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Archive for April, 2010

My dad would have been 104 today. Happy Birthday, Dad. You certainly deserve a party. The best I can do is send this up as a sort of birthday card.

When anyone passes through high school or college, you look back and say, “I remember adolescence and the transition to adulthood” and you really can’t help empathize with them.
When I’m in the stands or on sidelines and I watch a basketball player or coach now, I say, “I admire his poise, his skill, thought-processing” or whatever. I remember what it was like to coach and play. I still yell out, “Nice pass,” or, “Great finish” or, “All net!”
I just visited my daughter and son-in-law’s house and spent some time with their friends, all in their 20’s or 30’s. Proudly guided my 1 year-old grandson as he walked. I could see the young couples’ joy at raising young-uns and their challenges and weariness from doing so. I say to myself, “What a job; it’s the time of your lives! Enjoy them.” I admire them and root them on. 
I recently sold my business. I still keep an eye on it and the employees let me know what’s happening from time to time. I remember what it was like to be in the thick of any given hectic day with phones ringing and problems stacked on top of problems. I can relate to what they are going through. Can’t help cheering them on.
I’m moving into a big old house in my mid-50’s. Dad did the same thing and it was a lot tougher then. Yet, he and mom made that house into a home for us and a countless stream of guests.
Now, I’m setting out on a new career and it’s a bit scary. I pull out Dad’s incorporation seal from 1932 for his new plumbing business. It was the middle of the Great Depression. Was he scared? Perhaps it was just the next logical step in his career and life. I wonder if Dad ever went through what I am going through. Probably.
I can’t help but think he’s in the stands of heaven watching, saying to himself, “I remember what a start-up is like,” knowing what it’s going to take to get to the next level. Maybe he stands to his feet and claps and hoots and hollers. 
The writer of Hebrews said that there is someone who has a front row center seat because He knew what it was like to be in our shoes: “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  
(Heb 12:1,2)
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Facing a major move with boxes, half in our future house and half in this house, with everything organized (?) yet packed just out of reach, I decided I needed a break. I took a walk around the neighborhood where I had temporarily moved until a promising river home opened up. I couldn’t wait to move. Now, I look over the green grass of the golf course down the street glistening in the spotlight of the sunrise and I am suddenly struck by sentimentality.

My mind effortlessly travels back to my last real day in my hometown of North Plainfield, New Jersey. Errant thoughts like this are easy to ignore, but I chase this lead like a good detective. I remember sitting in the passenger seat of my best friend’s car in front of my house the night before I left for college. He said something to the effect like, “I guess this is it” to which I replied, “I’ll be back” to which he replied, “It will never be the same.” I did not move back to North Plainfield. He was right. When you’re a senior, you can’t wait to shake off the dust of secondary education. But there we were, two macho eighteen year-olds getting nostalgic about being “old” high school graduates.

And all of a sudden, I pictured myself on my deathbed. I began wondering if I would get sentimental about my time on earth. Heaven is where there are no more tears, pain (including the weight of others’ pain), illnesses, etc. It’s supposed to be like the river house: a dream beyond your wildest imagination. So, what exactly is the pull of the “old neighborhood?” 
 

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It’s Easter Sunday and a beauty at that with the sunrise (some call it Sonrise today) that makes you shield your eyes.

I think about sunrises a lot; some of my friends and relatives may think too much. I view the sunrise as God’s business card. You know, “Hi, I’m God” and He extends His hand.
But I am struck by how many times I’ve driven to work or somewhere and the sun starts peaking from behind some trees or a hill and I continue listening to a CD or the radio and drive as if I’m not witnessing a miracle. Shame on me. Every sunrise should carry another surprise, or at least the expectation of one, and a reprise or reaction from me. But we can let beauty diminish, like an under-appreciated wife over the years who is being taken for granted.
Again, shame on me and anyone else who doesn’t appreciate that every day is a resurrection. Weariness, sin, mishaps happen. BUT, then this giant God walks into your new day and hands you His business card.
We Monday-morning-quarterback the disciples for not believing the ladies’ report from the empty tomb. Perhaps we’re worse off than them: we have the headlines, “He is Risen!”  What’s our excuse? 
Have a great Easter Sunday… and don’t forget to shield your eyes.

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White Knuckler Writer

I don’t know what wakes me up at 3 or 4 in the morning, I only know that sometimes it’s a permanent wake-up call. Just like life. So it was on this early Spring morning. I knew I had to go for a walk to truly wake up. So I splashed some water on my face, got into my lounge pants and grabbed my wallet and cell just in case a well meaning police officer saw my tussled hair-pajama-like-appearance and well, you know. I’m walking down this street and the only thing I can really see is the outline of the evergreens. I felt totally alone. Brilliant! I was alone! Except for God. I guess the real question when we are facing fear, is He really enough? Has He proven Himself in my past? But, at this time in the morning, the only thing I could really think to ask Him, “Are You awake?”

Four &
Afraid

Copyright, 2010, Robert J. LaCosta

1st Verse:

Well,
it’s four in the morning and all I can see

The
hint of a sky, the outline of trees

The
only light given is by some street lamps

And
the weather is like my life, cold and damp

2nd Verse:

The
horizon gives no hint that it’s waking up

And
Dunkin not perkin’ to fill up my cup

And
even the birds haven’t started their song

There’s
so much to do, the day’s going to be long

Pre-Chorus:

So,
I ask You dear Lord, is it too early or late?

With
guys like me, we probably keep You awake

I
know You’re thinking I should be in bed

And
not disturb heaven or the holy Godhead

Chorus:

But
that’s not You’re reply during this Spring dawn

You
insist that there’s nothing wrong

Sometimes
life just asks for a little less rest

a
darker walk is a demand not a request

yet
there’s one thing You remind me for sure

I’ll
never be alone on the pilgrim tour

 

I
guess that’s where these conversations land

When
You walk and talk holding Your hand

I
say, “I’m uncertain,” You say, “I have a plan”

I
think, “I can’t” and You say, “You can.”

Bridge:

Someone
once said, “You may have to do life afraid”

And
now I know that there are two sides to a blade

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