ChrisGribble.com

Be yourself – Everyone else is taken (Oscar Wilde)
August 20th, 2014 by cgribble

Do you feel lucky?

I reckon that this guy would!!!

August 19th, 2014 by cgribble

I Thought

I Thought

I thought that I was strong,
I thought that anything was possible,
All I needed to do,
Was to believe enough in myself,
And, it could be done.

I thought that I was in control,
I thought that I determined my future,
All I needed to do,
Was to have enough things,
And, my world was secure.

I was wrong.

August 14th, 2014 by cgribble

I Awake Suddenly by Alister Pate (Pate 2011, 10)

I awake suddenly with a start. It is dark as death. Dark, and terribly late at night. The sky is filled with barely visible clouds whipping across the void.

I am standing on a hillside, almost a cliff, a sheer tumbling down, plummeting down to the pitch black water. I sense rather than see the saltbush and stunted shrubs that cling for dear life against the sea, churning so far below.

The air is full of the roar of the waves, grinding and casting and moaning against the rocks far beneath, bellowing and sighing, as though great Behemoth were gnawing away at the precarious handhold life has here, trying to drag it, spinning and circling, into its foaming maw.

I can smell the salt fresh of the air, the tang of it, sea spray ice-cold across my face.

Across the black sea, made velvet by height, shines the moon, huge by the horizon. It is as though she has drawn close for some oblique, esoteric reason of her own, casting her light like a highway.
There is hope, then, but mediated. If the sun were risen, how different it would be. I wrap my arms around my body, holding in my life-heat. It is still deep night, as though the sun were dead, leaving only an unreliable memory, were it not for the moon, relaying his light – reflected, lessened. A token, a remembrance, of hope then, rather than the hope itself. Just enough to see the next step by; not enough to warm me.

I have to move, to walk. I can barely see the faintest of paths, rocky, muddy, treacherous. If I slip, if I miss my footing, then I will join the rocks and be consumed by the all-devouring mouth of the sea.

But move I must. To stay here is death as well, ossifying in the despairing cold. Though I can barely see, there is just enough light to walk the next step of the path, hesitantly and with painful delicacy, gripping onto plants, as they loom out of the night, revealing their branches against the dim sky.

As I walk, following the dim path carefully, painstakingly, along the cliff edge, I have a subtle sense that, though I can see no-one through the black, and hear no-one past the inexorable crash and roar of the sea, I am not alone. Someone has walked this path before. And the faintest echo of laughter, the scent of the best wine kept for last, a fragment of sun-warmed dust seems to brush against my skin. The faintest of hopes, when hope seems lost.

I walk.

August 12th, 2014 by cgribble

My Father’s Gaze

A constant gaze inward,
Makes it very hard to see,
That my Heavenly Father,
Plans the best for me.
 
Prides constant pull,
Seeks to draw attention to me,
I forget my Fathers gaze,
And his love I fail to see.
 
Lightness is calling loudly,
It longs to set me free,
If only I open my eyes,
Becoming all he wants me to be.

August 10th, 2014 by cgribble

Liminiality –

What does it take
to mark the canvas
to write the line
to play the chord
to plough the field
to cross the river
to change the world?

Perhaps
the courage
to let become
what is waiting to become.

(‘What does it take?’ in Adams 2010)

August 10th, 2014 by cgribble

Keep Going – Keep the main thing the main thing.

My son Toby plays  Rugby Union. He loves his footy. He is fanatical about his sport and Rugby at the moment is the top of his list. He sleeps with his rugby ball. He lives for Friday night training and the Saturday game.

In his competition Toby is always the smallest guy on the field. I estimate that some of the players in the other teams would be almost double his weight and half his height again. Toby’s position is hooker. This means that he is always in the midst of the action.

Every week I watch him get punished by the opposition. He is small enough for most of the other guys to easily knock him down. Every time he gets the ball and doesn’t manage to offload he gets flattened. But, he never stops getting into the rucks, tackling, looking for the ball and loving the game.

The other week his team played a particularly competitive team. Their coach had obviously done a lot of work with them and they were big, fast and aggressive (a lot like their coach actually).

I watched as Toby got jersey slung to the ground by one of the opposition and then jumped on by another player. As he tried to get up the player started punching him.

Toby barely gave him a second glance as the other guy swung into mid air. Toby was already on his way running back the game. The opposition player was letting his team down because he had lost his focus on the main game.

In the end I am not sure who won or lost this game. I do know that our guys played with their hearts. I, like every other proud Dad that day felt my heart swell as I watched my boy play to his full potential against a bigger, faster and stronger team.

Three important lessons I have learned about teamwork after watching from my son’s footy games:

1. Keep your eye on the ball – In the words of Steven Covey, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing”. When the other guy wanted to throw a punch Toby was already running to the next ruck. He was focussed on the game and wasn’t going to be distracted from the main thing.

2. What the ref says goes even though he may not be always right.

We all need to get used a few bad calls in life. The ref is human and can only view the game through his perspective. I have seen games of footy where parents have actually gone onto to the playing field to abuse the ref for a bad call. I wonder to myself what sort of lessons the players learning from the adults’ behaviour.

Any learning requires some adjustment of our prior understandings. Learn to ask the question and then get on with the task at hand.

We appreciate the feedback that we get in our Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. We are constantly looking at ways to improve. And, sometimes we get it wrong. This is true for anyone who wants to learn. We can try to justify ourselves to the person who is making the call or we can get on and learn the lesson.

3. My feedback on the game is very important to my son.

One of the most important parts of Toby’s footy game is at the end when he asks me how he went. My feedback matters to Toby. He needs me to watch him and give him advice.

