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Read some thoughts on issues affecting daily life and life around our world. Read and join in the conversation. What moves you? How do you respond to the issues we face today?

when i'm mad

When I get mad, I generally like to spew forth the sundry incidents that put me in such a state. Today, for example, lustful, reproachful, confused stares from young men and old women, alike, threaten to undo me. And if the stares don't send me into hysterics, it might very well be two groups of "fresh off the plane" Americans, marveling that we drink the water and eat the vegetables here. I want to scream, "I live here. This is my normal life, just like you live yours in America." But then I hear, "And, oh, aren't those cows darling and wouldn't it be nice to have them in Manhattan?" and I realize screaming would be both uncivilized and misinterpreted, to be sure.
Amazingly, we actually do not live in two different worlds; the stare-ers, fops, and I all live in exactly the same world. They have their angry moments and triggers, just as I have mine.
The real point, however, comes from John Eldredge's recent book, Walking with God, in which Eldredge encourages his readers to observe why we experience strong negative emotions. We have to shepherd our hearts through life's journey. If we allow our hearts to go unshepherded, we quickly become battered and bruised with no understanding of how it happened and how to prevent it from happening again. God loves us. He regenerates our hearts and leads us on life's journey to shepherd our hearts Himself. When we are exposed to negative emotions and spiritual attacks, that junk rubs off on us. What have I been up to, what have I been doing in the past 48 hours that might have caused this anger? Time to shepherd the heart a bit, inviting God to lead this process of understanding. That's it for now -- time to seek some understanding.

in trouble

While talking with Mom the other night I was reminded to post stories like these. I'll tell the tale in reverse. Saturday night, CJ & I ended up at home, watching a movie. Seems rather unlike the two of us but my one request for the evening was that we not do anything that might get us into trouble. That ruled out rappelling into some ruins we discovered.
Now you need to understand the reason behind my request. Two weekends ago, we traveled to Mussoorie, a former British hill station that serves as a nice retreat from Delhi (especially when it's 100+ degrees!). We wanted to trek, too, so we set out on a paved path then quickly descended down a mountainside through nettles on steroids, across a garbage-strewn stream, up a hill/cliff side of shrubbery, to a nice sunset outcropping. After a time of reflection and cloud-watching, we proceeded up the hill, down another paved path, past a local man intent upon us NOT climbing an unmarked path, down the paved path, and up some old stairs into a jungle. We wandered around some gated buildings and found some savage-looking monkeys. Then we were greeted by an alarmed army officer that requested that we immediately follow him out of what was apparently a restricted military area. Our nettle/shrubbery hillsides bore no signs of restricted access but, sure enough, the officer marched us out past a sign that ensured no one would trespass.
Then the weekend before, we went to a goodbye party and began walking through the park to go home. Halfway through the walk, we heard a whistle that turned out to be a very drunken, stick wielding, whistle blowing guard. He beat his stick and stammered about our trespassing. The park gate had been open when we entered but we quickly headed for the exit near home and found that gate closed. We high tailed it down a trail, up a cement block, and through a hole in the fence.
And that's why I didn't want to get in trouble and opted for a movie at home instead.