16 May 2007

What I get out of geocaching.

Some people have asked what I get out of geocaching. Of course, others know that I’m weird and think it’s just par for the course. But it really is a lot of fun! I’ve been to so many interesting places, many right here in this area, that I never knew existed, even though I’ve lived here almost all my life!

A geocacher named Dalls recently reached the milestone number of 1,000 geocaches found. In the geocaching world, we hold meet-n-eat events for folks that reach this milestone. Actually, we will use almost any excuse to eat, but at these events, the guest of honor is awarded a gold-painted ammo can to commemorate their achievement. When Dalls logged his find for his event, he talked about his first weekend of geocaching. He talked about the excitement of finding something that was right there, under everyone’s nose, and nobody else knew about it but us! People walk right by thousands of these things all over the world every day and don’t have a clue!

His reminiscing reminded me of my first weekend geocaching. My brand new GPS had arrived on Thursday, 3 June 2004 and by Saturday the 5th, I couldn’t wait to get going. I searched Geocaching.com, and found several within a short drive of my house in Arlington. I recognized the first one immediately, Tennessee Sequoia by Salvo. I had driven by that thing a hundred times, I knew right where it was! So off I went down Hwy 64. I pulled off the side of the road, avoiding the for sale Porsche that was parked in the access road, made my way back to the “tree” and got the required information that had to be emailed to the owner in order to claim my first “find.” From there I went to Lakeland City Park and found my first actual container, Lakeland Micro by CWL. Man, I felt like someone had let me in on the greatest secret in the world!!

Over 730 finds later, it’s still the coolest hobby I’ve ever had. There’s a ton of them out now, but at one time, I had a 15 mile circle around my house cleaned out! I’ve seen some neat places, met some really neat people, and traveled over 15,000 miles. But Dalls’ log brought back the excitement that I felt that first weekend. Thanks, buddy. I needed that reminder. And yeah, I guess you do look a little like “The King,’ at least when he was young; he’s looking a little rough these days! But I still think you look like Brian McCann! Happy caching on the way to your next K.

08 May 2007

Moving On

A few years ago, the country music artists “Rascal Flatts” had a single out entitled “I’m Movin’ On,” not to be confused with the 1950’s classic by Hank Snow. Written by Phillip White & Vincent Williams, it may be one of the best written songs ever. Many times, an artist has to take liberties with grammar and pronunciation to make a song rhyme, but this song tells an eloquent story that makes just as much sense spoken as sung. Not long after it came out, I wrote a narration to go along with it that made it suitable for performance in church. The song itself is just a little too high for my vocal range. I can do it, but I have to stretch for the high notes, so I’ve never sung it in public. But I sure have lived it. It’s the feeling that, at some point you realize that you’ve done all that you can do, and it’s time to breathe again.

Narrator: “The Bible tells us in the story of the Prodigal Son about a young man who thought he knew what life was all about. He thought he knew where to find adventure and excitement and fulfillment, and it sure wasn’t sittin' at home with mom and dad! So he struck out on his own and lived that hedonistic lifestyle. But when he came to the end of himself, he found that it left him empty, not only his stomach, but also his soul. We’re not told specifically, but I suspect that if he was like a lot of us, for some period of time, he sat there. First feeling sorry for himself, and then slowly realizing, he was just harvesting those wild oats he had sown. And feeling too ashamed and unworthy to admit that he was wrong and go back to his father’s house, he sat there. But at some point he realized, if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten, and that nothing was going to change, until he did. And when he finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired, he got up...he dusted himself off...and he went home.

I've dealt with my ghosts and faced all my demons
Finally content with a past I regret
I’ve found you find strength in your moments of weakness
For once I’m at peace with myself
I’ve been burdened with blame, trapped in the past for too long
I’m movin’ on

I’ve lived in this place and I know all the faces
Each one is different but they’re always the same
They mean me no harm but its time that I face it
They’ll never allow me to change
But I never dreamed home would end up where I don’t belong
I’m movin’ on

I’m movin on
At last I can see, life has been patiently waiting for me
And I know there’s no guarantees, but I’m not alone
There comes a time in everyone’s life
When all you can see are the years passing by
And I have made up my mind that those days are gone

Narrator: The bible says that while he was still a long ways off, his father saw him, but instead of condemning, he came runnin’!

I sold what I could and packed what I couldn’t
Stopped to fill up on my way out of town
I’ve loved like I should but lived like I shouldn’t
I had to lose everything to find that
Maybe forgiveness will find me somewhere down this road
I’m movin’ on

I’m movin’ on
I’m movin’ on

Moving on isn’t a passive action. Nor is it simply reacting to what the other person(s) is/are doing. It’s having a plan and implementing it. It’s coming off the defensive and going on the offensive (without being offensive). It is doing what you believe is right, regardless of the reaction or the consequences, and trusting God to handle the things, and people, that you can’t. It’s knowing that you can’t control other people, even the ones that agree with you, so you decide to concentrate on you. It isn’t forgetting about the past, pretending it didn’t happen, or saying that it was acceptable. It’s saying it doesn’t matter anymore, it doesn’t stand between us anymore. It stands in our past, but it won’t rule our future. We're movin' on.