Monday, September 28, 2009


Just finished helping to teach a Divorce Recovery program. We gathered some folks in a fair amount of pain and gave them some hope. I think some of our content and guidance helped. Just being together probably helped more. Just the fact that these men and women took a step in the direction of getting help was huge for their life. They put their life in motion again. They quit being stuck.

I’ve noticed over the years that people like being stuck. People will argue that they don’t but most often the way they live belies the words coming out of their mouth. The truth is that it’s hard to get unstuck. It doesn’t happen by just willing our life out of a rut and onto a path that leads somewhere. It takes work.

We rely on those things that are habitual even if they’re not good for us. The habits of our life can become our worst enemy. And when we try to change a habit there’s always a tad bit of discomfort. Too many don’t want to deal with discomfort so they just keep doing what they’re doing even if it isn’t working for them.

So, kudos for those who take those baby steps in a ‘new direction’.

I’m still in the midst of my transition to Breakthrough Urban Ministries. I’m in phase 1 of a two part fund-raising effort. I know what I’m doing is the right thing (and a God thing) but raising money can be tiring. It’s also rewarding. And then tiring. Then rewarding.


Just read that the President is going to Copenhagen to help sell ‘Chicago’ to the Olympic Committee. Have a hunch he must think it’s a done deal. Would he be willing to risk, putting himself on the line for something that might fail?

I’d love to find out that he’s taking the ‘risk’ even though he might fall flat on his face. We need more examples of people doing the right thing even if it might make them look bad.

Of course, in the current climate of incivility, the failure of any public figure means a field day for the ‘punditainers’ (By the way I think 'punditainer' is a new word I just invented. For those who don't get my humor (more people than you think) it's a combination of pundit and entertainer. I'm sure it will start showing up nationwide within days. Just remember. You heard it here first.)

Found out recently that my Chicago Cubs will not be going to the post season this year. Hmmmm. Next year for sure.


I was talking to some folks today about church attendance. (not ours specifically but on a more macro level). The comment was made that even those who are devout usually stay away two of the four weekends in a month. I wonder what that means for the future of the local church?


I recently had someone tell me that I was the most liberal person they knew. I think it was an insult but I'm still not sure. For sure, I think they've got to get out of the house more. But it’s interesting. Even if I was a ‘liberal’ why would anyone want to insult me? I know liberals who think I’m conservative. Maybe I am the proverbial ‘every man’ or worse just a chameleon. Hope not. Actually, I think we just like to label people and movements as a marginalization tool.

It reminds me, though, of the time when I was doing Young Life in Nevada. A handful of Baptists walked out of a meeting when I shared my conversion story and it contained some ‘thumbs up’ comments related to my Catholic education and upbringing. The following Sunday a Catholic priest urged his parishioners to stay away from Young Life because it was an ‘evangelical’ organization. Sometimes you can’t win.

We're all label slappers I guess. Another habit to get rid of. Labels keep us from knowing someone and finding out the rich textures and possibilities of a person's thinking. Of course, that's what many people want.


Janet said...

I know I don't know you as well as all your friends and "followers" in Chicago, but I've never thought about whether you are Conservative or Liberal. I've just always thought of you as REAL - and that's why I like to read what you write. You make me think, not react.

Stay just like you are Mike. You are a blessing to more people than you could ever know.

Liz said...

I think I am on the cusp of being just frustrated enough with a certain facet of stuckness in my life that maybe i can start taking some of those baby steps of which you speak. Nothing so drastic as healing from divorce, but still mentally/spiritually significant; a small aspect of choosing to respect and love myself as a human being and precious child of God.

What you say encourages me, reminds me to believe in the value of the baby steps. Thanks.

Mike said...

Janet: Thanks so much. That's a great compliment.

And Liz: Thank you, too. May God give you what you need to take that first step.