We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. - T.S. Eliot What are you looking for? A better sense of self? A better home and garden? More knowledge about the Divine or your divinely inspired pursuits? An idealized Christianity or church to validate a privatized salvation project? To figure out your dysfunctional family system? Untie some knotty existential shoelaces tightened by primal repression so that you no longer trip over fear, guilt, and shame? A well balanced portfolio?
Job spoke, saying: Is not man's life on earth a drudgery? Are not his days those of hirelings? He is a slave who longs for the shade, a hireling who waits for his wages. So I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been allotted to me. If in bed I say, "When shall I arise?" then the night drags on; I am filled with restlessness until the dawn. My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle; they come to an end without hope. Remember that my life is like the wind; I shall not see
Joy and I celebrated our 40th anniversary this summer. We saved 5 years to do something very special. We traveled to Scotland and very much enjoyed a couple weeks there. In our time there I was reminded of a couple things. First, we should have saved for 10 years! Traveling is expensive. Second, the history of Scotland is violent. So much fighting between clans and other groups (e.g. Vikings and English). Third, the topography of that small country is amazingly diverse. From the pastoral land in the southeast to the rugged mountains of the northwest. A beautiful country. But
“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.” –Vincent Van Gogh “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” – Jesus As Christians (little Christs) we know that life is a spiritual battleground and the opposition to God’s love can seem tremendous. However, we too like fishermen, have never found these dangers good reason to stay on the sidelines. We are drawn and compelled to enter into our spheres of influence and fish for what is true, noble, and good about
No Going Back by Wendell Berry No, no, there is no going back. Less and less you are that possibility you were. More and more you have become those lives and deaths that have belonged to you. You have become a sort of grave containing much that was and is no more in time, beloved then, now, and always. And so you have become a sort of tree standing over the grave. Now more than ever you can be generous toward each day that comes, young, to disappear forever, and yet remain unaging in the mind. Every day you
The spiritual life is not easy. Our false self does not go down without a fight, and one to the death. This is a really inconvenient battle to wage when it is challenging enough to just live life. Who really knew what we were signing up for in following Jesus and taking this journey seriously? Who really knew that the path would evolve and feel more like death and descent? The One Who guides us knows. Others who have gone before know. Be encouraged by the following quote from Joseph Benner an American Protestant mystic who seems to know.
As we consider the ways of Christian spiritual formation, there is always one particular facet of the journey that mesmerizes and challenges me the most. The one of “sitting still” before God with the expectation and intention of knowing God. Psalm 46:10 tells us to “Be still and know that I AM God. “ It seems that many Christians are interested in being “busy about the business of God”. Even family life is busy about the “business of family” instead of intentionally taking time to “be still” and know the family member. Stillness can refer to literally being still
Why can’t anything or anyone be perfect? Why can’t this thing go the way it is supposed to? The long answer involves all the flaws, shortcomings, mistakes, sins, errors, and imperfections in every given person and situation. The short answer is because that every person or thing is not God. Seems like God put Himself in a bind by creating anything because anything created would always fall short of the Creator. After all only God is good. Even without sin entering the picture everything still falls short of the full glory of God! It is refreshing to know that
Jeremiah 20:7 (ESV) 7 O Lord, you have deceived me, and I was deceived; you are stronger than I, and you have prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all the day; everyone mocks me. This is not what the prophet Jeremiah signed up for. He was doing everything he thought he was supposed to be doing. He was following God. He was getting pounded in the process. I love Jeremiah’s unabashedly bold and emotional words of honesty. It is one thing to feel that Satan has deceived you but God? Wow. This is
Having seen this beautiful river in downtown Reno, Nevada, this week, my thoughts have repeatedly gone to the old hymn written by Frances R. Havergal. “Like a River Glorious” has been sung by generations as a reminder of the peace that Christ brings to us in our everyday lives if we will just pay attention to His reminders. Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace, Over all victorious, in its bright increase; Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day, Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way. Refrain: Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest Finding, as He