Archive for the ‘Beauty’ Category
Today (February 27th), the church commemorates the life of English pastor and poet, George Herbert. Thought I’d post one of my favorite poems of his. It’s based on the paradoxical nature of our lives: the seen and unseen, the temporal and the eternal, the sacred and the mundane. Based on Colossians 3:3.
My words and thoughts do both express this notion,
That Life hath with the sun a double motion,
The first Is straight and our diurnal friend,
The other Hid and doth obliquely bend,
One life is wrapt In flesh and tends to earth,
The other winds towards Him whose happy birth
Taught me to live here so, That still one eye
Should aim and shoot at that which Is on high:
Quitting with daily labor all My pleasure,
To gain harvest and eternal Treasure.
December 1st, 2009.
Early morning flight to Ft. Lauderdale to spend a day and a half “having fun” in the middle of a giant swamp known as the Everglades. Not my idea. 100% Casey Graham. To be honest, I wasn’t even all that excited about it and almost backed out earlier that week.
So….I got off the plane….made my way to our planned meeting point in the airport….when lo and behold…I see my friend Casey. Standing next to Casey was this big dude that looked like he had just stepped out of a Bass Pro Shop catalog. I’ll never forget it because the contrast between this man and me….well, it was pretty much the size of the Grand Canyon. He was wearing a camouflage shirt, boots, and a yes, you guessed it – a Bass Pro Shop hat. He reminded me of my uncle from Missouri who owns lots of guns and enjoys sitting in a tree waiting and looking for animals to shoot.
I knew in this moment that I was in trouble.
Who was this Bass Pro Man? Billy Hornsby.
And who is Billy Hornsby? Billy’s the President of ARC – The Association of Related Churches. One of the most successful and impacting church planting organizations in the world. And as I was about to find out, he’s also one of the nicest, most down to earth guys I’ve ever been around.
It was only a day and a half…but by the end of our “excursion” (well for me it was anyway…), I felt like I had gotten to know someone very, very special. Not only did Billy and I share a room together (the two snorers…mostly me)….but in a matter of hours, this man had initiated me in the ways of nature, animal sacrifice, and alligator wrestling. (Watch this for proof.)
A week ago, Billy spoke at his son-in-law’s church (Chris Hodges) in Birmingham, Alabama at a service honoring his life and ministry. I watched the video this past Saturday night and was completely blown away by what I heard and saw. Aside from the fact that it was really, really tough seeing Billy sick from cancer, it was truly one of the most beautiful things I think I’ve ever seen.
So I grabbed the video, cut it to Billy’s part (no offense Greg Surratt…) and wanted you to see it. It’s powerful. And I think it speaks volumes about what makes Billy the incredible leader he is today.
Watch the video. And pray for my outdoor mentor, Billy Hornsby. Also pray for his wife Charlene, his family, and loved ones.
Love you Billy. Thanks for making a difference in my life.
And one more thing… Let me again say sorry about almost shooting you and the others…
Ran across a gem of an article on my flight back from Portland last week. It’s from the Dec/Jan issue of Fast Company and it’s about the Italian designer, Brunello Cucinelli and the good he’s doing both locally and globally.
For example, Cucinelli employs the majority of his small Italian village of around 500 people, keeps local button manufacturers and leather and cashmere providers in business, and he gives 20% of his profits to humanitarian efforts. He’s also restored a medieval castle, built a community theater, and he’s renovating a children’s park on New York’s Bleecker Street.
And I love the reason why. Check out Cucinelli’s quote from the article:
“I want to embellish the world around me, and this way, my employees feel part of a project that won’t last just three or five years, but 500 or 1,000 years,” Cucinelli says. “I don’t feel like the owner of Solomeo; I am just the custodian.”
What a powerful statement:
“I don’t feel like the owner of Solomeo; I am just the custodian.”
I. am. just. the. custodian.
Isn’t that our calling? Isn’t that the job God tasked humanity with in the very beginning? It was only when we saw ourselves as owners that we got in trouble. There’s a reason for that.
May we embrace our calling as custodians of everything. Our money. Our jobs. Our businesses. Our art. Our words. Our families. Our neighborhoods. Our cities. Our planet.
What’s most important? The journey….or the destination?
How about for an artist? Is it the process of creating our art…or the art itself?
I say both are important. But I dare say that the actual journey and process of creating art or whatever it is we’re working towards, is perhaps what’s most important.
Because it’s on the journey and through the process that we become.
It’s where artists learn how to best work on their art.
It’s where we discover what works…and what doesn’t.
It’s where questions are asked. And pain shows up.
It’s where failures occur. And where character is formed.
Who we’re becoming matters. And it’s in the falling down…the getting up…the toil…the misery…and all the other “stuff” we experience in the process of creating…..that we become.
So let’s not rush it. Because what occurs before and during the creation of our art….has a ton to do with what comes after it.
Instead, let’s learn from it. Savor it. Document it. Journal it.
Better yet…share it! Create with it. Sing it. Paint it. Dance it. Speak it. Preach it. Draw it. Sculpt it. Write it.
And whatever you do…..don’t give up.
So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith. Galatians 6:9 (Message)
Been reading Ronald Rolheiser’s Forgotten Among the Lilies: Learning to Love Beyond Our Fears. In one of the chapters, Fr. Rolheiser gives a beautiful answer to the question:
“What is real love?”
“Real love is always a coming home, it is not a place we deserve or earn, it is coming to a place where you sense others will love you without necessarily being impressed with you.“
“Thus real love is always experienced as a security, a safe place, home, a safe harbor which we sail into. It is a place of rest.”
On infatuation and all the other “feelings” that sometimes feel like real love:
“…in spite of the excitement and obsession, after we have had our fix we need to, and want to, go home. That person’s heart can never, ultimately, be home for us.”
“Ultimately, if we cannot really be of one heart and mind with someone, however interesting and exciting that person may be, then that other will become just part of our world and we will grow apart and go our separate ways, that is, to our separate homes.”
“…that place where we do not have to impress or perform, or earn or win, where we feel safe and secure and where we are at home.“
Are you at home with the person you love?