At motion, how?

“Death inspires me like a dog inspires a rabbit” – 21 Pilots

I have to confess my love for 21 Pilots. I am probably supposed to like something more mature or dignified, but my ears like what they like.

At the turn of the new year “heavydirtysoul” is heavy in my mind. I’m not big on resolutions. I’ve failed at keeping so many of them that I decided to quit making them. Rather than one big, herd-like push with all the other resolutionists every Jan 1, I’ve decided to take appropriate, intentional action as a problem comes up or an adjustment needs made in Heather and I’s lives. The weight I carried with me for most of my life? No spur of the moment new year resolution fixed that. Getting fed up being fat and intentionally making changes fixed it when I was actually ready (mature enough) to do something about it.

At the beginning of 2017, as with the end of any year and the beginning of another, I confess that it is difficult not to get a little introspective with where things stand with LIFE. Am I where I want to be? Where do I want to be? Is that where God wants me to be? Am I taking steps towards any or all of those things? This line of questioning could apply to job(s), family situation, living arrangement, passions, hobbies, etc. It inevitably gets a little deeper, though: What moves and inspires me?


I can’t judge your inspiration – mine is personal, as is yours. But are you in touch with some Source of inspiration? Sir Isaac Newton’s first law of motion essentially implies that an object at rest will remain at rest unless it is acted upon by an external force. Do you know what force is acting upon you? Have you intentionally sought out that force and made sure that your influencers are positive ones? Or are you lackadaisically letting any force move upon you… essentially one of the YOLO zombies that 21 Pilots references in their song?

Some of us are moved by family members or friends, culture, the media, religion, etc. There are deeper forces at work in our world, and I worry how many live like the lyric quoted above: “Death inspires me like a dog inspires a rabbit.”

As the calendar flips to an entirely new year, I pray you are not simply fleeing in your little corner of the world like a rabbit escaping the clutches of a dog’s jaws. Death comes for all of us, but does not have to be a fearsome specter haunting our waking moments. I hope the force acting on your, your source for movement, your muse or inspiration, is not something based in your fear for that is at the very least an exhausting way to live.

One of those other deeper forces at work in our world, I faithfully believe, is God. Not religion. God. An intimate, loving, benevolent, righteous, life-giving, abundance-pouring, sanity-saving, prisoner-freeing, God. Not an abstract thought system to get along with, but a Presence I have experience who has rescued me from the jaws of death… I am no longer a rabbit chased by the dogs. I can stand freely, not afraid of death. My soul is no longer heavydirty, and if your source of movement or force of life is not doing all of that for you, let’s talk.

2016 is over, and a new year is here. I have no resolutions to make. Because of the choices I’ve made, the path my life has taken, and the work to find rightness in this world, I’ve got a path laid ahead because of the divine Force that impacted my life while I was at rest. I pray you find something equally compelling. I pray death is not chasing you but rather something to be faced with confidence. I pray that whatever moves and inspires you (by your intentional choice or not) is life-giving. I pray that 2017 is a year of growth, improvement, challenges accepted, and life given. I’m excitedly planning on it for our family, and it is within reach for you as well. heavydirtysoul? Not anymore. Not ever again. Thank God.

Time and Chance

11 I have seen something else under the sun:
 The race is not to the swift
or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise
or wealth to the brilliant
or favor to the learned;
but time and chance happen to them all.
12 Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come:
 As fish are caught in a cruel net,
or birds are taken in a snare,
so men are trapped by evil times
that fall unexpectedly upon them.”
– Ecclesiastes 9:11-12
My grandpa is a great man! He has raised six kids and has too many grandkids and great-grandkids to keep track of. He was a farm boy scouted by pro baseball teams. He was a horseman. He was an insurance salesman. He taught me how to golf. He made me think that if I ever decided to smoke it would be a pipe like him (with Sir Walter Raleigh tobacco only, thank you very much). He doesn’t have a theology degree but knows more about the Bible than I do. He takes care of his family and presides over it well.
But like Solomon discovered and recorded in Ecclesiastes, time and chance affect us all, whether we’ve lived a good life, a hard life, a long one, or a short one. The great equalizer, cancer, has caught up with my grandpa. It began as pancreatic cancer, but despite his pancreas being removed it has metastasized and is spreading to his liver and beyond. Time and chance…
In the last few years my grandpa and I have grown apart – not through any intention on either of our parts. It just gradually happened. Time and chance…
I hope to rectify that. We can’t go golfing, but we can still sit and talk. It almost feels awkward at this point. As though I’m ashamed for what I’ve missed by letting us grow apart. I understand lots of kids grow up and just get involved in their own lives. However, I sure didn’t think I could be that selfish. Shame is a good word. And yet if you’re feeling shame don’t let it control you or dissuade you from doing what you know is right. Time and chance may take their toll too soon, and then you’ll have to live with the compounded shame of never doing anything about your shame in the first place.
Life really is too short. Time and chance don’t help the odds. So get out there and do some living!