September 20 2019 five am
Was Jesus a superhero? I thought about this and decided yes, he was, but not an ordinary superhero. The superheros of today, like superman, they are able to see evil with X Ray vision or hear things far away that are bad and they come to the rescue… and punish the bad guys. But Jesus, he was able to perceive the good in people, and in doing so, he was able to heal them of many things. He saw the good when other superheros saw the bad. Is evil or a mistake worthy of our attention? ( and no Kiss radio New York I am not a nun, with five kids obviously did not take the vow of chastity lol)
I though about this with regards to math...and how a person can spend a lifetime looking for wrong answers to a problem and then let everyone know each mistake, but how far does that really advance mankind? Is it not more beneficial to find the one right answer, and let everyone know the truth, so they will be set free from the bondage of constantly searching for wrong answers to document? Truth, or right answers in that sense, is progress.
Once a person knows the answer to something they can learn something new. And if we believe God is good, then Truth will always be good. That makes it so simple.
I liked thinking about superheros especially this morning when I got up to run. I woke up early at like four thirty am and I said to myself, “self, you should go running early”. But then I went upstairs to stretch and turned on the TV and started to talk myself out of running. I was putting away things in the upstairs, a place where I have converted the sofa and the desk to my study and writing area, and I saw the framed eulogy written by Gene Price, Editor of the Goldsboro News Argus for my dad in 1986 when my dad was in the plane crash. My dad was a superhero. He always saw the good in me and encouraged it. My dad wanted me to run a marathon with him. He had asked me to train with him and had sent me a training schedule. I had let my running taper off after the crash which happened a few months after he had sent me the training schedule he had wanted us to follow. I did not think I could do it without my dad at my side. He had told me I had an easy relaxed running style and that I was going to be a good runner. HMMMM I thought to myself ruefully, my dad would be telling me to stop making excuses and get out there and run.
So I went out there... and true to form here in Houston, it was hot and humid and muggy. I started to mentally complain about it but then I stopped myself and tried to find the good and I told myself how steamy air is great for the skin and it was like paying to have a steam facial. It was not that easy for me though. I was recovering from an injury at the gym doing deadlifts and going too heavy without enough stretching and warming up. One leg seemed to have pain as I slowly jogged and I slowed down. I can't do this if my leg is hurting I thought to myself.
But then I thought of my son who is a trail running coach in Austin Texas. He also had this same leg and hip pain a while back and he ran in spite of the pain and his wife started back running not that long after having her little boy in spite of her difficulties after delivery. My son and his wife were superheros. He told me I could do anything I set my mind to. When he came to Houston the last time he took me to run with him and I did not want to but he said he would go as slow as I wanted. So I ran but it was so slow that he could keep up walking. But as we did the track at the high school..me slowly jogging and him walking, he told me about a book he was reading that was about a guy who ran with a broken leg one time. He said that all of us can do more than we think. We just have to make a choice. Life is about choices. Even Daniel in the bible did not HAVE to go into the lions den...he could have let fear deter him from his principles but he made a choice to believe as he CHOSE to believe...and the lions did not touch Daniel. Evil really does not have any power over Truth. And Truth is always good, always progress, always inspirational.
As I thought about my son running I picked back up my pace. "thank you God for this one step, thank you God for every step in the right direction" I breathed out loud as I ran. I was trusting God to place my feet and my legs and my body on the right path. I knew that I could listen to the pain or I could listen to the truth. I did not believe in using drugs for pain and I did not believe in sitting inside all day and not getting any exercise so I knew I was in my right activity. I also knew that possibly some of my problem was that I had been overeating treats and sugar...the biggest addictive substance on our planet, and needed to shed some weight too. I had also tackled my eating and was trying to improve my choices and this made me think of my daughter in law and a different son.
This daughter in law was trying to eat a low inflammatory diet with less than fifteen percent saturated fats and minimal dairy for medical reasons. I had been trying to help her find sources of quick and easy meals so that she did not have to spend time cooking and could spend more time on her art. My son, who ran the iron man in St. George, had asked me to do this for her for his birthday. The two of them were superheros. They could complain about limited time and about life circumstances that did not seem fair but instead they were incredibly talented, loving and progressive. They were a joy to visit. They did everything as a team.
As I ran, I turned the corner in my neighborhood...I had stopped to take a photo of the moon and the streetlights. This part of the neighborhood was the darkest and the streetlights the farthest apart. I thought about how I had taken my mom to visit my son and his wife in Tennessee. I had driven her through a snow storm. We had the best time. My mom walks ten thousand steps every day... and she is still in great shape. She does not have my dad to run by her side either. She said one time she wishes she had done more things with him when he was alive. My mom has stayed true to her principles and her religion, and she is a superhero. I felt sure my mom had suffered her share of aches and pains and injuries but I NEVER HEARD HER COMPLAIN about them. She just kept on keeping on.
