Posts Tagged ‘Balance’


May 11, 2015


I have had the opportunity to be even more ponderous over the last week than usual. TruDee and I had the opportunity to take a little time away in the mountains of Colorado and enjoy a wonderful setting in the cottage of friends Bruce and Vickie. Our first morning I rose and wandered downstairs to find coffee and a little quiet after my morning walk. I started a pot of coffee and opened the cupboard to find coffee cups with peace signs. “Cool,” I thought.

I poured a cup and went to the front porch and sat in the cool Colorado air to ponder. Peace I thought, there are a multitude of thoughts on peace, as I sat and considered the sign on my cup. There is a lot going on in the world today that might disturb one’s peace, at least it seems to keep mine stirred up. There was something deep inside that morning that called to me as I considered the sign on my cup.

Two quotes came to mind, one from Leo Tolstoy, “Everyone wants to change the world, but no one thinkhs of changing themselves.” It’s true, there are days I so want to change what I and so many others see as wrong with the world around us, but perhaps the first step is to consider oneself, if my own peace is not intact, how am I going to be able to affect meaningful change and peace in the world around me? “Good question,” I said to myself.

The other thought that came to mind is from the Dalai Lama, “Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways.” There will always be conflict, disagreement, and difference. How we engage such conflict and disagreement is fundamental to how we remain at peace within and how we further peace in the world around us.

Being mindful of my own inner peace in each moment remains a challenge, though a constant goal in my life. How do I keep that ever before me and not get distracted by my own willingness to allow others and circumstances to distract and disturb? It’s a good question I suppose and one that remains along the journey of life and community.

Each morning I filled my “Peace Cup,” and pondered, meditated, reflected, and read on what it means to maintain my own sense of peace. In some sense it seemed easy to do when I did not have the television on, read the paper, or listen to the news. It was just me, TruDee, the mountains, a cup of coffee, and a couple of friendly squirrels that wondered why I was on their porch.

All this to say, I will be back in the office tomorrow, refreshed and renewed in the cause of promoting justice, kindness, love, and peace in the world around me. Restored, if you will, with a new sense of the peace of being present in the world in which I live. And with a token that has traveled with me from the mountains of Colorado by the generosity of our friends, the cup that journeyed with me last week rests here at my computer’s side as a visual reminder to be at peace, here and now. I hope you’ll join me on this journey of peace.

It is one of the many ways we seek to be mindful of the Spirit and one another here at the Hill, where you are one of the community. Here where there is always an open door, a safe space, a warm welcome, and a place at the table. Not Your Ordinary Church. Until next week, God bless, and know you are never alone.

Peace and Light on Your Journey,
Pastor Kent


A Man’s (A Dog’s) Got to Know His Limits

September 1, 2009

My friend Robert and I went fishing one evening and a morning a while back. We both have relatively new dogs so we brought them with us. Robert has a Labrador mix that is about a year younger than Simeon, she is black and her name is K.C. Simeon does not have many opportunities to run and play with a dog his size very often so we thought this would be a good opportunity for both of them. Simeon just has the cat to “play” with and a five pound cat does not provide much competition in the wrestling realm for a sixty five pound dog.
Simeon and K.C. ran and played, wrestled and jumped, ran and played, wrestled and jumped and then would follow along the shore through the brush, weeds, cattails, and rocks while we were in the boat. Simeon and K.C. had a grand time!! They, well at least Simeon, we exhausted by the end of the evening. The next morning I noticed Simeon was favoring an old injury and moving kind of slow. Well, hey, he is older after all; he has at least a year on K.C.
I noticed as we were getting ready to leave he was licking his paws. I sat down next to him and looked at the pads on his big feet. They were all red and sore, one pad he had worn clear through as it was raw. He had played just too much for one outing! He slept all but about 20 minutes of the 3 hour drive home and as far as I know is probably either sleeping or licking his paws as I write this.
I had just watched part of one of the old Dirty Harry movies the other evening and a quote came to mind from Harry Callahan, played by Clint Eastwood, after all the bad guys had been disposed of, “A man just needs to know his limits.” Simeon did not seem to know his limits.
It is good advice. We all need to know our limits. We need balance in our lives. Too much of anything can wear our bodies, minds, spirits, souls down and cause us to become raw and vulnerable to life and faith. Too much play, too much work, too much food, too much drink, perhaps even too much religion can wear us down and wear us out. We need balance.
I believe Jesus was the consummate example of balance. He knew when it was time to work, to challenge, to preach and teach, to care for the children, and to spend time alone in prayer and rest. I suspect, though we do not have much textual record of it, Jesus probably even knew when it was time to play. But even for him, too much of any one thing, would have been too much.
Take some time this week to find your balance. Take stock of your lives, your faith, and see if there is too much of anything and not enough of other things. You might discover new rest and new energy for the coming days.

Gone Flat

March 24, 2009

Simeon loves toys! I have enjoyed that part of him as much as anything I suppose. Though I have been known to give TruDee a hard time about spoiling him, I enjoy the toys as much as he does; trying to decide what he will like and/or which ones he will eat or not. We have seen him play himself to the point of exhaustion falling asleep not only surrounded by his toys, but with something like a ball in his mouth, sound asleep in the floor. He is really like a little kid in a lot of ways, it is rather endearing to us.

   I enjoy it in part because I have always enjoyed wandering the toy aisles at the store. I enjoyed it when the boys were little and have even been found perusing the toys after the boys were too old to appreciate them as much as myself. So, now with Simeon, I once again can find additional purpose to my toy aisle wandering.

   We bought him a new ball yesterday. It was a really nice ball, one of those playground balls, blue with big multicolored polka dots! We brought it home and Simeon LOVED it! I was downstairs when it was gifted to him by TruDee so I am unsure of the timeline, but it lasted perhaps ten minutes, when I came upstairs it was already flat; a little too much exuberance perhaps, a little over the tope excitement and it was all over. Oh, he is still playing with it, albeit when he throws it up in the air now to watch it bounce it just goes thump on the floor, but he is persistent in his attempts to get it to bounce just one more time.

   I suppose there is some sort of lesson in there for all of us too. We need a little balance in our lives, a little play, a little work, a little rest, and when we over-do any one of those things life can get out of balance and we can find ourselves going thump with little or no bounce to our own lives. Too much play, too much work, too much rest, can cause us to go flat and find ourselves down on our back or worse.

   I suspect we will try and find Simeon a ball with a little more stamina to it next time. In the mean time I will reflect on my life and be mindful of the balance I need as I journey along in this life and faith.