Islamophobia and Fear

Our mail carrier seems to have an irrational fear of dogs. It’s so bad that she stays in her truck and honks the horn until we come out to get our packages rather than get out of her vehicle and carry it past our two tail-wagging dogs to the front door. She says she never trusts dogs because she has heard too many stories of friendly dogs attacking mail carriers. She has a point. She exhibits fear based on real life events that have caused harm to peace-loving, public-serving mail carriers. I don’t fault her. Would we call this cautious mail carrier a dog-hater? How about a canineophobe?

dog-663393_640

Are those so flippantly labeled Islamophobic or any other negatively-charged label villains? Should they be ridiculed, ostracized or treated with contempt and disrespect? Should they even be smacked with a label?

Just as we can understand the mail carrier’s reluctance to leave the safety of her vehicle, so should we understand the reaction of Americans who have little-to-no personal experience with certain groups of people. These individuals are reacting with normal human caution to a perceived threat. They want to protect their families, communities, and their world from something that they believe could cause devastating harm. Why do they think this way?

It shouldn’t be difficult to understand. Reports of terrorist attacks everywhere they look. Radicals purportedly infiltrating every facet of their society, causing anxiety and fear. Reports of Muslims immigrating in droves into European countries and even Canada and the United States and insisting on changing their way of life-what they serve for lunch in their schools, how they conduct their laws, threatening the freedoms and democracy they hold so dear. Add to that a real verbal threat from Islamic leaders who call them the “Great Satan” and threaten to destroy them by any means, even martyrdom. How can they turn a blind eye to that? They see some progressives welcoming the very ones who have caused harm to their country. They don’t want to lie down and do nothing. And they definitely won’t let their best means of defense be stripped from them by those insisting on “change.” They aren’t convinced.

dog-992497_640The mail carrier loves dogs. She has a dog of her own. She feeds him from her own hand. She trusts him. But she doesn’t blindly trust every dog she sees just because it is a dog. She is smart not to.

Those accused of being Islamophobes may well have Muslim neighbors, doctors, friends, hairdressers, fellow-students and salespeople to interact with, and be just fine with that. After all, Americans have lived with diversity since this country was founded, so that can’t be the problem. Maybe the problem is that until the threat is gone, people will act in predictable ways in order to protect what they hold dear.

There are people who spew irrational hatred and bigotry toward anyone different than themselves, who commit crimes against humanity, who use no common sense or discernment in their condemnation of others. They should be soundly dismissed by the majority. But to dispel the reasonable fears of reasonable people, one must fight the proper battle.

Rather than attacking the ones with the fear, maybe we should unite-Muslims, Christians, Jews, Atheists, and Progressives-and fight the ones who cause the fear. Only then can we live in a peaceful society. Each group must not be so easily offended, but must look at the problems from all sides, with understanding, in order to find a solution acceptable to all. The way I see it, both sides of every modern-day issue are guilty. Both sides are fearful that their way of life will be threatened, so they react too strongly out of fear. They push hard against the other side who pushes back in equal measure. They force change to occur too quickly by the use of power-governmental power, the power of loud, angry voices, etc.-without giving dialogue a chance, without giving misperceptions time to be dispelled. Force is used, rather than diplomacy, civility, and respect. In serious, immediate matters force is sometimes called for, but it should be a measured, majority-approved decision.

Fear gets a bad rap. Fear is an emotional response induced by a perceived threat. It causes a change in brain and organ function, as well as in behavior. Without the fear response, we would be unable to protect ourselves from dangers, and we would not survive. Fear has to be admitted, accepted, and understood before it can be conquered and made to serve our purposes.

group-639246_640

We have the opportunity like never before in history to use global communication to solve our problems. We must use non-divisive language and practice non-divisive attitudes. No one group is “the problem.” We are all the problem, and we all must be the solution.

What does Hope Look Like?

The 1950’s are characterized as a time of innovation and energy, optimism and hope for the future. Popularized in the late ’50’s by Frank Sinatra, the song High Hopes won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. I remember singing the song in my elementary school music class. It had a catchy tune, and a message that the impossible was not so impossible after all, and that troubles and hardships would flee like the pop of a balloon. These are wonderful thoughts, but do they contain substance that we can cling to? Is an attitude of hope alive today? Just what is hope, and what does it look like?

man-734579_1280

For Americans, hope is tied into the American Dream in ways both large and small. We still believe that with enough hard work and resourcefulness, anyone can make it in America. Opportunity is available if one works hard enough. This is well and good, but the generalization falls short for some. Society seems bent on deteriorating. It is harder than ever to make it on one’s own without a hand-up by a caring individual or two.

