What’s Around That Tree?

There are trees out there; lots and lots of trees with different leaves and different branches and different stuff growing on the branches and living in them. It is a forest. It is full of trees. Each of which has a meaning and a significance. And you just stand there gawking a one single little scraggly tree as if it is capable of representing and containing all of the beauty and essence and truth of all the other trees, and all the other forest stuff around it and everywhere else. One example in isolation and solitude is not a complete representation of all the rest of the trees. It can never present the whole reality. It can only represent the one tiny little point of view which is shallow and incomplete.

Step back just a bit. It won’t take much. Swivel that neck and wiggle those eyeballs just the tiniest degree. That set of facts, those packages of emotion, the historical markers and opinions that represent that one bit of scruffy timber upon which you have fixed your gaze for so long may be found to be less descriptive than you may have ever imagined possible. It may be found, and clearly demonstrated, that the tree who crowded your favorite tree, which seemed to do nothing useful and everything detrimental to your precious pet twig, was protecting and feeding that little one which he too loves.

Step back and look around. There’s a forest growing all around that little speck of a place which is burned into your vision. There is much going on in this forest right here and a lot of it might have nothing to do with that which you are convinced is the point of all reality.

And, if you still insist on being a one tune mp3 player, or a one subject search engine, at least be sure that your mental singularity gets wrapped around something eternal. Here’s a good laser point question which is both relevant and eternal. Does your obsession over politics, or gun rights, or someone’s life matters, or oils that have odors, or oils that can spill and make great havoc, or human rights, or global warming, or religion, or terrorism, or GMO’s, or life, or sports, or healthcare, or flag waving, or senators, or your sister-in-law who used to be your best friend’s crabby attitude, or ………… – Has any of that helped anyone look beyond their own little overpowered scrub to see the forest and beyond? Has it helped anyone to notice Jesus Christ, and think on things other, and perhaps bigger, than them or you? Would you let some of that breeze blow through your branches for a bit?

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. (Colossians 3:1-11 NKJV)

See You SONday,

Dr. SF Gallagher

© 2016 Dr. SF Gallagher

Our Greatness

I can trace my people entering this land now called the USA to 416 years ago. They came willingly, but in flight from religious persecution. Some of your families were already here when mine arrived. Mine facilitated the bringing of some of yours here. Others of you have different stories of how your families arrived here in the USA.

My people were light skinned Europeans. Yours may be different. But, whatever they did, and whoever they were, they are neither you nor me. Nor are they us. Their stories are our stories, but we are not them. We are now a citizen of the United States of America. And as such, it is time for the lines of history to be recognized as history – unchangeable and not able to be lived again history. We cannot give the land back to the first inhabitants. We would not send others back to the places from which they were brought as slaves. Most would not want to go there anyway. Too much time has passed and too much history written for that to be possible.

But we can stop whining. We can stop dividing. We can stop blaming. We can stop believing that we are owed anything because of that history, whether privilege or reparation, and simply be the people of the United States of America. Not throwing our stories away, but writing new stories of struggling and celebrating together to be something great.

We should stand together and celebrate our national identity. We should refuse to join and celebrate those whose attitudes and actions are tearing apart and drawing the lines of division. We should celebrate the things which make us each unique, but not to the extreme of believing those unique things as either superior or inferior to others.

We should be accepting of people from all walks of life even if we have an extreme difference of opinion. We should believe in one another, even when we don’t necessarily like everything we see. When we believe we are right and the other person is wrong, we should have respect for that other person especially when we cannot respect their stories. We should offer respect for them even when they offer none for us. We should stop viewing disagreement as disrespect and hate. Most of it is not. In fact, most of it is not even offered disrespectfully. It is only heard so. Let’s stop looking for things to be hurt over. Let’s stop listening for hate and offense. Let’s stop accentuating our differences and get back together and be strong. While we celebrate our diversity, which is part of our greatness, may we not forget to celebrate our oneness, which is the most significant part of our greatness.

One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

See You SONday,

Dr. SF Gallagher


© 2016 Dr. SF Gallagher