Thursday, June 26, 2008

Lost and Found in a Lost World

Writers who do it for a living always sit down and write even when they don't feel like it or, perhaps have nothing special to say. They hope something eventually comes through from wherever inspiration comes for that particular writer.

Even though I don't write for a living--what a challenge that would be--I feel that I should try to add to this blog that has provided so much food for thought for myself, mostly, on a weekly basis. Additionally, I note through Google Analytics that the unlikeliest visitors occasionally spend five, ten or even 15 minutes on one of my past posts.

My title is a play on the Moody Blues song, "Lost in a Lost World." When it came out I thought how telling that the song's composer recognized his lost status. Over the years I used to take note of other song titles or passages in novels that spoke of supposedly "lost" people being cognizant of their lost condition. I'm reminded vaguely of two characters in Herman Hesse's Steppenwolf who realized they were lost, but had no idea what to do about it.

Another lost song snippet from the past that comes to mind is Steppenwolf's (the rock group) "Let's just hope there is a promised land. We'll hang on till then, as best as we can."

I was always told that irreligious folk didn't care about their lost condition, but here and there I'm reminded of instances where that is not really true.

Not all people know how to find God. It's not as easy as religious people seem to think it is. Sometimes "lost" folk have to wait until God finds them.

Lord, that's my prayer today. Please find the "lost" people in my world. Even better, use me to find them with you. Thank you, Lord, for putting that desire into my mind.

Over and out.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Time of Trouble is Almost Upon Us

For weeks now Wednesday night prayer meeting focuses on how bad things are getting in the world and how much worse they will get. It should make me happy that the Time of Trouble is almost here and after that, the Second Coming should follow close behind.

Perhaps this is really it. Why deny it any longer?

However, I wonder how Adventists responded as the Great Depression was ushered in by that unthinkable stock market crash and its aftermath? Did they also think at that time that the Time of Trouble was, no doubt, in its initial stages?

The thought has come to me more than once that society at large will probably not persecute the Remnant because of their refusal to honor the Day of the Sun, but rather for having such deeply pessimistic and dire predictions about how things will get worse and not better.

If as a people, all seven million of us--or however many Adventists are actively waiting for the Time of Trouble to arrive--focus all our efforts and mental energy on how things will get worse, no doubt, such a powerful self-fulfilling prophecy will come true. Sooner or later.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Callisto Died in My Arms This Morning

I always called him by his name, even when I knew it would raise eyebrows. I didn't care. He loved me more than I ever could. Even when I'd abandon him through forgetfulness for days at a time he'd always forgive me.

My father didn't care much for him even though I pointed out his good qualities. He was convinced that there was some kind of animosity between them. There was none. Father made wrong assumptions from time to time.

When I thought he had cancer, I worried that I wouldn't be there for him. It turned out it was benign. He didn't have health insurance so I had to pay all his bills, as much as I could. Sometimes it made helping others difficult. I'll still be paying off his medical bills for some time now.

I always knew that Callisto would leave me some day because he was so much older than I was. And yet, he was younger in some ways.

The Sabbath day and the weekend were special times for us because I could tend to his ill health and enjoy his company more than at other times.

Mornings and sunsets and quiet TV moments were among the best as he was always there waiting for time to take its customary slow course.

Sometimes he couldn't sleep at night as I slept since he spent so much time resting while I worked to pay his medical bills and all his other basic needs. Perhaps he watched me as I slept or fell asleep on the sofa. He was too polite to wake me or to complain.

If I could meet him again for the first time, I would be as patient the second time around as I was during our first 15 years together.

He only got mad with me once when I moved him from one side of the bed to the other as he was in the last stages of his many diseases. I guess I inadvertently hurt him and he had a right to be mad.

Minutes before he died I told him we'd see each other again in another land, in another time, when we'd both be born again. I don't think he understood, but I've used those words before when I've lost a loved one. It was natural for me to say it to him, as well. As long as these words live on, the life we had together will live on, as well.

Callisto was my golden retriever.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Simple Sabbath Musings

I'm sad to report that the last Sabbath I had was a bit odd. I guess I looked around and didn't find the right groove at the church I normally attend. It's filled with nice people. Unfortunately, I know very few of them well enough to walk up to them and strike a conversation even after three years of attending the same church.

The rest of the Sabbath was spent reading the bible and staying out of the hot Florida sun. At least I got to hear a new song in church and was able to let that wonderful melody & lyric carry me through to this very moment. I think, for me at least, music and hymns have always been what my church experience has always been about. Each hymn is both praise as well as a melodic prayer. What could be better than that?

I respect your goal of "dying to self". I too pray that, though not in those exact words. Dying of anykind gives me the willies. I prefer to ask God to empty me of self and of all else. I guess it's the same thing without using the "d" word. I want to live for Christ. I want to be like him and less and less like myself. That doesn't sound exactly right either. How could I not be myself? I think God wants us to draw closer to him, but still retain our personality. Otherwise, we'd all be the same in heaven and heaven would not be such an interesting place.

I pray that you enjoy what's left of this week and that you have the very best Sabbath this time around that you've ever had.

God bless,

Yours in Christ, Raul

[exceprt from a letter to a friend]