The dictionary defines hope as “the feeling that what is wanted can be had, or that events will turn out for the best.” As a verb, hope means, “to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence,” or “to believe, desire or trust,” or “to feel that something desired may happen.” On a scale of one to ten, how hopeful do you feel?suyan-766428_1280

Cautioned that one should not base one’s happiness on feelings, which are quite fickle, but rather on what is real and true, we often find that things hoped for are not within our grasp. They are future possibilities. Hope, which is a feeling, must be based on something else that is real and true. I can say, yes, I have hope, because generally 95% of the things I fear never come to pass, or because time passes and I do get through the difficult things one way or another. Often things turn out okay, but not always. Sometimes things just plain suck. Bad things happen. People get sick. They hurt. They cry. They suffer losses of all kinds. Jobs, faculties, health, loved ones. Not to mention the pain of relationships gone bad.

During these dark times I force myself to look outside of my current calamity. I lift my eyes up and allow myself to take a God’s-eye view of the world and my place in it. Like a bird or a pilot, I soar above and look down on the earth from a wide-angle view, outside the bounds of time. Troubles seem small, and the things that seem to matter so much shrink and wither, leaving me with the essence of what really matters. That is, who am I? Who does God say I am? What do the things I worry about today matter in the big picture? What does matter?

glider-pilot-244990_1280

My brother loves to fly. To him, a sailplane is the ultimate experience, with not even an engine disturbing the calm and peace as he soars above the earth. It is simple and alive. I find the same experience in nature. When I’m on a mountaintop, away from civilization, or taking a walk in the woods , none of the normal distractions intrude. It is me, the earth and sky, and the presence of God.

birch-520944_1280

Several studies in recent years have shown that nature is essential to the physical, psychological, and social well-being of humankind. The complexities of life create many of our problems: boil it down to the basics and many of those problems dissipate. Become a minimalist and you will decrease stress. Let go of fear and you will have peace. Get in touch with nature and you may well touch something else you desperately need.birch-971209_1280

One of the beauties of faith in a God who cares, who has a purpose for your life, who holds the world in his hands, is the lack of a reason to fear. If God is God, and we live our lives before him as he enables, with integrity, humility, and a good work ethic, there is no reason to fear. We can leave the number of our days in God’s hands. We can relax and feel content about who we are and what we have done with our lives. Not only that, but we know that the mistakes we’ve made are covered in God’s forgiveness. There is hope for the future because God is there.

Two verses are especially relevant here:

Isaiah 40:29-31 “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (New International Version) bald-eagle-529664_1280

Hebrews 6:19 “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”  (NIV)

In conclusion, I trust that my “high hopes” are not a pie-in-the-sky figment of my imagination, but are based on something real and true. I have great optimism for mankind, who has achieved unbelievable and marvelous things that I see with my own eyes every day, and who has capabilities that could change the course of the future. After all, man is made in God’s image.

 

Three Things I Learned from a Blind Dog

Recently I had the honor of keeping my mother-in-law’s Jack Russell terrier while she took an extended trip to her childhood home in England. Most people who know me well enough know that I don’t particularly like small dogs, especially yappers. Enter Jasper. His sudden, spine-straightening, high decibel eruptions at the slightest noise are more than my nerves can tolerate. I have kept Jasper many times, but over the last year or so he has grown progressively more blind due to detached lenses until we’re convinced he can’t see through his cloudy blue eyes at all. Now he uses his nose as a bumper. He stands in front of various pieces of furniture or the wrong side of doors waiting for them to open and let him out. Where once he was a force of male canine self-importance, now he spends many of his dog days in boredom and lackluster enthusiasm for everything but licking plates.

P1030236

 

When you want something, take a big bite of it and never let go until it’s yours. 

As Jasper wandered around the yard one day he came across a big piece of bone one of the other dogs had dragged home and left in the grass. He thought he’d won the doggie lottery. He sat chewing on that nasty thing until I discovered him. I knew I had to get it away from him, as he has not digested bone fragments well in the past, and I wasn’t about to have a mess all over our new carpet. His growl warned me he wasn’t about to give it up with my nicey-nice request. I got tough. I got mean. I tried everything and he would not let it go. Jaws of steel had clamped down and dug in. There’s some instinct in human nature that loathes giving in to a stubborn little dog, but I had no choice. Jasper came out victorious until he chose to let it go for some reason. When he wandered around desperately sniffing for it again, my heart hurt for him, and the lesson of perseverance-to-success was not lost on me.

