Following the Wrong God Home — Part I

“If you don’t know the kind of person I am,
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong God home we may miss our star.”

First stanza from William Stafford’s poem “A Ritual to Read to Each Other”

This week I am going to do a series of blogs on the pros and cons of technology and social media and the themes of connection, relationship, reflection, community, humanity and leadership.

In The New York Time Magazine, May 22, 2011, Bill Keller, the executive editor of the Times, writes about “The Twitter Trap.”

He begins his article by writing the following, “Last week my wife and I told our 13-year old daughter she could join Facebook. Within a few hours she had accumulated 171 friends, and I felt a little as if I had passed my child a pipe of crystal meth.” Continue Reading »

The Reality of Personal Relationship

friends“Do not depend on the hope of results … In the end it is the reality of personal relationship that saves everything.”

-Thomas Merton

At the end of the day, after all the strategic planning, visioning, and values-determining work is done, the question remains do we trust each other enough to want to work together?

It all comes down to relationship. Am I connected to you? Do we have a deep enough relationship that will get us through the tough times that inevitably will arise and the tough conversations that we will need to have?

Image:  roger4336

What Is

guestsThe Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


This is an incredibly optimistic poem. That there is a gift in everything is hard to believe sometimes. It certainly isn’t easy in the midst of sorrows and disappointments to believe they “may be clearing you out for some new delight.”

All feelings, including joy, are fleeting. They come to offer some “momentary awareness.” The ‘negative’ ones are not to be feared and avoided. We can learn something from them. People who ignore or avoid them tend to find themselves in situations that repeat them.

I would encourage not indulging the ‘guests’ and letting them become annoying. There comes a time for them to leave the house. When I move beyond focusing on my feelings, I am better able to see the world. Continue Reading »