Monthly Archives: May 2012

Memorial Day….the day after.

I’m always interested in the day after.

It’s always the day after a holiday that catches my attention the most. I wake up in the morning, and for the most part, not a whole lot has changed. Take this morning for instance. I got up, went for my morning run, and now I’m about ready to head off to work at my internship church for the day. A pretty routine day if I must say.

But, when I think about what we were observing, what we were remembering and celebrating yesterday, is any day routine? I always have an affinity for Memorial Day….honor, duty, integrity, commitment understood through the eyes of personal sacrifice will always draw me in. It’s what drew me to go to the Naval Academy and spend 8+ years in the U.S. Navy. And on a day like Memorial Day, I’m naturally drawn to give thanks, to pay honor and respect due to those who in the name of such values I mentioned above, at the cost of sacrificing time with families and a life of comfort and stability. And regardless your political or ethical stances on war, our country’s foreign policy and use of military power, I think all people should give thanks for those who daily choose to place themselves in harm’s way for the sake of protecting and defending ideals, and the notion that that people have a right to exercise such ideals, like choice, freedom, safety. Come to think of it, I can think of another who “made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made human in likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross.”

I’m not trying to sensationalize military service. But when we examine such service, I wonder if we can’t characterize it as Christ-like in some ways. The sobering reality is that it’s difficult, messy, and well, necessary. In a world where we as Americans don’t see (or choose not to see) some of the ugliness that exists in the rest of the world, there are some who feel convicted and called serve others in this way. And honestly, it connects to anyone who serves “God, country and their fellow man,” because they believe they are furthering a cause for freedom and life for people, regardless of agendas or complications. And we see the effects on these men and women who serve….in both good and tragic ways.

And while I appreciate yesterday, the time to relax and enjoy the freedom I do have, and those who are out “standing the watch,” I’m more keyed in on today – the day after. So on this day after, let us give thanks – everyday – for those who serve and work to promote peace, freedom, and safety for all people.

I’d love if you’d share a comment on a loved one or someone you knew, who served – whether civil service, military service, etc. that you thought of this Memorial Day, and who you thank daily for their sacrifice!



Filed under Culture & Social Issues/Ethics

Beginning things

So here we go….

Wrestling-inspired faith.  I’m sure the title itself gives you an idea of what this blog will be about.  Or not.  But I do know this about me: I’ve been involved in the sport of wrestling (the real kind!) since I was 4, and faith, as much as it’s comforting for me and does matter, it’s usually a struggle for me.  And so this blog is borne out of wondering: “Is it the same for others?”

Because I think it is, at least in what I’ve experienced from people – heard in their stories, their hopes, their struggles, what frustrates them.  Seen in their personal battles – jobs, school, sports, relationships, themselves.  Life is a challenge sometimes.  It take courage to step on that line, and to have faith that whatever the outcome, it doesn’t define who you are, but the experience is worth the effort, is life-giving for you and for others…because it’s honest, it’s real.  Kind of like a wrestling match.

My hopes for this blog?  I hope folks journey along with me, and honestly interact with the blog.  This isn’t so much me imparting ideas on folks, but me as a coach wanting to create real conversation that seeks a deeper understanding of the world, and what I means to live in it as a person of faith.  (By the way, that faith for me is distinctly Lutheran/Christian….but whether your agnostic, Jew, atheist, Muslim: your faith matters here too!)

That’s the struggle…good conversation with people.  I’ve found honesty and openness is hard-fought.  People say they want it, but few are willing to engage in it, instead favoring to find only people who think exactly the same as they do.  I live in such a place….and unfortunately, part of this blog is a response of frustration and a bit of anger on my part to such “openness.”  A real community where real conversation means you can be open and honest, and know the difference in outcomes don’t have to kill the relationship.

Ok, that’s enough for now…..we’ll see where this goes.  In the meantime, I want to know: “What’s your biggest frustration in conversing with others about life’s issues or faith’s issues?”

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