Confidence is born from repeatedly following the same course until it becomes second nature. Or in other words, practice makes perfect. 

When Jasper is in his own home he knows where the furniture is. He knows where his food and water bowls are, and his bed. He gets around very well. He seldom falls down the steps. But in a new environment he does not fare so well. He has no stick he can swing from side to side. He goes slow and uses his nose and whiskers to tell him where doorways, stairs and obstacles are. But he courageously joins our two dogs as they romp outside and he feels a freedom in wide open spaces where he can run and enjoy nature. He has a sense out here in the country that certain areas are obstacle-free. Knowing his surroundings gives him courage.

Courage comes from within and gives one dignity in the face of hardship. 

I find it difficult sometimes to not anthropomorphize with my canine buddies. When I want to attribute his actions to courage, maybe Jasper is just doing what one would reasonably expect an animal to do when confronted with blindness in middle age. But I swear he shows courage in the face of his handicap. If I were faced with the same situation, and I may be, since I am experiencing the first signs of macular degeneration, I’d have trouble facing each new day with a good attitude. The higher intelligence of humans may be detrimental in this kind of loss, but I can’t help but find it inspiring to watch Jasper cope. He eagerly runs to the car when invited to “go,” and does his best to hop in on his own. He tries to jump down out of the car or off furniture although it is obviously hard for him to trust that he won’t fall too far. He listens and relies on our voices or the tension of a leash to know where to go. Learning new skills in the face of fear and loss takes courage. Jasper has his days of moping, but overall he meets his life’s new challenge in a way I can only hope to emulate with my own losses, with tail-wagging enthusiasm for all the things I am still able to do.

Do the animals you know inspire you? Share your animal stories in the comments.

 

A Brave New Future Awaits! Are You Ready?

Advances in biotechnology promise us the ability to not only heal the sick but to enhance the human body and even create new life forms. Rapid advances in molecular genetics led to the creation of the Human Genome Project, an international mega-project, completed in 2003, that sequenced and identified all three billion chemical units in the human genetic instruction set. Eventually your personal genome will be available to you on a disc or chip. Sound impossible? It isn’t. In fact it has been done more than a handful of times already. It will list all your approximately 25,000 genes. It will be your “owner’s manual” which you will be able to take to your doctor. This opens up a new field called bioinformatics, an interdisciplinary field that develops methods and software tools for understanding biological data.

Gene mapping will result in some wonderful cures. Individual genetic diseases, specific cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, even aging will be affected. We will also likely be able to enhance our genes to enable us to excel in sports or change our appearance, or beautify our children so they can have a better chance to succeed in life.

woman beauty mask

One troubling development in all this is the potentiality of bringing back extinct species of biological life. Our DNA differs from that of chimpanzees by only 1.5% It will soon be possible to reconstruct the genome of the “missing link,” and potentially we could even bring back the Neanderthal. But this raises many ethical questions, the least of which is, what do we do with them? The biggest question I have is, why?

Neanderthal meme

If one subscribes to a belief in evolution, be it Darwin’s model, old-earth creationism or a form of theistic evolution, it doesn’t sit well to try and bring back a humanoid life-form that is no longer represented. In my reading I have yet to come across any reason to do so apart from “because we can.” It seems quite irresponsible of us to want to bring back a living and breeding prehistoric life-form. Would we keep them in a zoo? Train them as slaves? Keep them as pets? Study them in a laboratory?

We have arrived at an unparalleled point in human existence, where nothing seems to be the limit, especially not the sky. One part magnificent and one part horrifying, we can do things now and in the near future that could be used for great good or great evil. Do we know what we’re doing? What Pandora’s Box are we opening? We’d best think twice–or more–before we rush into the new realms opening before us. We seem dreadfully close to manipulating the building blocks of creation itself.

I am amazed when I ponder the capacity of human beings for expressive communication, be it through emotion, spirit, passion, intensity, or style. These things distinguish us from all other biological life. All forms of artistry, the wide range of mankind’s creativity, is truly spectacular. And beautiful. Those who have skills in construction and design build magnificent edifices out of raw materials.  Feats of engineering boggle the mind. And advances in science and technology constantly amaze us. Mankind’s ability to collaborate and collectively solve problems gives me hope for the future. Yet we still have not solved the problem of evil inherent in the human species. We are crippled by it, yet have the opportunity to embrace the redemption and forgiveness offered freely through God’s Son, who offers us a way out of our predicament through a changed life, a life with hope and meaning, peace and a reason to live.

silhouette-191102_1280

We stand on the precipice of our own brave new world as we charge through the twenty-first century. We have a responsibility to handle new discoveries with intelligence, responsibility and restraint. And my hope is, that when mankind as a whole gets “too big for his britches,” that God will intervene.

