Tuesday, February 19, 2019


Greatness lies, not in being strong, 
but in the right using of strength:
and strength is not used rightly 
when it serves only to carry a man
above his fellows for his own solitary glory.
He is the greatest whose strength carries up 
the most hearts by the attraction of his own. 
-Henry Ward Beecher

Thank you for your smiles today,
they'll carry me for miles today.
I'm wandering alone today,
like my child-self roaming the creeks alone.
The warmth, the breeze, the trees today.
But when I think of your smile,
my wandering heart is home... today.

The sky had darkened on that spring Saturday evening in May of 1980. My KangaRoos pocket shoes stood still as I felt fear rise in my throat. Darth Vader stood in front of the theater, flanked with Storm Troopers. He was really tall and seeing him in person brought a side of terror to my main course of admiration. 

For forty plus years I've carried within me a deep sense of wonder about the Star Wars saga and an awareness of (in my best Darth Vader voice) "Destiny." Epic characters seem to wander for most of their story lines. While less than heroic, my own storyboard reflects a traipsing unease.

I've just never really felt at home. The fit was always a struggle. It's like the old shapes toy I had as a kid. You can shove the oval through the square hole, but you know it doesn't really go there. I've tried to be a lot of shapes: salesman, loan originator, marketer/merchandiser, missionary, teacher, principal, retailer, pastor, and chaplain.

Am I the only one in life that just wished that the universe would send a sign to let me know that I'm in the right place? But God speaks in whispers right? He's a still small voice. You've got to search for the will of God, pound your Bible, swirl some tea leaves, or meditate/pray for hours.

Well, not if you're me. God likes to slam me in the head. I guess that's what it takes to grab my attention. And, I think He laughs when He does it! 

In 1998 I left the Center for Mental Health in Anderson, Indiana when Kellie and I moved back to Ohio. Now, twenty years later, the company has grown, merged, and changed quite a bit. I'm thrilled to be back. I feel like the fit is perfect. Whatever weird shape I am, they somehow had a vacancy that fit "just right" as if Goldilocks herself had designed it.

And... after being here for forty-four days, I noticed the building code designation for my office, C-17... the first letter of my name and the day of my birth. I stood in outside of my door and cackled like Hillary Clinton! A few heads popped out of cubicles and doorways...

Sometimes life brings us back full circle after the tumble of life has worn off our sharp edges. It seems to happen a lot... if our eyes are open to perceive it. Sometimes things change, and sometimes they don't really change at all. 

This past Sunday found me again intimidated by the size and presence of Darth Vader when I unexpectedly encountered him at a church we have been visiting. I felt like I was six years old again as I stood next to him and could nearly hear him whisper into my ear, "I find your lack of faith disturbing."

I whispered back, "I am one with the force. The force is in me." Cue credits...

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