Thursday, October 25, 2007

All That's Good

This week I've been enjoying the delights of my visiting granddaughter. She's 11 now, and probably one of the purest and dearest souls on the planet. I know ... that sounds an awful lot like a bragging grandma. Truth is, it's true. This young lady embodies all that is good about humanity and life. She's honest and kind and loving. She has an amazing sense of humor. She enjoys school, and helping with chores, and taking care of the things that belong to her and others. She's responsible and takes pride in everything she does. She can be sassy (wonder where she gets that?) and naughty like any child, but at her core she's just plain good.

I wonder how life will treat this one when at last she is full grown and on her own. I know from what I see on T.V. and in the news that her world of decency will be challenged by a world that mocks decency. Yes, I said "mock". As long as good people do noble things like pray, or affirm virtue, or go to Church, or believe in God quietly and obscurely they are welcome to mingle with the masses. Let them be not-so-obscure and the welcome mat is rolled up.

While I'm in the wondering mode I look at the role models offered this young generation. I won't name names because my heart hurts for the many young girls and boys who live in the entertainment and sports arenas. All too often they are void of virtue, espousing a worldliness that ultimately leads either to rehab or nowhere. To counter-balance their impact on the culture, not to mention the family, the parent and grandparent has a tremendous challenge. Our walk and talk must have congruity, and withstand scrutiny. Our own role models ought to be deserving of admiration and respect. In the end children really do learn what they live.

People often brandish about the word "character" as though it's their own over-riding value. It ought to be, but I'm wondering if they realize Webster defines it to be "moral excellence." I can't for the life of me figure out how people claim to have moral excellence when so few of those lives meet the acid test. That "moral" thing gets in the way every time. Indeed, we all have chinks in our armor. But I've seen an awful lot of armor-less folks running around claiming to be suited up just fine.

Today I am watching character on two feet. It's a little girl that gets it, and my prayer is that she'll be getting it still at 14 and 20 and 33 and 48 ... She's solid gold - and a role model for this Sassy Granny!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Alignment

This morning my husband was standing in front of our bathroom mirror, painfully aware of how mis-aligned is his body following years of sports and just plain old-fashioned aging. He recently began seeing a Chiropractor, so both he and I are getting an education in muscular/skeletal health. We now better understand what a healthy spinal column looks like, and what amazing functions it performs as the conduit of information between body and brain. If it's out of whack, so too are the messages. And the longer it's out of whack, the more likely the body will buy into the whacky signals being sent. Osteo-arthritis fits this description; so too many other degenerative bone conditions that are exacerbated by something fancy called Subluxation.

The Chiropractor went on to explain how a mis-aligned spinal column, even once it's re-aligned has a will to return to the old mis-aligned state. No matter how painful that other state was, the body "remembers" the way it was and wants to go back to a place that was familiar, though not exactly pleasant.

It was during his mirror observation that my husband made a comment that at once morphed into a Sassy Granny "aha!". He said, "At my age, and as many years as my body has grown accustomed to this painful, unnatural alignment, I wonder what it'll take to put it in proper order and keep it there." We laughed a little while we commiserated about the aging process, and then it occurred to me that sin works in exactly this same way in our lives.

Using myself as the guinea pig I will tell you that I spent a good many years doing life my way. It wasn't all bad, nor did I behave in ways that were obviously wrong or evil (except for the times when I did). In fact, much of what I believed or did was perfectly "normal" in terms of the world's ways. Then came a day when I had one of those watershed moments that forever altered the course of my life. It was the beginning of the end of worldly living.

Keeping my spiritual spine in healthy alignment is a process not unlike that which was described by the Chiropractor. It's a process of daily alignment and adjustments. It's knowing when when a Sublixation has caused mis-alignment. It's never, never, never getting comfortable with the mis-shapen. And it's a process that's far easier to prevent than to cure, so the earlier you get and stay aligned the better!

Wow. Who'd have thought a mirror and a Sassy Grandpa would make for such a poignant lesson.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

In Plain Sight

Some things are so elementary it seems almost silly to speak about them. Like how good it is to be alive. Or how fun is a Disneyland vacation. What I'm about to share here is as elementary as elementary comes, yet it is so profound that it's worth pondering - - no doubt just as it has been pondered down through the ages.

Just the other day I headed out for an early morning walk; so early, in fact, that the night sky hadn't yet been intimidated into retreat by the morning light. That's to say it was dark. Very dark. Across the wide expanse above me was a profusion of stars. I found myself staring as if I were seeing them for the first time, wondering how many times in a lifetime a Sassy Granny like me has stopped to take notice of them. I dare say too infrequently.

A thought struck me; several actually. First, what I can see in the night sky with my naked eye is but a fraction of the untold number of stars and planets out there. Second, during the day, when the sun has seemingly erased the heavens and replaced them with a blue hue, or with clouds, those same twinkling orbs are still out there. Third, just because I don't look for something doesn't mean it isn't there, or doesn't exist. Elementary, indeed! But what isn't so elementary is that fact that we mortals go through life choosing, opining, believing, deciding, evaluating, judging nearly everything by what we can see, giving little or no thought to what we can't see.

Something tells me our short-sightedness is a far greater hazard (and utter loss) than we realize.

I will never again look at the starry night sky without wondering what else I may be missing because I'm not looking for it, or because I simply can't see it.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Cat's in the Cradle

The best part of being a Sassy Granny is being a Granny. In my case, six amazing young people embellish my life and affectionately call me "Grandma". I absolutely love children, and these most of all! Thus I have an ear to news stories when something disturbing and children are combined. I am appalled at the increasing number of these stories.

I may be a Granny, but I'm far from old. Just a few short years ago I was a child myself, and I vividly recall a childhood almost entirely void of vicissitudes. That's not to say we didn't have our share of difficulty - from the deaths of loved ones to losses of employment to threadbare finances.

From those years of relative innocence in the 50s and 60s, I arrive at today. While life is rich and full of wonder, the days of innocence are all but lost. I am often grieved to hear the number of stories related to the abuse of children - stories of internet predators, abductions, assaults, murders. Often it is at the hands of the parent that these crimes are perpetrated. How sad that we must warn our children about "stranger danger", or monitor closely their whereabouts at all times, including on the internet. Going outdoors to play is not the carefree endeavor that it was for most of us as youth.

Of equal gravity are the children themselves who often assault or murder, many of them barely beyond grade school. It defies the imagination.

There appears to be no easy or quick solution.

Recently I watched a program about some of the elephants of Pilaneserg Reserve in South Africa. They were wrecking tremendous havoc by indiscriminate killing of rhinos. What researchers discovered is that these males had been orphaned while very young, having neither male nor female role modeling as they matured. Their bazaar behaviors morphed as they matured, growing more-and-more atypical in the process. Some attempted to mate with the rhino population and when their advances were spurned, they killed the rhino. Others killed out of bullying or sporting behaviors. The "fix" came in the form of a large adult bull who very quickly asserted the proper code-of-behavior for elephants.

Why do I share this? Well, I'm thinking we adults have all too often abdicated our roles are parents, protectors and moral tutors leaving our children at risk, their upbringing to chance or to some method we make up as we go. Worse, we have stripped the moral substance of our authority in this same fashion, maligning Biblical principles, God, and even prayer. The Ten Commandments are now wrapped in brown paper and hidden beneath the counter along with Playboy and Hustler.

There is no easy, quick fix to what we are witnessing with children today. The solution may be just as complex as the problem. But until we impart to our young ones the fact of a Higher Moral Authority and demonstrate to them just what living on the moral high ground looks like the problem will increase - and so too the heartaches associated with it.