Saturday, May 26, 2012

Decoration Day

This is the Memorial Day weekend. When I was a child it was called, Decoration Day. Families would go to the cemetery and decorate their families graves. I guess that was why it was called Decoration Day. I have many memories of going to the cemeteries with my folks and grandparents to clean grave-stones, plant flowers, talk and eventually go to grandma's house for supper. I remember my parents telling me not to run and jump over headstones. They said that wasn't respectful.' I'm not certain that as a child I knew what respectful meant. I probably stopped running and seeing if I could jump over headstones, at least for a little while. I think little boys have short memories. I do remember that it was at the cemetery on Decoration Days that I learned many of the "stories" of my ancestors. For example, I always loved Grandpa's story about his aunt who was a Nazarene evangelist and healer. All of her sermon notes blew out of the trains window, so from then on she preached without notes. I rarely used notes when I preached. I wonder if that story influenced me? I know it was a significant influence when I heard people saying that women couldn't preach. I hope you will say a prayer of Thanks to God for your ancestors as well as say "Thanks" to those who are still living. Also, express gratitude to those who have served in our military. I didn't serve in the military. My young adulthood was during the days when everyone had to register for the draft. If your draft classification and number was high, you were going to be drafted into the military--just go ahead and pack your bags. My draft board gave me a status of 4-D, as best I remember. That was the classification for clergy, clergy students and the mentally ill. Maybe they knew something about me way back then.  Our accomplishments, freedoms, etc. are probably because of those who have gone before us and upon whose work we stand.  Deo gratis.

Monday, May 14, 2012


I've a colleague who says he rarely uses the term "immature" because it sounds so judgemental.  Rather than that term, he tells folks that if they are primarily focused on the now, their feelings and themselves then they are likely to make unhealthy choices--unhealthy choices as in immature.  Certainly we need to pay attention to the now, our feelings and our self but these need to be filtered.  A preoccupation with whatever is happening now could be filtered through a consideration of consequences.  What might be the future implications of what I'm thinking about doing?  Feelings need to be filtered by thoughtfulness so that we can determine if, how, when and to whom we might share those feelings.  How could I share my feelings so as to help the present situation?  A focus on self could be filtered through a consideration of others.  What would be the implications for my family, friends, colleagues, etc. of the actions that I'm considering?  I've encountered too many folks who get themselves in difficulties and cause unnecessary problems and grief for others because they insisted on doing whatever they felt like doing at present and they thought their behavior affected no one but them.  That sounds like children who are expected to be immature.