Does any of this trouble you? Or are you excited about what the future holds? Chime in and share your thoughts.

 

Nature is a Formidable Foe

I love nature. Truly I do. But nature is not my friend. There is little about it that one could call friendly. Permit me to explain.

As soon as spring has sprung, nature comes alive with marvels. The songbirds return. The bees hum in the flowering trees. Flowers pop out of the ground and bloom The energy is palpable. I want to be out in it, feeling myself a part of the new life sprouting from the earth. So I go for a walk, and I take the dogs.

Soon I notice that my legs itch. The tall grass has scratched them. I feel something crawling on my neck. I reach to feel what it is and come away with a pinhead sized tick. I walk past the beehives and forget that I put a red t-shirt on that morning. The bees seem to be maddened by the color and give chase. The dog tries to catch one in her mouth and gets a sting on her nose. Further on as the poor mutt sniffs in a pile of brush, she flushes out a skunk who turns and sprays her in the face. Off she runs for the pond, yelping as it burns her eyes. To say nothing of chiggers, flies, spiders, wasps, or snakes.

Marvelous things, these. Awesome creations. But they are not tame. They hold both a beauty and a danger. In reality, they are protecting themselves. They engender my respect.

2012-06-26 20.02.09Bee on flower

Four years ago I began a new hobby, beekeeping. I may not have known what I was getting into, but after the initial start-up expenses, I enjoyed that first year of learning about the habits and lifestyles of the sweet and industrious. Bees are indispensable for their pollination role as well as the tasty golden product of their busyness. Most people have heard of the decline of honeybees. I felt I might contribute in a small way to their continued existence, but when two of my three hives died out or disappeared that first winter, and for the last two years as well, I knew I was up against a formidable foe. To this day I struggle to understand what happens to them. My best guess so far-random acts of nature. The fight for survival against weather, pests and disease.

The other hobby I began some time ago is keeping chickens. i love their silly antics, the way they walk, scratch and chase each other for a worm. The first years were no sweat, but for the last four, coinciding with my beekeeping, I can’t seem to keep them safe. The first two flocks were casualties of a mid-day play date with my very own pet dog. Horrified that she had gone on such a wanton killing spree, I resolved to protect my birds. The second time I was furious, trapping her in and making her find a way out. She did. The third time, in spite of our vigilance, something was after them at night. A critter was digging under the heavy cover and squeezing through a small hole and dragging the half-grown young hens out. Just a few every night, and we did not miss them until we counted one day and had only four left. The nerve of those predators! Raccoon, fox or skunk, we never found out. The next year, a different strategy by the hungry and wild. We fixed the fence and tried again, sure it was the skunk we’d seen skulking around just after dark. This year as I went out at dusk to close up the chickens, I discovered the previous night’s violent storm had flung the chain off the eye hook and blown the gate open, leaving a clear invitation to the coyotes that circle our homestead every night. All but one sole survivor were gone. Sally is traumatized and won’t lay any eggs. Not to be outfoxed again, I brought home twelve new baby chicks tonight.

Baby Chicks

As biological creatures we not only fight to survive against nature, but sadly, sometimes against our own fellowman. Forces of evil which are present in humankind and often within ourselves cause us no end of grief and suffering. We do the things we do not want to do, and see others doing the same.

I believe in hope. And I believe there is a way to prevail against the forces arrayed against us. That hope is in the redeeming work of a God who wants us to choose him and let him change us by his powerful spirit of goodness and love. I believe he desires us to forsake our own way, fraught with mistakes and failures, and allow him to change us into his image. The long journey which is our lives, striving against ourselves and outside forces, has a purpose. There is a victory over sin and death. Praise God that he has not left us as helpless prey in a formidable world. He has left us his Spirit, and He has left us each other.

Not only is nature a well-armed adversary, it is beautiful beyond belief. 

2012-05-19 20.08.48

What ways do you find yourself up against nature? Does it make you want to give up or stand and fight? 

Is Life Worth It? Can You Make a Difference?

