Monday, January 3

There and back again

So, through a bit of serendipity and a tremendous amount of goodwill, I did not spend the holidays alone as I expected but with my beloved parents.  I would point out that they live in balmy Florida, where it was 21 degrees (70F) for most of the week.  There were many changes in itinerary and alterations of plans at the last moment, but everything came out in the wash.

Reflecting on this trip, especially in comparison with the previous two I have taken recently, highlights where things have changed in me, in those around me and in my perception of the world.

Life is about choices and consequences.  Whether it's snatching a jeweled chalice from a dragon, holding on to threads of the past or looking to promises of the future, we shape our own destinies with the tools given us and our (mis)perceptions about what was, is and will be.
Obviously, this is not done in a vacuum and we use and are shaped by external factors as well. That can be good (Divine, inspirational literature, etc.) or bad (too many to list), but recognizing it's presence is important. 

Further, we need to balance the understanding that there ARE things outside our control to be sure...but there is much within our own grasp which we, all too frequently, are willing to relinquish under different demurring guises.  "One does as is expected....There's nothing to be done about <X>....That's just the way things are these days, like it or's a post-9/11 world."

The other side of that coin is attempting to divert the possible negative consequences of our actions.  "Paedophilia was only 'grave' after V2?...We had no idea that <X> would have happened...I'm too big/righteous/smart to fail..."etc etc etc.  There is a fundamental ethos which underlies nearly every theology and philosophy, being that you reap what you sow.  Culture after culture is filled with tales admonishing generations to neglect this at their peril. 

It seems so many today believe that they are too cunning or quick to be trapped by their own deeds.  Whether individually or collectively, we cannot outrun our own shadows.  Conversely, we should never forget that we control our own lives and honour.  When others have control of those things, it is because we have given them that control.

What we think becomes what we say and do which becomes what we are.  Consider this...and then consider that all of Smaug's treasure hoard will not bring back a single day you spent chasing it rather than helping your neighbour.

Choose which you want, but recall the consequences.

P.S. - As I wrote this, I realised how much more than it would seem that I have in common with Mr. Baggins of Bag-end.  For most of my life I have been that very man is known as respectable and dependable - reliable and even predictable without great drama or adventures.  Things change, however, and though there is still that enjoyment of security that derives from surety, I understand now that I may derive better surety through things invisible than those which I can touch.

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