Dave Brisbin 7.21.19
A four day trip to the mountains with parents-in-law becomes contemplation by circumstance as everything slows and quiets down, adjusting to the pace and rhythm of our elders and the mountains. With everything we do and identify left down the mountain, without the noise, distraction, and activity that keeps us from considering the quieter, more interior parts of ourselves, what is left? Who are we then? What is the meaning of our lives here? The mountains remind that it has something to do with giving—the giving of ourselves to a moment and all who share that space.

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But giving is a loaded word in religious thought where it becomes a moral command to care for the poor or our church or the necessary mirroring of God’s nature that precedes a blessing back. But if giving is a command, then it’s just an obligation, and if it’s a prerequisite to a blessing, then it’s a transaction, and if there’s any amount designated, then it’s a tax. We need to look at the six aspects or traits of giving as Jesus taught and are illustrated in Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet to see how giving and a sense of meaning in the mountains are related.

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