sun.
The water's choppy,
I feel cold and alone.
I'm nervous, anxious, frightened, afraid.
I tremble,
I thrash,
desperate to grab hold,
get a grip...
but my grasp is too tight.
The water's having none of it.
I'm drowning.
Everything's dark.
In an instant I want foresight,
I want to see my future, 
I'm fucking desperate to know what's around the bend.
It's clarity I seek.
But there's no controlling a river.
You can't stop the swells.
And in that moment...
that exact moment when you feel you've used up all your air,
and you can't seem to find your breath,
just when you think you're going under,
that's exactly when you need to let go....
free fall into your faith,
be engulfed by His grace.
it's where faith and intelligence converge...
you need to remember,
always know,
you're not the one in charge. 
You'll never own the river.
After all, it's not yours to have. 
And holding on tighter won't make it stop flowing. 
You simply need to let it be.
Just be.
And you might just be surprised at what you can hold with your arms wide open.

To be continued...

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