On The Bricks

February 28, 2018

Goals should be a part of all our lives. Basic human nature requires that we have a purpose. A purpose makes it easier to get up every morning. A goal that improves us, whether it improves our mind or our heart, is one that takes us down the happier road.

The Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, who has lived his life reaching lofty goals said, “I think goals should never be easy, they should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time.”

There is a saying in Burma that goes, “Who aims at excellence will be above mediocrity; who aims at mediocrity will be far short of it.”

Right now, we’re in the Christian Lenten Season. Lent is a solemn religious observance in the Christian liturgical calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later, before Easter Sunday. For many denominations it is a time to reflect, to remember. It is also a time to give something up for those six weeks to help us remember what God gave up for us. Whether you’re a Christian or not, whether you’re a Christian who practices fasting during Lent or not, sometimes it is good for everyone to reflect.

Pope Francis once gave some suggestions for fasting during Lent.

  • Fast from hurting words and say kind words.
  • Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude.
  • Fast from anger and be filled with patience.
  • Fast from pessimism an be filled with hope.
  • Fast from worries and have trust in God.
  • Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity.
  • Fast from pressures and be prayerful.
  • Fast from bitterness and fill your hearts with joy.
  • Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others.
  • Fast from grudges and be reconciled.
  • Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.

Such wise words. Words that can help you set goals for your personal development. Ways to work to improve yourself.

And remember, we often fall short of our goals, but that is not a reason to avoid setting and working towards them.

Actor Bruce Lee said, “A goal is not always meant to be reached; it often serves simply as something to aim at.”

Just recently a group of people worked to present a play, “The Shadow Box” that was about death. When you commit yourself to being in a play, it becomes a large undertaking. Learning lines, attending practices, being someone else isn’t easy and working with a group of people can be difficult, too.

One of my favorite people in the whole world, Liz McCulloch, was in the play and according to my friend, was the one who made the lasting impression as Felicity. Liz posted on her facebook after the play finished it’s run, the following words.

“Words will never be able to express how thankful I am for “The Shadow Box.” What is life without challenging yourself? Everyone can cruise through life and go the easiest route possible … but what fun is that? To me, I think the point of life is to be able to say “YES” to situations that challenge you, scare you, and make you question yourself so much that you wonder if you can even be successful in the challenge.

“To say this play was a challenge for me is such a complete understatement. A challenge that I will always cherish. Now that it’s all said and done, I can truly say my life has changed for the better because of the beautifully written play, because of the beautiful people involved, and because of the beautiful memories made.

“To that I will say goodbye to the feisty Felicity. The woman who made me realize how quickly life can change and how this moment only lasts for just that. For that, and for the constant encouragement and fun from the director and cast. I will always be soooo grateful for the time onstage.

“Goodbye, Felicity. I love you. Just as much as you love your Claire.”

Maybe this month you and I can be as brave as Liz and Felicity. Maybe we need to challenge ourselves. Maybe it’s time for a new goal, a new challenge.

If your challenge is to be more involved in the community, consider attending Eggs and Issues on Mar. 2 at the Ambassador Restaurant at 7 am.

Could be your challenge is to have more fun with your kids or grandkids. If so, go to the Donkey Basketball game in Goodwell on Mar. 5 at 7 pm. It is the OPSU gym. This is a fund raiser for the Goodwell After Prom Party. And I heard a merchant say that you really should support this.

It’s one of the few After Prom Committees that doesn’t just ask for donations to make their party happen. You have to respect those who work rather than just beg.

Could be a time for reflection.

See you reflecting on the bricks!