Hangups,Errors a And Blunders. The Mistakes We Are Trained To Make.

Nobody is born being an expert. We might all have different aptitudes for various skills but it’s practice that makes perfect. Even if we achieve the skill level of “expert” that doesn’t mean that we are free from simple human error. Suddenly being faced with the undeniable truth that you’ve made a royal screwup is God’s way of keeping us humble. In other words, oopsies are the great leveling force of the universe. Remember, it was experts that built the Titanic and amateurs that built the Ark.

When I saw the collection of lost fishing tackle snagged in the overhead power lines my first thought was that someone’s kids had been on their first fishing trip. This inspired the meme below.

But after some thought I began to consider the phenomenon of “muscle memory”. If you are trained to cast a line with a high arc you might not think to adjust your cast while standing under the power lines. Your reflexes would kick in and your body would react out of pure instinct. You would do the right thing but at the wrong time. This kind of mistake happens to all of us and it happens more often than we care to admit. It also happens during the thought process and when reacting to something that someone else has said or done. I think that’s why it’s important to be quick to forgive. Jesus said to let he who is without sin cast the first stone. While there’s different interpretations of what was being implied in this statement I believe that at least in part Jesus was pointing out that errors in actions often include errors in judgment and nobody is immune from this. The experts in the law were reacting out of reflex without examining the circumstances. It’s the same kind of mistake we all make every day.

Freedom Founded In Benevolence

Friends gather on the banks of the beautiful Kanawha River at Glen Ferris West Virginia. They’ve come to enjoy the warm sun and the cool waters. Playfully they leap into the air for the occasional game of tag and to float on the warm air as it rises and carries them to the tops of the trees. Their lives are completely devoid of aggression and malcontent. They soar on the slightest breeze because they have no burdens to hold them down.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that good will leads to a happier place in life. It is a promise made to us by God. We all have good days and bad days. There’s days when I can get triggered by the slightest little thing and before I can stop myself I’ve said or done something that I regret for weeks. And, you know what? It takes twice as much expression of good will to free me from that regret. I might feel like I was winning a debate or putting someone else in their place but the truth is that those actions become a burden almost immediately. So, if you want to know the real secret of joy and freedom it’s benevolence.

Bridges, Music and Life

Life is a lot like music. The musical scale contains only twelve basic notes. And yet, those twelve notes have spawned every song known to mankind. Life also has its basic elements and rhythm. While I’m not a musician myself my understand is that it’s the bridge that ties it all together. As life changes from one phase to the next we look for a bridge to facilitate the transition. Some bridges are shorter than others but all of them are temporary. How bad would your favorite song be if it was all bridge? We’d miss the best part of the song. Life’s bridges may not be the best part of life but they do take us to those places. We just need keep moving forward.

Spanning The Gap

I have been convinced that nothing is impossible with enough planning and effort. I remember that long winding road through the mountains before they built the New River Gorge Bridge. The road was barely wide enough for one vehicle. I also remember the naysayers who claimed that the construction would never be completed and that the span was way too far. I think several people died building the superstructure but I couldn’t find a statistic. The completion of the bridge was monumental. It erased a large portion of the isolation of my area and opened up a lot of economic growth.

Sometimes we as humans have a tendency to isolate ourselves. It might take a monumental effort to bridge the gap between ourselves and others but the effort to bring us together opens up opportunity for something wonderful.

Cardinals in Springtime

I would follow you anywhere.

You are my whole world.

It hurts when you are not in sight.

You are the other half of me.

– Lloyd A Dempsey II

Living outside of office at my day job is a pair of mated Cardinals. (Cardinalis cardinalis) . Their marriage is strongly based on commitment. Cardinals mate for life and engage in courtship on a regular basis. Every year before nesting the male (bright red) brings food to the female and feeds her beak to beak. She is completely devoted to him. As he patrols his territory she never seems to be more than fifty feet away. If he leaves her sight she chirps sharply and he answers. The males have a distinct song. The song is a combination of loud high pitched tweets followed by several low pitched ones. The males fiercely defend their territory. They are small birds but what they lack in size they make up for in tenacity and vigilance. They’re known to orchestrate Blind Side surprise attacks on cats, dogs and people. I’ve watched the male pictured here simultaneously attack and chase away two crows that ventured too close to his nesting spouse. (Hey, it’s a guy thing. We’re not fulfilled unless we’re being protectors) Even though they seem to be antisocial jerks at times I have been able to pet one. He had defended his territory against his own reflection in a window and was lying on the ground unconscious. I thought it was dead but when I knelt down to check it out he sprung up and pecked my finger. After a few minutes he decided that I wasn’t such a bad guy after all and allowed me check him for injuries. Don’t worry about his mate rejecting him. That’s an old wives tale. They were still together for years afterwards.

I recently commented on another blog that marriage was about commitment and that true love grows out of that commitment. I can think of no better example than the Northern Cardinal.