Our lives have challenges. Each day is often a mixed bag of successes and failures. Sometimes it feels like we are gaining, and other days it’s two steps forward, one step back.
There’s always room for complaints. There’s constantly room for improvement. And there are the burdens that are present in our lives. Sometimes the hurdles and loads we face each day, we’ve met before, perhaps repeatedly for years.
The relationship you struggle with.
The physical pain that plagues you.
The emotional scars from years ago.
The weakness or sin that keeps showing up in your life.
These things (or…
Each of us has a lens for seeing the world. We have a framework for how we view, interpret, and understand the events and individuals surrounding us. Sometimes this framework comes naturally as part of our personality; in others, it is instilled from a young age.
These perspectives are our default settings, the baseline we start from when we attempt to understand and react to the world around us. Some refer to this baseline as our bias, the slant we add to life. Each of us has one, affecting how we view others, respond, and make decisions.
It would be…
The temptation is to remain engaged and busy. Productivity feels so satisfying. There’s always more to do, and the world rewards us when we get stuff done with gain, praise, and pride.
But that same productive impulse can also cause us to march blindly on, oblivious to where our path leads or signposts along the way. We stay the course, even if we’re not sure on what course we might be headed.
We need to slow down and consider our ways, taking stock of our life, relationships, work and where it is all headed. Considering our ways often is best…
We are created to living in communion; this means that we are made to live in a community. Our society speaks about the community in vague ideas and platitudes, but only as a means to organize, not for building relationships and fulfillment.
Even as “community” is a rallying call for all manner of social actions and organization, our society aggressively seeks convenience. And convenience allows us to be alone.
Shifting supply chains outsource commonplace transactions to isolated drop-offs.
Don’t want to be bothered rubbing elbows with the crowds at the grocery store? Food and meal kits ship to your door.
Our public square for debate and ideas is increasingly problematic. In years past, politicians, pundits, and parties reached a greater consensus about American society’s ideals and principles. They achieved this agreement while disagreeing on the application and implementation of those principles.
That is a crucial point: agree on principles, debate their application.
Suppose individuals, groups, and political parties can agree on shared principles. In that case, their application becomes the shared work, not a scorched earth conquest for power that we’ve seen in for the last several decades.
Behind the anger, censorship, and ‘cancel’ culture is a foundational problem:
The funny thing is: it’s the small things we remember. The big milestones, celebrations, and goals that we have in life are fun and exciting, but our impactful, personal memories come from ordinary events.
Many of my memories of growing up consist of riding in various cars or trucks. We drove everywhere, and many of the vehicles barely had a tape deck. There were no personal digital devices; it was the radio or talking. And Dad would talk all the time.
The talk was about anything and everything. Topics could be mundane or profound: what he had been reading, the…
Stress gets a bad rap, and deservedly so. Most of the stress we experience in our lives is immensely counterproductive. It’s distracting, limiting, and usually leads us to make bone-head decisions. Stress clouds our judgment and muddles our interactions. It tends to take over, become pervasive and all-consuming.
Much of the stress in our lives is rooted in impatience. We want things to happen immediately and get frustrated by delays. We want to see change and results right now, and become discouraged by the effort change requires. …
Families are rough. A whole mess of individuals with different goals, personalities, and habits all living with each other. Families are tough in the best of times, and our modern society’s perspective on families does not make it any easier.
We diminish the value of family in favor of the individual. We urge people to prioritize themselves above all else. Political activist groups even openly campaign that the nuclear family is an antiquated and harmful idea. But these ideas and perspectives are both unrealistic and destructive.
We don’t “do life” alone. Most of us have immediate families that we are…
At the age of twelve, Beth Maloney’s son, Sammy, underwent a rapid transformation. This change was not a pre-teen growth spurt or onset of puberty hormones: he became an entirely different person. A smart, energetic young man who loved his family, science, and math became a person seemingly possessed.
He would only enter his house from a specific door. He would jump, jerk, and twirl as he walked, avoiding obstacles that only he could see. He refused to touch anything with his bare hands. He screamed, raged, and sobbed uncontrollably. …
Work gets a bad rap. We treat it as if it’s a terrible distraction from what we want to be doing. Grudgingly and grumbling, we daily head off to the office, job site, or factory floor. We gripe about how much time work takes up in our lives, how it never seems to end, and how (many days) it looks like it’s more stress than it’s worth. It’d be better to be on a boat, relaxing on the lake. …