Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Run for God, run with dog, Redux

A few months back I had a post about Run for God in which I was pretty enthusiastic about running and possibly not quite humble enough. During my second week or so, I sustained an injury or two that I had problems overcoming while continuing to run, therefore I stopped until I could heal up and start again. I watched my Run for God class move on and eventually run a 5K in the end. I was very disappointed that I didn't finish that. Nevertheless, I'm starting over with week one.

I've always said there's no way I'm going to run in the heat of summer. The other night at 7:30 PM it was 96 degrees and I ran. I'm going to let God push me this time. I'm just no good when I push myself. I was reminded of his presence this morning as I ran.

I started out just after 6 am. I made a peanut butter and sugar free jelly sandwich on double fiber wheat bread and started a brisk walk as I ate my breakfast. I recently got an iPhone and use the Nike+ app as I run, which measures my route and pace. In addition, it allows me to listen to my music playlist as I run. With my earbuds in I set out and occasionally look back to make sure my dog Zeke isn't following me. As I rounded the corner I could still see him on the porch, out of sight, out of mind.

After 5 minutes of brisk walking and some "Third Day" on the playlist, I start running: One minute running, 1.5 minutes walking, alternating between the two. At about a mile out, "Hells Bells" ends on the playlist and with the silence between songs I hear panting that isn't me and feel hot breath and slobber on the back of my leg. It seems Zeke decided to go for a run after all. I'm pretty sure he knew he had to sneak up on me for me to allow him to go. Nevertheless, halfway across the river we were so I had no option but to grind on.

Zeke is a big black Labrador Retriever. More significantly, he is just a couple months shy of 14 years old. This is a breed with a life expectancy of about 10-11years. He is OLD and we have been very seriously contemplating putting him down because he just doesn't get along well. The summer heat and the winter cold are getting really tough for him and arthritis is finally settled into his hips. Therefore, when I saw, heard and felt him behind me I thought, "Great, I'm going to *Old Yeller* this old boy, this morning, with a heart attack. However, every time I finished a run pace I would look back to check on him and every time he was still hanging in there. He did start to lag behind a bit in the end and as we got close to the house I caught him taking a short cut through the neighbors yard on the corner. What A sight the two of us must have been. After we got home Zeke seemed to be happy to lay on the concrete slab front porch and I went in to get ready for work.

As I reflect on this mornings run I am reminded of God's grace. The company of Zeke reminded me that God determines what is possible. This dog that shouldn't even be alive matched me in a 5K. With that I learn to run at God's pace. He will tell me when to slow down, stop or pick up the pace. He will determine what this old vessel is capable of and I'll come along for the ride.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

14 Words

A couple of weeks ago my daughter Blake had a dance recital at the Northwest Georgia Trade Center. Although surprisingly entertaining and in many cases impressive, it's still a dance recital and unless my daughters on stage I'm not too disappointed in missing an act. During my first trip to the bathroom I saw something interesting as I approached the urinal. It was a statement of sorts, possibly a riddle, that peaked my interest. In addition, it was very neatly placed and written in comparison to other crap house graffiti I have seen throughout the years. Neatly written red letters on a sea-foam green wall with one short phrase: "14 words". It grabbed my curiosity while simultaneously drawing me in with the imagery. With my camera around my neck, I took the opportunity to snap a photo of the interesting composition.

 This evening I was going through those photos from the recital and came across the image and once again became curious. "14 words", what does it mean? Perhaps some reference to a bible passage left behind by some presumable religious fanatic? Some sexual reference left behind from a stall jockey? I simply had no idea but I had to find out. Hello Google! What I found out was simply astonishing. This phrase and imagery that I had found so alluring and so interesting meant something I absolutely despise. Wikepedia defined it for me quickly and clearly:

"The Fourteen Words is a phrase used predominantly by white nationalists. It most commonly refers to the 14-word slogan: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White Children",[1] and it can also refer to another 14-word slogan: "Because the beauty of the White Aryan women must not perish from the earth."[2] Both slogans were coined by David Lane, a member of the white separatist organization The Order. The first slogan was inspired by a statement, 88 words in length, from Volume 1, Chapter 8 of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf:"

Holy bat-snot Batman!! I had encountered the most hateful gesture known to mankind in a restroom at my daughters dance recital!

 Now on to my rant. I despise racism. I can appreciate an off colored joke aimed at any race including my own, but I cannot tolerate pure hatred or suppression of a race at all. In my honest opinion, the only true solution to racism as we know it today is interracial relationships leading to the the blending of races. Then, when there is only one race, discrimination becomes geographical in itself. We are not a peaceful species and never will be. Right now, there are friends and family members alike steaming a little by what I am saying. They will have to get in line to whoop my tail because the Freemasons are in line first. Racism in today's world is something embraced by ignorant back woods inbred jackass thugs who can't rise above their own pity. They are uneducated, pathetic, unruly, and the prime candidates of the Jerry Springer Show.  They are cowards, they are Satan's minions and they exist only to hate. If you're reading this and you fit the bill, I ask that you pray for God to wash this burden away from your heart and soul. Otherwise, I hope your hell surrounds you with the very people you despise. 


 How does Racism work within a persons heart? Let me tell you how it works on mine. Is it fear? Yes. Is it fear of a certain race? No. It's fear of my own race for the most part. In addition it's fear of my loved ones getting consumed by some of the undesirable cultures of other races.

Let me give you and example of how both can apply to me. Suppose my daughter is starting to date a black gentleman. My first and biggest fear is what will my family and friends think. This is my first thought even before "What kind of a young man is this at heart". Second, I think, "Is my daughter going to become engulfed in the dangerous culture that is so commonly associated and statistically true in black community?" In addition, does my daughter now become the target of racism within my own race. No, I don't fear the black people of our nation. I love them! All I have is fear of racism and a desire for my daughter to be safe. Therefore, I don't become a racist but a coward faced with the fear of what racism can do to my family. Racism will die if we let it. And there are no innocents here as I believe there are more or as many racists in other races as there is my own.

I'll tell you this ( Listen up Mr. KKK ) you cannot be a Christian and a racist.

Let me give you my "14 words":
 James 2:4 - have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 

 I still think this is an interesting image. It just needed a little color. So, to whoever so cleverly wrote that phrase of the urinal wall at the Northwest Georgia Trade Center, God bless you. Yes, God even loves an ignorant backwoods turd such as yourself.