Illusions of Fixing and Midpoints

Sometimes when we think about a problem, there is a tendency–a knee jerk reaction–to immediately come up with a solution, a fix. And sometimes that’s the right course in circumstances that require an immediate fix. But most do not. Most problems will require slowing down, listening, and noticing how you’re reacting. Some defaults include avoiding the issue, reacting too fast to it, or figuring out how to avoid the pain of it.

Fixing issues can also become addictive. I can become an addiction so to speak. We’re so fixated on fixing the issue for the sake of the “fix”, not so much to address the real underlying issues.

In this state, we bypass wisdom and instead want to solve the issue at whatever means necessary. This has caused more problems in my life. Someone yesterday said, “Americans’ don’t like to hear ‘NO'”. He was very right. I don’t like to hear NO. So I find ways to get my way. And this is where the addiction type behavior starts.

Fantasizing about fixes.

Going through different scenarios and options.

Trying to play it all out in our imagination.

When my mind goes to these places, it’s time to SLOW DOWN, to pay attention to what I most need to do in that moment: SURRENDER. Pause. Listen.

MidPoints

Psalm 102 (NRSV)

23 He has broken my strength in midcourse;
    he has shortened my days.
24 “O my God,” I say, “do not take me away
    at the midpoint of my life,
you whose years endure
    throughout all generations.”

Recently, I’ve been parallel reading the New Revised Standard Version with the New International Version. I hadn’t realized how much more I like the NRSV. For example, in today’s reading, I came across the verse above. Just yesterday, I was talking to someone about midlife.

What I’m learning about midlife is that the set of rules that worked for the first half of life (mainly survival and identity making) no longer work. In the MIDPOINT of life, it seems that if one wants to have a deeper spirituality and relationships, we must undergo what happens in v.23:

“he has broken my strength in midcourse…”

The first half of life strength seems to be broken in midlife. The rules seem to change. The desires seem to rumble for something more, something deeper. Like strength and motivation are zapped. And it’s at this point that the writer asks for a new strength.

“Don’t take me away at the midpoint of my life.”

It feels like there is a death happening and we wonder if there will be a new birth, a new season, a new life. God is an enduring presence throughout all generations. In some ways, we want our lives to be enduring in the midpoint of our lives.

I pray for that today.

Don’t Blame Others

This is a great passage of what salvation and life in the Kingdom of God looks like.  It’s a picture of someone trying to manage their life.  How to get along with God, self, and others.

These are good words to share with my son’s.  This is my prayer for them today; that they’d grow into these virtues by our example and God’s gracious gifts.

“Don’t blame others” – This is the one that stands out to me.  Relationships go bad really quick when we blame.  The root word for blame is blaspheme, which means to speak irreverently about God or others.  When we are wronged (real or perceived), to blame is to speak irreverently to the other; we show a lack of respect for who they are and thus devalue the other (and ourselves in the process).  Imagine that!  We devalue ourselves when we blame others.

From Psalm 15


 

1 God, who gets invited
    to dinner at your place?
How do we get on your guest list?

“Walk straight,
    act right,
        tell the truth.

3-4 “Don’t hurt your friend,
    don’t blame your neighbor;
        despise the despicable.

“Keep your word even when it costs you,
    make an honest living,
        never take a bribe.

“You’ll never get
blacklisted
if you live like this.”

Piano Recital 2012: NAILED IT!

Christopher and David had their first piano recital since starting lessons in March.  They performed very well, staying calm and focused as they played.  I thought maybe they would be shy with everyone looking at them.  But they weren’t.  They were focused and performed their pieces well.

Christopher played “Party Cat” and “Merrily we’re off to school”, while David played “Night Shadows” and “Balloon Ride”.  We’re so proud of them.  They’re really enjoying their lessons and playing.  The rule is that they have to learn how to play the piano, site read and then they can choose whatever instrument they’d like to focus on.

My hope is that they’d love music and create life through it.  If I could dream big….hmmm….”jazz/latin jazz, hip-hop, r&b, funk” fusion sound at concerts, in the studio, in small clubs, at church, at home, around the world!  🙂  Music with meaning.  Music for the heart, from the heart.  Music expressing the creative heart of God.  I hope….

Love you, musician-champs!

David’s Recital:  http://youtu.be/d5uWEhWKBBc

Piano Recital 2012
Piano Recital 2012

Piano Recital 2012
Piano Recital 2012