Life is tough. Years ago I read a book, given to me by my mother, that began with that sentiment. Early in my adult years I needed to hear that others besides me struggled with life, doubted themselves, wondered if anyone really cared. Somehow it helps to know you are not alone. The gist of the book, as I recall, claimed that if we can accept this state of affairs, that life stinks a lot of the time, we will be better able to handle the dramas and traumas as they rattle the doors and windows of our peaceful abodes, seeking their way in to destroy our peace. Over the years, I’ve read many self-help books, both secular and Christian. Both have had a hand in helping me accept and handle life’s miserable moments. Zig Ziglar has had a huge impact on me. This one was a lightbulb moment.

1426961184-9b0e40c9-8021

Winston Churchill’s ‘Never, never, never give up,’ and Eleanor Roosevelt’s ‘It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness’ are good, as well as a host of other inspirational quotes. But recently the question has plagued me, Why?

Why do I want to keep on striving, living, breathing, hoping, when death after a string of misery is my lot? We have been given life. Now what is it for? This is an existential question which my Christian belief system answers for me on a spiritual level, eternity having a huge bearing on the issue. I get it and I believe it. But somewhere in the day-to-day, when I feel ineffective and of no value to anyone, even God, the “why” nags at me.

I would be aggrieved to know that any one of my acquaintances felt like giving up on life. It would drag me down. I would grieve for and with them. I, too, would feel the futility, the worthlessness of life and myself as a part of it. The truth is, no man is an island. Each of us is connected to someone, as though we each hold two hands (at a minimum) with whom we have some kind of contact. Even the most casual of contacts is important. Envision this hand-holding to form a huge net of human beings. When one drags, it pulls on the others, who begin to go down with them. When one is elevated, so are those around them. Where could we go collectively if we were all to make it our goal in life, our daily focus, to be an encourager, cheerleader, or friend? To build one another up? To know, deep within ourselves, that what we say and do, every moment, makes a difference?

The upside is that life is not just a string of miserable events. Life encompasses birth, regeneration, humor, beauty, love and kindness, a list which could grow to lengths too long for this blog post. I posit that we need to focus on these things in order to keep our perspective and be a part of all that is good about the world. What if our connectivity to others is what it’s really about?

A dose of humor doesn’t hurt either.

marktwain122786

Please comment and share your uplifting thoughts.What makes life more livable for you? What are some good things in life that encourage you?

Welcome!

My desire is to share a love of story with others. Human beings, being relational by nature, are meant to share life. We really do need each other. Too many things divide us and get in the way of what we need from one another. I believe we can accomplish much together when we maintain respect, put others before ourselves, and show kindness and compassion. I pray that my words and voice always reflect these qualities. The Apostle Paul, in the book of Galatians, put it well. He wrote,

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control Against such there is no law.” -Galatians 5:22-23

Please join me in celebrating the gifts and talents, the beauty and joy of human life.

My passions in fiction writing include forays into the future and the past via time travel and speculation, and finding the hero within my characters in my reality-based medical fiction. I have two books in development with ideas for more. Stay tuned for updates to their availability.

Thank you for visiting!

-Kim

Six Degrees of Separation

Is it just me, or do others encounter “someone who knows someone they know” more often than seems believable?

Often I have remarked at what a small world this is. One of the most uncanny incidents occurred between my mother-in-law and another woman with whom she was previously unacquainted. Mother-in-law visits woman’s home for a quilting group meeting. She remarks on a picture on the refrigerator of the other woman’s daughter and asks where she lives. “Oh you’ve never heard of it,” she said. “It’s eight states away, outside of a small town in Kansas.” “Really?” MIL says. “My son lives outside of a small town in Kansas. Have you ever heard of it?” The other woman’s jaw drops. “That’s where my daughter lives. What street does your son live on?” she asked. MIL replies. “You’re kidding, right? That’s less than a half mile from my daughter!” A year later MIL moves to be close to her son, and the other woman and her husband move to be near their daughter. They’ve been good friends ever since.

This phenomenon was originally put forth in 1929 by a Hungarian author who wrote a short story entitled “Chains” or “Chain-links”. He believed that the modern world was shrinking due to the ever-increasing connectedness of human beings. Mathematicians and others would study this and call it “network theory.” Social, friendship networks were studied and games played to illustrate the actual number of degrees. The concept was popularized by an article in Psychology Today magazine around the year 1980. Some studies said there were as few as three degrees of separation in the United States, and anywhere up to ten overall, six being the most agreed upon number.

