Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Card Carrying Curmudgeon

Webster’s defines a curmudgeon as a crusty ill tempered and usually old man.

A co-worker called me a curmudgeon can you believe it? She was kidding of course; honest she said she was kidding. By definition I am not guilty. Well ok I can be crusty and I guess ill tempered at times but I am not and old man.

Those that know me would say if you look up curmudgeon in the dictionary you would find my picture. And if I am honest I am guilty as charged from time to time.

That begs the question have you wondered how others see you? Many will stop here and proclaim I don’t care what people think of me or how they see me. Yes you do and the more you protest that you don’t care are signs that you really do.

We all want to be loved and accepted by others. We seek approval and praise for a job well done. Yes even an old curmudgeon needs a hug now and then.

I have another question: From a Christian perspective should we be concerned about how people see us? The answer of course is YES.

As Christians we are to be Christ like. We are to be a reflection of Jesus to others. When people see us do they see the Lord? Of course this reflection of Christ filters through our personality and we are who we are projecting an image of Christ.

Please note that I am not talking about physical appearance, way too much emphasis is placed on our outward appearance. My father in law used to say if the barn needs painting paint it. Looking your best is one thing obsession is another.

Do you live your life mindful of the fact that you are a Christian? Can others see Jesus in you?

As for me I am striving and at times struggling to be a light in this dark world. At times I maybe a curmudgeon but my goal is to be a Christian and a reflection of Christ 24-7.

Time Does Not Heal All Wounds

Case in point Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Justice Thomas has a book on the best sellers list “My Grandfather’s Son. I have not read the book but I have seen two interviews on television and listened as Justice Thomas spoke about his upbringing in Savannah Georgia, his education and his confirmation hearings.

To this point Thomas has suffered in silence, the book opens the door to the heart and mind of this witty, intelligent man who paid a huge price for a chance to be all he could be.

Thomas indicated in one interview two reasons for the Anita Hill accusations. First they were an attempt to keep him in his place and second his confirmation might tip the court to set aside Roe v Wade and abortion would no longer be the law of the land.

After all these years Justice Thomas is still a polarizing figure. Those that opposed his confirmation still do, the black community has issues with his stance on affirmative action.

The interviews were of course designed to promote the book. But they opened the door for the first time to the mind set of Justice Thomas.

My first thought was this guy is still hurting after all these years. He suffered the injustices of Jim Crow laws. His degree from Yale in his mind is tainted his words not mine. I believe he said his law degree resides in the basement.

His confirmation hearings which he said were an electronic lynching were staged to keep him off the highest court in the land. According to Thomas the underlying issue was abortion. Many feared he might tip the balance of the court and over turn Roe v Wade.

Hindsight is 20/20 and looking back Thomas had to face the issues anew to write a book about his journey from humble beginnings to Supreme Court Justice.

Just a couple thoughts about what we may learn from the interviews and the book.
When we are hurt by others the effects can be life long.

Injustices aimed in our direction are not always seen for what they really are.

Defending ourselves is not always successful.

We cannot rely on others to determine our happiness or final destination.

One person can make a difference.

There is nothing a determined individual cannot accomplish if given an opportunity.

Well I am off to read Thomas book, Stay Tuned.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Ghost Walk - - - - -

A Ghost Walk on St. Simons Island

My wife and I returned home yesterday from a wonderful vacation on St. Simons Island Georgia. Come to think about it all my vacations have been wonderful with only a couple of exceptions. The first exception was a trip to Graceland (Our daughters idea) it was memorable I don’t think I will ever forget the green shag carpet in the jungle room.

The second exception was a trip to Washington DC with our children in tow. I know it’s a great place for kids but not my kids. They all had moments they seemed to understand where we were and why we were there. But for the most part they were miserable and guess what I was not happy. Go figure.

Our children are grown so my wife and I have discovered we vacation very well on our own. Last week while on vacation our daughter joined us for a few days, yes she crashed our vacation. But I must confess her presence made a great vacation even better.

It was her first time visiting St. Simons and it was great as she discovered all the things we love about the island. Since it was her first trip we pondered doing tourist stuff. I work at not being a tourist; we have been visiting the island a couple times a year for over twenty years. But to some locals you are forever a tourist.

We settled on a ghost walk. Saturday night 9:00 PM we gathered at the pier with several other tourists and set out to learn about the spirits that haunt the island.

The first and most memorable stop was the lighthouse. It seems all lighthouses are haunted. Go figure. The story told by the local spirit guide informed us of a murder and the spirit of the keeper who still walks the stairs to tend the light.

Well the spirit named Fredrick did not appear. I was not disappointed though some in the group seemed to be. I don’t know what they expected given the price of admission. Besides if Fredrick had shown up I think those longing for him to appear would have disappeared quicker than he appeared.

I wondered as we walked what place ghosts and spirits have in our world? Yea boy I can really ruin a good ghost walk. I believe in the communion of Saints, but I have a problem believing anyone in heaven would long to return to this life. The answer is they would not return even if they could. St. Simons is a great place but heaven it’s not. But spending time with my wife on a beautiful island is pretty close.