This I think is the most important lesson I have learned. That going to the footy every week is one of my most valuable inputs I have into my son’s life. When he asks me, “did I run forward this week, Dad”? My affirmation is vital for Toby. He needs to know that he has done exactly what I asked and I love watching his face light up when he is told he did well.

Learning is about growth. We only understand ourselves when we others take the time to give us feedback.

You can probably tell that I am quite a proud Dad. I love the way that my son is developing and I feel a great responsibility in ensuring that he is equipped to grow into a responsible adult. I am continually learning about how to become a better parent and am looking for ways that I can grow my understanding of my children.

Rudyard Kipling says it so well in his poem, “If”,

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

August 9th, 2014 by cgribble

Failure

Failure

Failure is not something that I want to know,
It suggests that I am less than I think I am.

I want to bask in my success
Instead,
Failure’s a part of my story,
I know failure is part of everyone’s journey.
I didn’t think it would be a part of mine.

But, here I am.
Living with failure,

Failure is a word that I hear again and again,
That word clatters around my head,
Noisily,
Constantly,
Painfully.

Will it ever stop!

August 9th, 2014 by cgribble

The spirit of a partnership

Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12

9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

During the time we lived in China we experienced many things that have amazed, saddened and touched our lives.

One day I was walking home from the supermarket and I heard this amazing sound reverberating through the streets in my area. I am one of those guys who isn’t musical at all but I know what I like. And, I think that this guy was good, very good. A lot of other people thought so too because people began coming out of shops and crowding around the footpath to hear where this amazingly beautiful sound was coming from.

From, among all the people emerged its source. It was a guy pushing in front of him a trolley with a portable PA system and on top of that he had a donation box. The first thing I noticed about his person was that he was dressed very poorly. Xian is quite cold and he only had on a fairly thin coat that was quite dirty. The next thing I noticed was that he had a white cane draped over his arm. He was also blind. It appeared the way he survived was to literally sing for his supper.

I had to go into a shop to get a couple of things and by the time that I came out he was very close. But, he had stopped. He was still singing but he couldn’t go any further forward because the edge of his trolley was caught on the edge of the wheel of a pushbike.

Although it was obvious to everyone else he couldn’t see what he was trying to push past. He was just stuck in the same place, singing beautifully but unable to move forward.

I watched for a short period of time and saw that no one was going to help him. I decided that I was going to sort this out and moved the bike wheel out of his way. Straight away he was able to start moving forward again. As he went past he thanked me (xie xie).

The beauty of a good partnership is that sometimes you are there to clear the way for each other. What can seem like an insurmountable problem for one may be solved very simply by the other. Together you create something of far greater value than what could be done alone.

“People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within.”

August 9th, 2014 by cgribble

Ideas don’t need labels

Our family are Aldi fans. We love the specials that come out each week. This is because the Gribbles love a bargain. However a special is not special unless you need the item that is being sold.

For some specials at our local Aldi people will line up well before opening time to ensure that they don’t miss out on a bargain. We usually miss out because we couldn’t be bothered to be that early.

Some specials don’t always hit the mark. Recently our Aldi had a sale of snow gear. Things like helmets, ski gloves, ski pants and so on.

When we arrived there was still a few of the clothing items and a huge pile of snow sleds. I looked at the snow sled and couldn’t see much use for it to begin with. An important point to remember is that it doesn’t snow in our area.

I had an idea. I thought about the slopes around our backyard. We might not have snow but we do have nice grassy hills.

I bought two of the sleds. They were only $15 each. My wife said I was crazy.

The result? Hours and hours of fun. You can check it out by clicking on this link.

May 10th, 2011 by cgribble

Meditation – A prayer of abandonment

Read this Prayer of abandonment. It is Charles de Foucauld’s translation of the prayer Jesus taught us to pray, Our Father.

It does not become your prayer until the words become your thoughts, feeling & action.

Father,

I abandon myself into your hands;

Do with me what you will.

Whatever you may do, I thank you:

I am ready for all, I accept all.

Let only your will be done in me,

& in all your creatures-

I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into your hands I commend my soul;

I offer it to you with all the love if my

Heart,

For I love you Lord,

& so need to give myself,

To surrender myself into your hands,

Without reserve,

& with boundless confidence,

For you are my Father.

  • What part of this prayer do you find most easy to pray?
  • What is most difficult?

Read & Contemplate this prayer again but instead of addressing it to the Father, put in the names of the people with whom you live & work each day. (Tom, Mary, Jane, etc. “I abandon myself into your hands.”

How does this affect your prayer?

  • Is it possible to give yourself to another in this way?

  • What do you find possible to say? What do you find most difficult?

How could we dare trust ourselves to another person so totally? Would it be good for them? Would I be good for us? What would happen if we did? What would happen if someone entrusted themselves totally to me? We forget the awesome creative power we have in each other’s lives. When someone trusts us totally & completely, they compel us to grow, to measure up to their love, to be come what they us to be. Each of us has incredible power to enable each person in the measure we believe in them., hope in them & love in them into the fullness which they never recognized in themselves. Such love & trust from another can be humbling & frightening. At times we are more comfortable with our enemies or strangers that do not ask this of us.

The more honest we are with ourselves, the more we see that we do not & cannot pray like this.

Only Jesus is able to pray like this, & only he is able to  say “Father” with the fullest depth of his being. We can’t pray the PRAYER OF ABANDONMENT. This is Jesus’ prayer alone. But if we desire, Jesus will teach us & enable us to pray his prayer.

Now listen to Jesus pray this prayer to you. In the place of “Father” & “Lord,” put your own name & take time to try & listen to the way Jesus says your name, the way he calls you.