Jack London’s Credo I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in … Continue reading I Shall Use My Time
To know you’re not forgotten. You have a gift. You have talents. You have a purpose. And you are needed. … Continue reading 7 Daily Affirmations for Finishing Well
Trails less traveled. The way is narrow. The way is steep. The way is hard. But the way is good. … Continue reading Lifesummit
Keep the earth below my feet
For all my sweat, my blood runs weak
Let me learn from where I have been
Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn
Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn
— Mumford & Sons, “Below My Feet”
As each small bag passed through my hands to the next volunteer, I thought of each man, woman, and child, in some other country, who will open these packages. They will be happy because it’s one more day they can eat. I am happy because I can help.
I was in San Diego at a technology conference, and the host had partnered with Stop Hunger Now to build meal kits. In assembly line fashion, we held open plastic bags, filled them with a combo of rice & soy meal with vitamins, and boxed them for shipment around the world.
But the men, women, and children I saw eating this food were part of my imagination. In reality my eyes only saw bags of dry food passing through my hands, and my ears only heard rice sliding through plastic funnels and volunteers small talking about where they were from and what kind of companies they worked for and what they did for fun.
Certainly they were humbled and excited to give of their time for such a cause. I could see it on their faces. Except for one slightly overweight guy who, trying to be funny, had the audacity to say, “No wonder all those people can stay skinny. All they eat is rice and soy meal!” Nobody laughed.
In my last post, Discovering the Pioneer Spirit Inside of You – Part 1, I asked the question, “Do you consider your life frontier?” We looked at how your life is confronted with many unfamiliar territories over its course. And although countless people before you may have encountered similar frontiers, these challenges are still unique to you.
Now comes the question, “What do you do with this?” How do you rustle up the courage to step into the unknown and find the gumption to keep going? (If you haven’t read Part 1, I encourage you to read that first.)
Frontier. The word itself evokes thoughts of majestic landscapes, high plains prairies, mountain ranges untouched by human presence. Wagon trains heading into the Wild West, modern pioneers exploring the reaches of space and diving the depths of our oceans. We rarely use the word in the lexicon of our own lives—instead we use words like season or journey—but your life today is very much frontier.
Seasons come and go. Like moving to a new area, changing jobs, switching churches, going from football to basketball season. If our team doesn’t do so well, we say: there’s always next season. We weather through these cycles, and we learn what to expect when the next comes around. And so we become seasoned.
A journey is more a long, steady course over a lifetime. Ups and downs. Wide roads and narrow ones. Easy times and hard ones. A beginning and an end. We are taught to appreciate the journey as much as the destination. Others have gone before us on this road, and we learn from their experiences to improve our own chances at a successful life.
But what of a frontier? Does it sound more risky? Untamed? Ballsy, even? Continue reading “Discovering the Pioneer Spirit Inside of You – Part 1”
Novelist James Scott Bell calls writers “The Fellowship of the Weird.” Cecil Murphey, co-author of the popular 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Life and Death, shares in his recent newsletter, “Because I like who I am, I like being alone with myself” (after he explains his struggle with loneliness).
Run a Google search on “artists are weird” or “artists are misunderstood,” or my favorite, “artists are crazy,” and you’ll get millions of results.
I posed a question on my Facebook page asking, “If you’re an artist, do you feel lonely or misunderstood around non-artists?” The overall answer was yes (mostly the misunderstood part). But where does that leave the non-artist? Continue reading “The Art of Understanding the Artist in All of Us”