FAITH IN THE FAST LANE

sm_faithinthefastlane480x240.jpgAs is true with most people (drag racers of the male gender being a possible exception), I love flowers. Every shape, size and color. From long stem to short stem, I admire them all. But I have always pondered one ironic phenomenon concerning flowers.

When you cut a flower and place it in a vase (for you male racers, that’s a cylindrical object filled with water—similar to a puke tank with the top removed), you are actually removing that flower from its very source of life. Yet it continues to have the look of life and vitality, even though the death process has already begun. With proper care and nourishment, a flower may continue to look healthy for days or even weeks, but eventually the death process overcomes the fragrance and loveliness of even the heartiest and most beautiful blossom.

The Lingering Look of Life …


ken_owenchaplain.jpg As is true with most people (drag racers of the male gender being a possible exception), I love flowers. Every shape, size and color. From long stem to short stem, I admire them all. But I have always pondered one ironic phenomenon concerning flowers.

When you cut a flower and place it in a vase (for you male racers, that’s a cylindrical object filled with water—similar to a puke tank with the top removed), you are actually removing that flower from its very source of life. Yet it continues to have the look of life and vitality, even though the death process has already begun. With proper care and nourishment, a flower may continue to look healthy for days or even weeks, but eventually the death process overcomes the fragrance and loveliness of even the heartiest and most beautiful blossom.

Have you ever considered that the same reality applies to humans as well (drag racers of the male gender being included)? Scientists and medical experts tell us that from the moment of birth, the death process actually begins, although the effects of aging—and ultimately death—are not evident for many years.

A similar situation even exists within the frame rails of our nitromethane-powered race cars. Most often, from the moment a car leaves the starting line, its fire-belching nitro motor is already in a process of self-destruction. Its sub-5 second life-span begins to count down immediately, even though it continues to produce awesome horsepower on its 320+ mph voyage to the finish line. Nonetheless, the motor is already dying as it labors down the track.

Let’s apply the same principle to life in general. I can think of people I know who appear vibrant and alive on the outside but are in fact dying on the inside. In a physical context, I suppose any form of cancer or certain types of illness would be illustrative of this point.

 

 

 





But I am thinking more specifically of an emotional and spiritual context. The things that tend to provide the strongest motivation in our lives are most often related to spiritual ideals and emotional passions. Without the framework of these essential elements to energize us, our lives are vulnerable to the lifeless existence of mundane routine. We may function effectively at some level and even appear to enjoy a fairly normal existence, but before long the lack of an adequate source of spiritual life and motivation leads to a deterioration within. Like the freshly cut flower in the vase, someone may display the lingering look of life even though that person is already experiencing a deadening process.

What elements might define your source of life and motivation from an emotional and spiritual perspective? Too often we look to things in life that are of such a superficial or capricious nature that they have the look of life but in reality are void of significant substance and true meaning. High on style but very little essence. Does this describe you?

No matter how beautiful or impressive, once the flower is cut from its true source of life, the process of death will begin. And it will be only a matter time before the effects of that decaying process become evident.

As it relates to us, the solution is simple. Keep a mindful eye on those things that generate true life and motivation to your soul. Don’t settle for anything less than what is needed to produce a vibrant existence. Feed your soul well, nourish it fully, and protect the spiritual sources of life that we all need in order to prosper in life.

Here’s a friendly suggestion. The next time you see a lovely flower in a vase, reflect on the sentiments of this column, and do a quick inventory of your own life. Strive to maintain the beauty of the blossom that is your life by protecting its life source, and your efforts will be rewarded by a renewed energy and motivation in life, without which you will become just another blooming idiot in the puke tank of life while you await the inevitable process of death and decay that is growing within. You deserve better.


 

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