2180.kruger_01.tif

Popular culture has used the idea in a number of plays, movies and films, as well as exploring the idea in a Facebook game and in the professional network LinkedIn. With all of this attention it should come as no surprise when it happens, yet it does. It seems like an incredible, unbelievable thing when you consider the staggering number of humans on the planet.

In the light of this phenomenon, a case could be made that the things we do and say have a far-reaching effect. Not only on those close to us, but on the entire social network of connected individuals over the entire planet. We would do well to take this into consideration every time we speak or act, realizing that our lives can have great influence for good.

Shades of Gray

Have you ever known anyone to say that gray is their favorite color? I haven’t. Personally I have a love/hate relationship with the color. I can tolerate it if it is combined with some other appealing color such as teal, orange, green, or-well-even black. But alone, it turns my stomach a bit.

Gray is what our eyes see in the dark. We lose our ability to see colors due to the limitations of our visual system, specifically our rods and cones. We shift from a cone-based system to a rod-based system in low light and lose the ability to see detail. Everything becomes fuzzy. Animals have different visual systems and many can see in the dark much better than we can. Some can even see ultraviolet light which is impossible for humans. This enables their survival.

Perhaps our inability to see well in the dark enables our survival as well. Scientists say that even the smallest amount of light at night, particularly blue light, disrupts the release of melatonin which is so important for our bodies to get the rest they need. Lack of rest leads to many health problems, even cancer. So we would do well to work with our bodies and submit to the darkness at night.

These are all physiological effects of grayness. But what about so-called gray areas? Why have we used the color gray to describe the lack of clarity of lifestyle issues? From politics to religion to relationship, we live in a gray zone. We don’t see clearly or sharply when it comes to evaluating life issues. This bothers me no end. I long to be able to see in black and white. I crave well-delineated arguments for or against. But they are elusive. Just when I think I’ve finally got a handle on something, a circumstance drops down upon me and snatches away my well-ordered thinking. Everything goes gray. I want to see that sharp light in the darkness shining its comforting glow on my circumstances.

I do believe sharp black and white exists. It has to, or we wouldn’t crave it so desperately and strive to order our lives around it. Black and white, right and wrong. Dichotomies. And in between is this vast ocean of grayness. Although I’m not okay with the grayness, I’ve accepted it as a part of life on this earth. But what I think is magnificent is that when the light shines, everything we see bursts with color. It’s not black, white or gray, it’s glorious color.

let-there-be-light

The Bible says that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. Do you hear that? There is no grayness with God. I think that when I crave the sharp distinction, what I’m really craving is the light of God. I want to see the colors. I want to see what happens when God’s light shines into darkness, and that darkness cannot comprehend it.

A New Year

My word for 2015:

Direction: A course along which someone or something moves.

Ten ways in which direction could impact my life in 2015:

1. Direction implies movement. I must move.

2. A sense of direction-A course that must be taken to reach a destination. I must have a sense of direction in order to accomplish worthwhile things.

3. Which direction will I face? Or will I need to face in every direction to achieve perspective?

4. An unexpected direction. I might have a surprise from an unexpected direction, or sense that I should move in an unexpected way.

5. A step in the right direction: Sometimes we must courageously take that first step, watching the way open up before us.

6. A lack of direction: Not acceptable.

7. Under someone’s direction: Sometimes we must submit to those who have more knowledge than we, or sit at the feet of a teacher for a period of time.

8. Asking for direction: Is this hard for you to do? I like to hear the advice of others and then make the final decisions myself.

9. A purpose behind the direction-to lend motivation to begin and carry on.

10. Other words for direction: Way, course, route, bearing, orientation. Instruction. Orchestration, leadership, guidance. 

In searching the scripture for the word “direction” I came up with few instances that the word is used as we use it today. More often I found that the Bible uses wisdom, trust, or making our paths straight. Consider this verse,

Ezekiel 34:5  (CEV) They strayed in every direction, and because there was no shepherd to watch them, they were attacked and eaten by wild animals.

How’s that for a strong word picture? This implies that we should seek guidance from someone who knows the way, the Good Shepherd, before we take off in directions that could be dangerous or detrimental to us in some way that we can’t see.

Ane one more,

With all your heart
you must trust the Lord
and not your own judgment.
Always let him lead you,
and he will clear the road
for you to follow.

-Proverbs 3:5-6 (CEV)

As the New Year is upon us, I pray we will open our eyes and hearts to seeking direction and guidance from the One who can lead us in the way we should go, with a willing heart.

May you have a blessed and prosperous New Year.

-Kim Kendall

%d bloggers like this: