The Faithnetworker Newsletter
Vol. 5. No. 2, May 8, 2004
Jones Releases New Book on Spiritual Journey
Your beloved editor has just released his latest book, Dazzling
and Divine: A Contemplative Journey in Christ. Reflecting some
of the historical wisdom about how the spiritual life unfolds over
a lifetime, the book provides inspiration as well as information to
persons who are on their own spiritual quest, and to those who are
in a position to accompany others on their spiritual sojourns. Dazzling
and Divine is a sourcebook of metaphors, descriptions, quotations,
illustrations, and reflection questions--all designed to encourage
the reader's growth in his or her awareness of self and God. It is
a culmination of several years of reflection and experience growing
out of my own life as well as my work as a psychotherapist, educator
and spiritual director.
"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine
own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct
thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Hot Internet Site
Some helpful sites on the internet will direct your paths. Did you
know that MapQuest not only has street maps, but maps that can pinpoint
a location by latitude and longitude? Go to http://www.mapquest.com/maps/latlong.adp And for finding your latitude and longitude, browse over to the U.S.
Census Bureau's Tiger Map Server: http://tiger.census.gov/cgi-bin/mapbrowse-tbl There you can enter either a landmark, state or zip code to bring up
a map on which you can locate a point and find it's latitude and longitude.
While you're out there on the road, searching for whatever it is you're
searching for, you might want to consult Roadside America for such
interesting "offbeat tourist attractions" and curiosities
as Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete Park (featuring a veritable menagerie
of all sorts of critters and characters made of concrete . . . and
beer bottles). Don't miss the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum, right here
in San Antone. http://www.roadsideamerica.com
The Great Escape (A Man's Love for his Mother)
Mark Sibley Jones
It was during the Great Depression and jobs were scarce. My grandfather
left his mother at the family farm to find work in a construction site
for a new fire station. Beholden to his mother, this was a difficult
journey to make. He settled into his work and tried to keep his mind
off of his sadness.
The foreman of the site was an ogre of a man: cross, intimidating, and
punitive. Half the time he smelled of liquor--fumes that preceded him,
if you were downwind. If you did pick up the scent of alcohol, you'd
best mind your business since the boss man's level of inebriation was
a good gauge of his abusiveness. My Grandpa wasn't so much used to being
barked at like a treed coon and the foreman's railing was wearing thin
on his young pride.
Like any good firehouse, this one had two stories with the sliding pole
through the floor so the firemen could skinny down to the engine at a
moment's notice. Grandpa was right proud of himself for being the one
to cut the hole for the sliding pole. Intent on his work, he'd just about
made the circle with his hand saw when the foreman came up behind him
and gave him a swift kick in the rump. No particular reason; it was just
his perverted way of conveying contempt for no one in particular.
The decision was already made in the heart of that young man who missed
his mother and home place. It was like an automatic response, when he
rose up from his kicking and quit right there on the spot. Kind of like
a fireman shinnying down a sliding pole. It was a decision made with
purpose and self-respect. He wasn't about to kowtow to anyone. But, more
so, it was an act of faith to believe that he could manage a living if
he followed his longings to go home. And, he did scratch out a living;
mostly by using his ingenuity in starting various small businesses. Never
a rich man, he did okay, as it turned out.
Trusting that your heart's longings will lead you to a better life,
that's what my Grandpa was telling me. It's been a hard lesson to learn.
I've found it all too easy to deny my wounded feelings and keep my nose
to the grindstone. It is what most men do. As we find our way back to
the significant women in our life, however, we can sometimes gain a recollection
of what our dreams are.