The Whistler's Dream

Everybody needs a dream...
Mine is to go to Oklahoma and play whistles for The Pioneer Woman. (Having been invited, not in a "creepy stalker" kind of way, for the record.) Heck, I'd play in a pup tent in the backyard for the joy of the cows and critters. What can I say? I'm a fan.
Everybody needs a dream...

Random Fluffy Foto!

Random Fluffy Foto!
Writing in bed, and Beka editing by ear. Really. The ear typed some letters. Really.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


In the course of listening through the Bible in a year, thanks to the Daily Audio Bible, one will come eventually to a romp through the book of Isaiah.

(Truthfully, we're nowhere near that book now... These writey-bloggy-thingies sometimes sit and bake for a month or two or six before they see the light of day...)

You know, I'm not sure if anybody has ever used the phrase "romping through the book of Isaiah." Most people wouldn't use the word "romp" to describe a trip through any book of the Bible.

(But, as all the world knows, I ain't "most people." Nor "some people." I are a "people," but that's about it.

"I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam." *toot toot*

Now hand me that can opener - I gots me some spinach to eat.)

So - romping through the Bible. Not usually thought of as a "romp."

Though... there IS the Song of Songs...

Never mind. Not gonna go there. Nope.

Anyway, some verses from Isaiah 30 caught my attention:

GOD, the Master, The Holy of Israel, has this solemn counsel: “Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me— The very thing you've been unwilling to do.
Isaiah 30:15 (MSG)

Usually when something like this catches my attention, the Lord is having a word with me. In this instance, the phrases "turn back to Me," "settling down in complete dependence," and, the one that really hits me - "The very thing you've been unwilling to do."

Yeah... that. 

Ok - I'm finally getting the "settling down" part. I've learned that my life works a whole lot better at a slower, mindful pace. If I don't take the time to stop, to contemplate, to mindfully approach every day, then I get lost in many ways.


Settle down in complete dependence?

Nah - I'd rather squirm and cry and weep and moan and smack my hand against a wall - all of which are really, really bad for my emotional balance.

"A troubled mind and a doubter's heart.
You wonder how you ever got this far.
Just leave it to Me - I'll lead you home."
- Michael W. Smith

So, "settle down" = very good. "In complete dependence" = very good, though I'm not even close yet.

Settle down in complete dependence? I know that it's good - in fact, the best way to go about living... And yet, it's "the very thing I've been unwilling to do."


How stubborn am I? How unwilling can I be? Read on, kids...

You've said, ‘Nothing doing! We'll rush off on horseback!' You'll rush off, all right! Just not far enough! You've said, ‘We'll ride off on fast horses!' Do you think your pursuers ride old nags? Think again: A thousand of you will scatter before one attacker. Before a mere five you'll all run off. There'll be nothing left of you— a flagpole on a hill with no flag, a signpost on a roadside with the sign torn off.”
Isaiah 30:16-17 (MSG)

Yup - very stubborn. Slow to learn, slow to listen, slow to trust.

What do you think of those last two pictures - "A flagpole on a hill with no flag, a signpost on a roadside with the sign torn off?"

Oi to da Vey...

What do I think of those last two pictures?

I don't like them. Not at all.

They scream futility to me - as the Teacher would put it, "a chasing of the wind." All of my running, all of my flailing, and all of my refusal to just settle down and depend is pointless, useless, and a waste. It leaves behind an empty flagpole and a signless sign.

If it ended here, if this were the last word, the door slamming, then hope would be gone, and I'd be lost.


As God, who is rich in love and mercy, does so often, He holds out hope. Emptiness doesn't have to be the final word...

Oh yes, people of Zion, citizens of Jerusalem, your time of tears is over. Cry for help and you'll find it's grace and more grace. The moment he hears, he'll answer. Just as the Master kept you alive during the hard times, he'll keep your teacher alive and present among you. Your teacher will be right there, local and on the job, urging you on whenever you wander left or right: “This is the right road. Walk down this road.” You'll scrap your expensive and fashionable god-images. You'll throw them in the trash as so much garbage, saying, “Good riddance!”
Isaiah 30:19-22 (MSG)

I probably should break those verses into chunks, to allow us all to take them in piece by piece... But I just can't. There's such a wall of amazing there that I just can't bring myself to split it up.

Tears are over, grace is abundant, and the Master is keeping us safe, guiding us and helping us - "Your teacher will be right there, local and on the job, urging you on whenever you wander left or right."

Awesome upon awesome upon awesome.

And, in a quote from a DC Talk song ("Jesus Is Still Alright"), "Now we come to the payoff." -

Our response to all of this...

In the light of all this wonder, we look at all the garbage we've surrounded ourselves with - all of our toys, doo-dads, stuff to impress, attitudes, assumptions - any and all of the crap we make into a cheap blanket fort, trying to keep the Master from getting too close.

Get the picture? No? Ok - work with me here, kids...

Imagine every little corner of your world - external AND internal - suddenly being thrown into the full and glorious light of God's reality, letting you see just exactly what you've accepted as "real" life... Take a look at all that refuse, see how small your reality is, and before the shock and shame can overwhelm you, know that the Master is already wiping away the tears of His little child and taking you into His arms.

And we respond in the only way possible when confronted with the loving, intimate presence of God our Father:

We immediately throw all our idols, all our junk, all our stuff that was trying to take His place (and failing miserably...) in the dumpster.

When the light of the Master fills your eyes, everything else can be seen for what it really is - trash. Nothing else compares. Absofragginlutely nothing.