I rounded another corner of the street and was heading down the long stretch through the light to the other side of the neighborhood. I thought about my other three kids. They were superheros too along with their significant others.
One, a first responder fireman, was at my home yesterday picking up his little girl and he was telling how he spent all morning wading in hip deep water to make sure people were situated safely away from the flood. In spite of all his hard work, he still wanted to do more. What an incredible mentality... so selfless. My youngest, the wife of this first responder, keeps beautiful plants in their home and yard, does beautiful art, creates animation and does modeling, cares for their child and runs up and down the stairs every hour at work to keep her activity level up...and she always makes time for her dad and I and for spiritual conversations. They are both superheros.
And my kid in California and her husband, and my other kid in Austin, are the most thoughtful and emotionally intelligent of all my kids, sensing when any family member needs help, reaching out in an attitude of service and being inclusive when things are difficult and people are feeling isolated. They all go to the gym, play or ref soccer, lift weights, do yoga and Barre workouts and they do all this with full time jobs or children or both. They are incredible superheros.
I HAD NO EXCUSE to not run, I had no excuse to not be successful with my eating and I had no excuse to not trust God with getting me there. "thank you God for this one step, thank you God for every step in the right direction" I said out loud. At that moment, Unchained melody played on the radio. I will try to explain how this song touched my heart…like it gave me new life, some call it a second wind in running. I felt like it was God talking to me. He was telling me that I WAS ALREADY unchained. I did not have to accept pain or suffering..it did not have to be a part of my experience...it was a choice for me as to what I was going to listen to. God was asking me if I was still his. It brought tears to my eyes. OF COURSE I AM STILL Gods perfect child. God was telling me to LOVE MORE. I did not feel any pain the rest of the run. I consider this morning to be one of my best runs ever, in spite of the pain at the beginning because it was one of those times where I personally felt I had a "coincidence" with God... my life line converged so to speak with the spiritual being of creation...and it healed the pain instantly. I felt so blessed.
I came home and had to write it down. ON the news was a debate with Newt Gingrich and about ways to make drugs cheaper for Americans...because the argument was that drug manufacturers were bad and had created the opiod crisis for the purpose of profit. In general it seems that there are too many people addicted to opioids, too many kids addicted to the nicotine in vaping, too many overweight adults addicted to sugar..we seemed like we were all addicted. But I do not believe we can blame big pharma for our individual choices no matter how persuasive they happen to be. Do we really believe a little pill or a weed, or sugar can fix everything for us or is it time for us to turn away from these toxic solutions towards a permanent non toxic solution.
And speaking of toxic environments, it seems we as a society are OVERLY concerned about toxic things on the outside of our bodies but not as concerned about toxic things we are allowing inside our bodies. If we want to improve the environment, should we maybe start with the environment inside our bodies and inside our thought..inside our families. Is the environment around our children, our parents, our friends and neighbors tolerant, loving, optimistic joyful and forgiving or is it intolerant, hate-filled, pessimistic, fearful and unforgiving. How much time and energy are we spending on improving THOSE environments within our immediate control?
I thought about how I had posted a quote on LinkedIn from Revelations about how "the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations". I felt healed during the run and I had not taken any medicine. The leaves on the tree, I decided, were not meant to be thought of literally. They were about people, metaphorically. A tree of one family will have all its leaves (people) to be similar. IF some of the leaves become diseased, the tree can survive if other leaves are strong and resistant. Diseased leaves can destroy a tree but only if the tree has lost its resiliency or has weak roots. Trees that bear fruit produce more trees and more good...diseased trees do not produce fruit. Disease grows in the dark closed environments and often pure light alone can remove the potential for virus and disease from a tree.
It is not the drug industry that is causing the opiod problem or the vaping problem. It is society turning towards addictive behaviors to avoid pain or suffering because they do not trust spirituality ...they do not trust God any more. But if we look at THE LEAVES OF OUR TREES... our family members, we can find RESILIENCY, stability, spirituality, and strength…the leaves or the family members who have been successful turning away from sickness, disease or addictions are for the healing of us, and our country. WE are all superheros and are capable of seeing the good in our lives and turning away from the dire pictures that happen when we listen to disease. We can make good choices…moment by moment. James 4:8 Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. As an artist, I like the play on words here, draw nigh... because we CAN draw pictures in our thinking, that see good the enduring and the true. My dad did it, so can I.