Thursday, September 12, 2013

Night Secrets

It is said that the night holds a thousand secrets.  And that is true for me.  Because late at night, after my wife has gone to bed, I become a time traveler.  My travels begin when I walk up the stairs and walk by the rooms that my children used to occupy when they lived at home.  I enter their rooms and stand beside their empty beds and it is there that I am transported. 

When they were young I would enter their rooms and look in on them before going to bed, just to reassure myself that they were alright.  I would stand beside them looking down on them, sometimes placing my hand on their backs to feel them breathing or I would brush my hand against their hair.

I would be filled with a great bursting of wonder and love.  Here were two people who lived because of me; whose personalities and habits would be shaped in part because of me; whose lives would forever be entwined with mine. Standing there I would wonder who they would become and what they would do with their precious lives; who they would meet and who they would love.

And, I wondered if they would continue to love me as our relationship evolved.  I wondered when they would discover that I did not have all the answers and that I was not a superhero.

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, a time traveler such as me must return to the present.  And I always have to return from my travels in the past to those empty beds of the present.  Most of my questions about my children from those days have been answered.  They long ago discovered that I was not a superhero and that there are many things I do not know.  Our love for each other has evolved and it has withstood the passage of time. 


But, sometimes, when they are visiting, I will walk by their bedrooms and quietly open their doors.  And in their sleeping, I see them as they once were and I am once again transported to a long ago time.


Copyright ©Eric Lanier.  The right to download and store output of the materials from this website is granted for your personal use only, and materials may not be produced in any edited form. Any other reproduction or editing by any means, mechanical or electronic, without the express written permission of Eric Lanier is strictly prohibited. For additional information, contact Eric Lanier at ericelanier@gmail.com



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Saving the World

There is a saying that "Everyone wants to save the world but no one wants to help mama with the dishes." Saving the world is a good idea, and it would be great if someone could wave a magic wand and do it. But, as we all know, it is not that simple. And that is the problem. The modern world has become vastly complex, yet modern humans demand uncomplicated answers and quick solutions. We love shortcuts and the easy road to success.

I think most of us feel that the world seems to be on the brink of some catastrophe waiting to happen. We are all holding our breath...waiting for the answer to be given to us. But the answer is us; us living up to the teachings of our religions. If only we could show the light of God, or Christ or Muhammad, or Buddha in the way we live and in the way we relate to others- but we are failing in this.

A few days ago I read an article posted on Facebook by a young person who had made the decision to leave the mainline church that she attended because after years of attending she concluded that she would never find the love of Christ as described in the Bible in Church. Another article in the local newspaper noted that "hate communication" on twitter originated most frequently in the areas of the country that have the highest population of churchgoers. Churchgoers may deny sending these hateful tweets, but even if we did not send them, it is a commentary that we have not been effective in leading our communities toward God. We have not saved our communities, let alone save the world.

Yet there is hope.  But there is no easy road to salvation; no shortcut to heaven; and the world will not be saved with the wave of a wand.   A man once asked Christ how he could have eternal life.  Jesus asked, “what is written in the law?”  And the man replied, “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, and with all of your soul, and with all of your strength, and with all of your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.”  And Jesus told the man, “You have answered correctly.  Do this and you will live.”

The road to salvation is long and treacherous; filled with the nitty gritty details of ordinary things that require us to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty- and work really hard; to lose sleep; to put the needs of others ahead of our own; to give up our creature comforts; to get out from behind our desks and actually leave our offices; to hold the hand of and work side by side with someone of a different race or nationality and experience for ourselves the world that we wish were saved.

Our lives are to be a reflection of Christ, or Muhammad, or Buddha to the world.

And if we do this, we will live.


Copyright ©Eric Lanier.  The right to download and store output of the materials from this website is granted for your personal use only, and materials may not be produced in any edited form. Any other reproduction or editing by any means, mechanical or electronic, without the express written permission of Eric Lanier is strictly prohibited. For additional information, contact Eric Lanier at ericelanier@gmail.com