"So let it go and turn it over to
The One who chose to give His life for you.
Just leave it to Me -
I'll lead you home."
- Michael w. Smith

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

I Wonder Why I Wander

Nomadic career path.

That's perhaps the most eloquent summary of my journey thus far.

It certainly beats the heck out of "Aimlessly searching for purpose," "Futilely looking for something he'll never find," or "Has no idea what he wants to be when he grows up, and shows no signs of ever growing up."

Yup - nomadic career path. Much nicer.

 Nobody likes to live an unsettled life... At least, nobody I know.

Ok - there are those who really like change, new challenges, new situations, and new cars. Or obscenely tum-tum upsetting roller coasters like my neffypooh, who really has issues.

Not so much the Calbert. Especially the roller coasters.

We (Most of us, many of us, some of us, the old personages among us - of whom I am chief...) like things familiar, comfortable, and sort-of-predictable. At least, as predictable as life gets for we humanpersons...

Which is pretty unpredictable, actually.

Maybe we like the predictable because it give us some reassurance that when things are unpredictable, there's some predictable to help calm down the unpredictable. Kind of like drinking milk after biting into some sort of mind-numbingly hot pepper, like the Ghost Pepper - reputedly the hottest pepper humanpersons can possibly endure, with a lot of agony. Or so I've heard - I wouldn't go near one of those boogers with a ten foot... um... something that's ten feet long.

Why someone would choose to consume something that turns your innards into a seething cauldron of pain remains a mystery I will never comprehend. *shudder* Yet one of my good friends chooses those incendiary culinary options on a regular basis. He bewilders me. I love him - but he bewilders me.

So predictable ain't bad, except for those who thrive on unpredictable, spontaneous, roller coasters, and Ghost Peppers. The Master have mercy on your amped-up souls, cast iron digestion, and burned-out taste buds.


So - nomadic career path? Certainly something I wouldn't have chosen. Not really one of my aspirations for my future. Not really on any list of anything I would have checked a big ol' YES to.

And yet, my Father seems to take delight in making sure "predictable" isn't really part of my daily existence. For certain things, yeah - He gives me a few. Daily Audio Bible? Yup - part of my day. Eating, sleeping, etc. Yup - got those covered.

Sense of purpose? Of calling or passion or direction? Not so much.

Career? Goals? Upwardly mobile status? Nope.

Interests? Hobbies? Which musical instrument to play? Which instruments to not play?


Nomadic is more how I roll.

"I see me rollin', I hatin'..."

(Ok - hatin' might be too strong of a term, even if it is a song quote. But "strongly dislikin'" or "finding moderately objectionable" don't really flow. 

I didn't choose the thug life - the thug life chose me.


And for the first time in my constantly wandering path, I may actually be close to somewhat of a revelation of a possibility of perhaps an understanding of why I wander...


I'm never supposed to look at the world the same way twice.


Yeah - that was my reaction too.

Let me put it this way - if you've read more than a couple of these meanderings known as The Whistler's Wonderings, (also known as the Fluffy Goodness...) you'll notice that I seem to have a unique view of the world, of faith, and of wonder.

There are other words one could use to describe it... like "skewed," "whacked," "semi-disturbing," or even "weird."

And no, I'm not offended by any of those. Truthfully, I think they all apply in some way or another.


Now, this may be a load of Calbert-flavored hooey... but in my slanted view of reality, (Oooh - "slanted." That's one I forgot...) this comes closer to helping me understand why I'm never allowed to "settle down" in one place than anything I've pondered my way through.

So here's the deal - Those few, short-lived times when I've had a regular job, I tend to settle into a routine, a groove...

A rut. I'm like a little wind-up toy on a track - wind me up, let me go, and I'll follow the track around, same direction, same steps, same same same.

A big ol' honkin' rut.

And I quickly lose sight of wonder, of beauty, of God's hand moving so gracefully in everything that passes through my day. I forget just how much I've been blessed, the gifts I've been given in all their diversity and wonder (and strangeness...), and I start seeing the world the same way, every day, same ol' same ol'...

And I'm not supposed to do that.

If the scenery never changes, I don't look at life from different angles, seeing different views of God at work in so many ways. If I'm buried deep in a rut, I never look around to consider how this thing of faith continues to work as everyday life, with all its challenges, doubts, and struggles.

If I get settled in one place, I don't see the wonder of God at work right here, right now. I lose the view of my Father's gentle hand, nudging me in so many different ways.

And I forget how much He loves it when I make refrigerator art for Him. In fact, I sometimes get so deep in a rut that I don't make art at all.

So, He keeps me moving, knowing all the while how uncomfortable it is.

He doesn't let me put down roots, even though He knows how much I long for some little space that I can call "mine," because He'd rather have me see all of creation as "His."

He keeps me unsettled, continuing my nomadic path, because if I don't wander, I lose sight of His wonder.

What He has given me is a purpose... a vision... a dream... (For the first time in my life, perhaps?)

I want to spend my time telling His stories, pointing to Him from all the different twists, turns, angles, and strange viewpoints that He leads me through.

I want to communicate His wonder, His mercy, His goodness, His grace... And show how He is so very active, so very involved in it all - right here, right now.

I have no idea what that vision will look like, or if it even is valid. I have no clue how it could become reality. I simply know that it is my passion - using all the diverse gifts that He's given me, from that unique viewpoint He's brought me to ("strange," "slanted," "unusual," "weird..."), and with all the childlike delight and wonder He's put in me.

I want to tell His story.

I want to share His wonder...

As I wander.