Hannigan Media

Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

Category: Oatmeal & Raisins

Weather the storm like a Wisteria

Have you ever heard the old saw about the bendable reed and unbending tree?

The story is centuries old and comes in many forms, but the meaning is always the same. The unbending tree represents someone rigid and unyielding while the bendable reed has the ability to adapt. When a storm comes, the tree gets uprooted while the reed survives.

It’s a good lesson, but I’ve decided the parable pales in comparison to the example of the Wisteria bush.

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First world moment

Have you ever had a First World moment?

I found myself getting frustrated recently because I had to clean out the washing machine’s filter and everything didn’t go exactly to plan. I had to re-do and re-tighten and then there was a setting off that I didn’t know about. And there was some smelly water involved, to boot.

It was a pain in the butt for nearly 20 minutes. (Maybe a little less.)
And sitting watching the laundry roll around the drum I realized how entitled and whiny I was being. There are people in my community who went to bed hungry tonight, and I was acting frustrated that I had to spend 20 minutes taking care of one of my luxuries.

It wasn’t so much a humbling thought as a humiliating one.

Look, I know I can’t save the world and I don’t feel guilty that I have a washing machine … or all the other things in my house that would be considered luxuries to some (including the house). God has blessed my family and I am thankful for that.

But I need to do a better job of not being such a putz about it.

Give your neighbor a break

“There but for the grace of God go I.”

I once saw a man drive away from a gas pump with the nozzle still in the tank. I was standing at the neighboring pump, getting my own gas.

The nozzle popped loudly when it came out. He immediately stopped and jumped out of the car. He was a clean-cut, 30-something professional type, very embarrassed by what he’d done. He just kept stammering, “I can’t believe I did that,” more to himself than to me.

I just said, “Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.”

Which is not entirely true, of course. I’ve been pumping gas for 37 years and never left the nozzle in the car.

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How a comma changed my view of prayer

Not long ago I spoke to a middle school English class on the importance of grammar. Part of my talk covered how much a message can change with a simple comma.

A recent illness helped me realize I have missed an important benefit of prayer for the same reason — for want of a comma.

First, let me explain that I am a workaholic. Reasons include my upbringing, my passion for my work and my desire to not let anyone down. Also, my work includes more than just the activities that pay the bills.

No matter the reasons, the result is a crazy schedule that becomes harder to maintain as I get older.

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Meeting God in the music

I know I sometimes confuse folks in my church during worship service. Many — most — of them grew up singing traditional Baptist hymns. Maybe they had a choir or maybe a worship leader strumming on an acoustic guitar.

I grew up in a small Catholic church at exactly the time Catholics were trying to appeal a little more to the masses (no pun intended). I started playing guitar in church when I was in middle school. Although it was just two acoustic guitars strumming G, C, and D, it was pretty radical for our church at that time.

So for me, church music was always edgy.

Today, I play an electric guitar with full-on effects. Delay, reverb and crunch. I play Jesus Rock n’ Roll. On Sunday mornings I sometimes find myself in the classic rock guitar stance, or standing on one leg, or with my pick hand behind my back for some reason. I wander across the stage, jump up and down and never stand still.

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