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What Do You See?

Sometimes we miss the God-moments of life because we fail to see what is right before us…God has given us all things, so often we fail to receive what God has provided because we are not looking…so gaze…what do you see? what does the visual say to you? You can click on an image to enlarge it.

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Enjoy gazing and looking beyond what is seen.

Illuminate Deo,
Monty

What Do You See?

Sometimes we miss the God-moments of life because we fail to see what is right before us…God has given us all things, so often we fail to receive what God has provided because we are not looking…so gaze…what do you see? what does the visual say to you? You can click on an image to enlarge it.

Shutterstock_187641






Simone_martini_1342_christ_returns_1

 

 

 

 

Shutterstock_211527_1

Enjoy gazing and looking beyond what is seen.

Illuminate Deo,
Monty

Three Blind Mice

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I remember mumbling the words to the early nursery rhyme over and over. For a young skull full of mush, the rhythm can begin to numb and soon explode into a cosmic clash of wonderment in the imagination.


Three blind miceThree blind mice
See how they run
See how they run
They ran all over the farmers wife
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife
Did you ever see such a thing in your life
As three blind mice

Ya know, when your little, you just don’t tend to ask what the rhyme means, you just repeat it because you have a picture of three cute little furies beasts with dark glasses and a white cane, simply trying to make their way in the world.

Interestingly enough, the rhyme is a religious/political propaganda piece. It seems the farmers wife was really Queen Mary I who had the nickname of "Bloody Mary"  because of her persecution of Protestants. Under her regime, Protestants were not welcomed or tolerated, only being Catholic would do…so the Three Blind Mice represented three nobles who were not Catholic, (some have suggested the three men were Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley and Thomas Cranmer. These three Anglican nobles were convicted of plotting against the queen who had them burned at the stake.

Now isn’t that a sweet little nursery rhyme! As I have really been praying about, and looking at the relgio-political world scene over the last weeks, I wonder what kind of rhyme will be sung by babes about the killing in Israel and Palestine. I watch the news, read the articles, and soon my mind becomes as numb as it did when I was little mumbling rhymes without comprehension.

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As I look at Arab and Jew, with the strike-counterstrike-counterstrike-strike happening, I begin to think about another story I learned when I was young about blindness. Jesus is telling the story, and while the Hebrew humor is lost in translation, Jesus talks about a man who is mad at another man for some fault, or screwup. Jesus doesn’t tell us what the screwup was, probably because He knew we would focus on the sin and miss the point, but he says that this one guy is angry and pointing his finger at the mistake of the other…In Jesus’ terms, he makes a metaphor of the mistake calling it a speck in his brothers eye…the part that is so funny though is Jesus’ sarcasm. He says the guy who is pointing out the speck, or flaw, in his brother has a massive log protruding out of his own eye socket!

Can you see it? Quick translation: A Man with a boat-load of sin is judging another man with a little bit of sin. Jesus teaching is that we should take care of our own sin before thinking ourselves sin surgeons for others. In that picture I see the offspring of Isaac and Ishmael pummeling each other for logs and specks. To be sure, some of the logs and specks are hideous and evil, but as I look at the world scene it appears that the blind are in a full scale war without the aid of sight.

Can you imagine being God and seeing your creation pummeling each other day after day? Wouldn’t you want to end the playground fights and ignorant ravings done in your name? But God, in His wisdom has a plan I don’t see, because I have this nasty log in my eye! It’s when I think the log has dislodged itself that I am really the most blind.

The heart of every religio-political struggle is the exaltation of self and the love of power. One of the most powerful traits of Jesus is that while He was God, He didn’t have to shout others down to prove His pedigree…When you have truth, it is the truth that has the capacity to change things, not our proving of it.

The world fights, kills, and maims for scraps of dirt, and electronic credits that measure global wealth. No one ever has enough, so the power struggle to fulfill the desires of the self grow until it is taken from someone else. To justify the self-power domination, we must make enemies so that we can sleep at night in light of the things we do stay happy.

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The amazing thing is that Jesus had the answer with his lesson on logs and specks…look in and be honest. Remove masks, get naked before God…Look out with love towards those with specks and logs in their visionary path. If we live the light, trusting that the Light is the change agent, many logs and specks will dislodge, and the Kingdom of Heaven will have arrived for another masterpiece of God.

