Anything Less 

  
“Argh! Stop taking, making excuses, justifying! Just listen! For the love of all that is sane and reasonable, hush!” 

This is what my mind thinks while I bite my tongue and take deep breaths to keep from blurting my thoughts out loud. This man, whom I’ve know for several months, is not getting what he needs to, not hearing what is important. Instead he wants to convince me nothing is his fault, someone else is always to blame, he’s got it all figured out. I try telling him difficult truths in different ways but it isn’t sinking into his hard head, penetrating his rough exterior, breaking through the walls of denial he’s built. Sigh. 

In our lives we will have folks who try our patience, wear us down with their obstinance, and make us wonder if our efforts are worthwhile. The question ultimately isn’t; “why do we keep trying?” but; “how could we do anything less?

Blessings,

@BrianLoging 

http://www.thewannabesaint.com ;

  

It’s All in the Details

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I like the quote in the picture above but another saying also comes to mind; “The devil’s in the details.” If living is loving it’s the details that make the difference between life and just existing. 

The truth is that loving others, loving ourselves, ain’t easy. We human beings can be a mass of endless contradictions. We long to do good but often choose evil. We want to stand for what’s right and just but sitting on our morals takes less fortitude. We desire to serve those in need unless it means giving up cherished comforts. We hope to see the best in each other but a self righteous, judgmental attitude creeps into our spirits. We seek to be caring, gentle, humble and grace filled but our egos trample everyone and everything.

Yes, the details. The details of loving imperfect, shallow, selfish, sinful people living in a broken world. How do we do this? I like what Saint Paul said to a young believer who was learning the difficult lesson of loving difficult people;

“Jesus came to love and save sinners”— and I am the worst of all of them. But God had mercy on me and I’m a prime example of his great patience, love and grace. For if God can love someone like me he can love anyone and so can you.” 1st letter to Timothy, chapter 1

This is how we learn to love; by remembering how unlovable we are and yet someone loved us anyway.

Maybe it’s love, not the devil, that’s in the details too.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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cleanse – a haiku

 

moisture dissipates 

plastic water bottle burns 

purified by flame 

bdl 5/2/2015

  

Moving to a New Place

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This morning I needed to transplant a tree that was growing on the side of a steep embankment. It needed to be moved if it was to remain healthy and reach its full potential. Digging at an angle is precarious work and there were times when I wondered if it was worth all the trouble but it was too late to stop. If the tree was going to live I had to finish. Finally, I was able to remove the tree and planted it in a nice sunny, even spot.  Hopefully, it’ll take root and be happy in its new home.

As I was digging, and sweating!, I thought about some of the families I work with and the environments where they’re trying to grow. What they need is someone to come and put in the hard work of helping them move to a brighter, more balanced place. It isn’t easy but if they aren’t given the opportunity a negative outcome is almost certain. Growth, health, reaching their full potential isn’t guaranteed but giving up isn’t an option. After all, there were folks who never gave up on me and if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t have the life I have today.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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Being More than Sorry

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This morning I came across an email sent to me several years ago by a co-worker I had unknowingly offended. It was one of those “said in passing” but “taken to heart” misunderstandings that happens when folks work together. The email was written hastily, emotionally and I quickly surmised I had chosen a poor time to use careless words. I immediately apologized to her, accepted full responsibility and promised to try and be more careful with my speech and timing.

Assuming the ordeal had been settled I went about the rest of my day as usual until a few hours later when I received a second email. Figuring it was an “all is forgiven, let’s learn and move on” type of letter I was surprised when instead it was a, “I’d like another pound of flesh! I’m still angry and not ready to accept your apology!” email.

At first I was confused and frustrated by her reply but as I reflected upon the email I realized that if I was truly sorry, and desired her forgiveness, it would be on her timetable, her terms, not mine. I wrote her back, once again expressing my remorse, and let her know that when she was ready we could talk about what had happened, how and why it hurt her, so I could be sure it wouldn’t happen again.

Apologies are often done quickly and easily. We let the words; “I’m sorry.” roll off our tongues and assume everything’s okay. A true apology, real repentance, means not just being remorseful but also bearing the burden of restoration and restitution.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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Freedom Gained & Lost

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All it took was the smell of cigarettes burning for my incarcerated fathers class to turn into an extended stay at a densely populated, if not popular, hotel called the county jail last night.

The inmates were placed in a waiting area while the guards and other facility personnel searched for the contraband. It was an extra thirty minutes before I could get into my classroom and at the end of my allotted time the gentleman in charge of security told me it would be a while before I could get out due to the search.

So, I waited. I perused all the reading material in my possession and then reflected upon the reality of being stuck with no way out. It was a feeling of helplessness, a resignation that I wasn’t going anywhere unless someone gave me permission, flipped a switch, pressed a button and made it possible. Finally, a voice came over the intercom and said; “Ok. You can go.” I was free.

I drove home thinking about the ones who were still behind those cinder block walls and metal bars. The mindset of knowing weeks, months, years will pass before they hear the words, see the doors open and are no longer imprisoned.

So many blessings in this spoiled life of mine. Today I am thankful for doors that open, the many freedoms I take for granted and the opportunity to help others regain some of the freedoms they’ve lost.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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One Sentence

In a seminar today my phone buzzed. It was a text from a friend that had a simple request; “sum up a person’s life in one sentence.” I stared at the screen, overwhelmed by the request. One sentence that encapsulates someone’s 80 plus years of existence? A few words to describe the enormous impact of a life well lived? A brief glimpse of a person with eternal value? After reflecting upon it for a while I wrote down a sentence that explained who she was at her core, her essence, who I’ll always remember her being.

As I think about the exercise I wonder if others would remember her life the way I did? I’m biased, seeing mostly her goodness, kindness, grace and love. I’m thankful those are the impressions she left upon me and I hope, when the day comes for someone to sum up my life in a sentence, the same can be said about me.

blessings,

@BrianLoging

http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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