Tag Archives: lent

the struggle

i’m lenting right now.

i decided to participate in lent again. the past two years this season has brought about some well-needed spiritual growth so i figure i have to let it ride and see how deep i can go.

i’m not giving up food or booze or tv or chocolate or anything. instead, i’ve decide to spend more time meditating and praying, something i have always struggled with.

toughest obstacle so far: my forgetfulness.

i quickly forget that i’m meditating on a passage from scripture i’ve read purposefully for meditation. i forget that in the midst of all the activities of my life i can still pray and offer up my thankfulness.

i know why monks go live in monasteries now. it’s much easier to work through and focus on spiritual disciplines when there aren’t as many distractions around. no gadgets to text, tweet and check stats on. no movies, sitcoms, tv series and video games to visually consume.

and consume we do. more and more and more.

i really, really don’t want to be a consumer anymore. i’m underwhelmed by the consumer way of life. it doesn’t deliver. their lies are desperate actions to keep us distracted with things that don’t matter. if we get that car or the girl or the latest smart phone or the big house or the big job or (insert another lie), etc, etc, ad nauseum.. we will be happy, as if happiness is the pinnacle of our existence.

it’s not, no matter how many people and marketing campaigns try to tell us different. we were created for some thing much larger than to worship ourselves, which it becomes when we make our personal happiness the top of the mountain.

instead, let’s focus our attention outwards. let’s focus on the community and loving our neighbors. instead of ‘friending’ people on facebook and complaining that our neighbors aren’t more like us, let’s get out from behind the computer and engage our local community.

so here is to less online friendship and more of the real thing. here is to less complaining that our neighbor is this or that and loving them regardless. a good friend of mine used to always tell me she would rather ‘kill someone with kindness’ than get caught up in all the other externals that often just lead to our hearts becoming weighed down by anger, bitterness and unforgiveness.

sound advice.

i’m tired of being distracted by the things that don’t really matter. are you in the same boat?

if you feel like reading my journey through lent, check out my other blog here.

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ashes to ashes

‘pick three items, lucas’.

he was already up off the couch and heading towards the kitchen.  this is dave at his best.

after street soccer on sunday night, dave came over to hang out for a bit.  he’s not living in the best of neighborhoods at the moment and as much time spent away, the better.  we debate whether or not it’s better than him living at the shelter.  the shelter was recently shot up.  7 rounds into the front of the building in a drive-by.  we side with his present location but have started apartment hunting again.

dave is an incredible cook.  everything he has ever made me to eat has been nothing less than amazing.  everything.  and he can do it with next to nothing in the kitchen.  he thrives off of making tasty dishes with as little as possible.  i think its his game.  it’s a fun game when you’re the one eating good food.

dave teaches me a bit about cooking.  he believes cooking is really easy and attempts to convince me of his truth.  after 10 minutes im pretty sure i can cook just as well as him.  power of persuasion takes another one down.

1o  minutes later we are eating a delicious meal.  kat and i compliment dave as we scarf down his recent creation.  he humbly brushes it off likes it’s nothing.  he picks up my guitar and starts playing some of his original licks.  he’s a good musician, too.

good times.  community at it’s finest.

dave has been making it more of a habit to come hang out.  i like that.  in the past, dave would disappear from months on end.  when you work with guys on the street it plays with your mind when your friends disappear for a while.  you dont know if they’re dead or alive.

the longer you do not hear from them, the deeper your fears become.

i hope dave keeps this habit up.

 

i lost another one of my friends back in east van last week.  wally had a lot of health problems when i first met at first united, constantly in and out of the hospital.  he had a very gentle spirit about him and a calming voice.  he always looked on the bright side of things, aware of but not willing to settle for the darker side of reality.

every time i asked wally how he was doing, he always answered ‘copasetic’.  i had to look up the word in the dictionary to figure out what he meant.  completely satisfactory.  when i pressed further what he meant, he told me that no matter what life threw at him, he wasn’t going to get too high on life nor would he go too low.  everything has a purpose, he would tell me.

i think he found great comfort in that.  i do too.

wally was another member of the first nations crew that spent their time drinking rubbing alcohol and mouth wash.  im not sure if it was the alcoholism that killed him or the cancer that ate away at his body.  im not sure what’s worse.

i’m pretty sure i could write a big, long post about wally that i did about africa but i don’t feel like doing that today.  i’m going to keep these memories inside for now.

 

lent started today.  happy ash wednesday.

i decided to give up losing any more friends for 40 days.  hopefully this works.

your prayers are appreciated.

 

you’ll be missed, wally.  dearly missed..

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