In the end, we are all blind mice to someone, but to God, we are valuable enough to allow men and women more days on earth before He returns. Today, let us allow the Light of Christ to illuminate of journey.

Illuminate Deo,
Monty

Choices

Cars I just saw Pixar’s latest release "Cars." Besides the great animation, and the ability to make a Hudson Hornet not only look and sound like the original, but also like Paul Newman, there was a layer of real life navigation throughout.

A young and talented race car, (slip in the name of a bright ego-centric up-and-comer here) named Lightning McQueen has been taking the racing world by storm. As a result of his incredible ability to think only of himself, he finds that he is very lonely…no crew chief, nor pit crew left will work with him due to his arrogance.

On the way to the big "Piston Cup" Lightning accidentally rolls out of the back of the team semi while he was sleeping, and gets stuck in a small town called Radiator Springs on Route 66. After doing some damage to the town, the young race car is sentenced to rebuild the road he destroyed…and this is where the journey of discovery begins.

It seems to me that all the stuff we go through in life captures us in the moment, and causes us to believe that the moment is all there is. Unable to see beyond and dazed from the events of the past, we get stuck. In the movie, all Lightning wanted to do was to get unstuck, to get out of Radiator Springs as fast as he could. He was so self-focused that he didn’t see the story he had fallen into, the stories that surrounded him, nor the help next to him that he so desperately needed.

That is so much like us yes? Our moment is all there is… Our self is our consumption…Our location exists only to move beyond…Our dreams are always someplace else…

Since Lightning was stuck in Radiator Springs until he fulfilled his court ordered civic duty, he had to slow down enough to see the story that surrounded him. The entrance of friends, lovers, mentors, partners…authentic community in the most obscure place.

I think God gives us many Radiator Spring moments in life…moments where He has sovereignly orchestrated a dead-end, or a seemingly purposeless stop along the journey that is anything but purposeless or accidental…it is divinely inspired to slow us down enough so that we begin to experience His story that is unfolding around us all the time. Then, we enter into the stories of fellow travelers, who here-to-fore we didn’t even know were on the road.

As we slow down and enter into each others journey down Route 66, God gives us the ability deep within to move beyond ourselves…this movement unleashes within us a capacity to choose differently…leading to a different outcome than we had previously been experiencing. From self-centeredness to selflessness…from pride to humility…from serve-me to let me serve you.

As Lightning enters into the lives of those around him, he receives a mentor that will ultimately help him with his dream. Before, the mentor seemed nothing more than an older car who knew nothing about the world, but as Lightning learned his story, he was open to be taught from someone who had been right where he was at. He also experienced the joy that comes when we overlook the quirkiness of our traveling companions, and how they complete empty patches of our soul.

Perhaps what caught me the most was the choice Lightning made a the end of the movie…with the Piston Cup firmly in his clutch, he sacrificed his "dream" to go back for a car that had been forced off the track, and pushed him across the finish line…

The Radiator Spring stops of life help us make the choices that matter. Winning isn’t everything…how you win does matter… and how you define winning will either transform you into a person that is contagious and influential or merely a trophy collector.

What is it within us that causes us to cheer on and applaud the one willing to sacrifice what we are all striving for…on the outside it doesn’t make sense…we all want to win, we all work to win…we all long to hold the trophy and stand receiving the glory in the winners circle…yet when we experience Lightning stopping at the finish line to do the right thing,  we draw in more breath, our eyes widen ever so slightly and the endorphins of joy scream through our body! Why?

Because built within us is the greatest story of sacrifice the world has every known…This story is the why of our soul. it makes every Radiator Springs moment of life ripe with meaning and hope. It is the cosmic Meta Narrative that God loves you and was willing to loose all to gain you…humbling, mesmerizing…confusing.

Make the right choice not the convenient choice. Make the Godly choice not the me-centric choice. Make the sacrificial choice not the path of least resistance choice…you become a creation of the choices you make in life, good, bad, and other. Everyday God gives you divine opportunities to choose wisely…to do this we need to slow down enough to see the story, our story, their story, His story…that battered up old car that you may think has no value just might hold the keys to unleash God’s plan in your life, and those quirky friends along the Route will carry you ac cross the finish line of life.

So, are you trying to get out of Radiator Springs? Maybe you should take a look at the surroundings and see what God is saying to you…there are no accidents in life only opportunities! After all, when you win that "Piston Cup" all you have is an empty cup.

Illuminate Deo,

Monty