DO YOU HAVE COMPASSION FATIGUE? You may have had someone ask you, “What are you noticing?” What ARE you noticing? Many of you have reported loneliness, irritability, despair, fatigue, sadness, frustration, confusion, anger, criticism from others, a feeling of not doing enough and fear. Others may admit they do not mind staying home more, not getting dressed to go out, less scheduled activities, more family time, having extra time to work on projects, catching up on reading and a lot of cooking! The topic of balance is discussed frequently in managing our lives and finding happiness.
I should go to bed earlier; I should lose weight; I should exercise more; I should have made a different decision than what I did. “Shoulds” that hold us hostage and weigh us down are one of the elements of life that keep us from living with the freedom of “what is”. The reality of “now” and being present to it as a way of life keeps me from wandering in the past and the imaginations of the future. Don’t get me wrong. I love history and reminiscing about good memories that have already been lived. I enjoy planning
Aquinas the great theologian of the of the 13the century relied upon Psalm 36:9 to guide him in his great theological endeavors. “For with You is the fountain of life: in Your light do we see light.” C.S. Lewis was a follower of Christ because he held that Jesus enabled him to see what was most real and true. God’s light enables us to see. My recent times of mediation have me reflecting on the significance of the fruits of the Spirit. Paul encourages believers to walk by the Spirit (Gal. 5:16). Walking by the Spirit arms us to
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?
About a month ago, my eyeglass frames with progressive lenses broke. Knowing it was time to get a check-up I scheduled an appointment instead of getting my glasses repaired right away. Unfortunately, I had to wait another week to see the eye doctor. Thank goodness for another set of glasses that I use for computer work and reading music at the piano. When the time came, the check-up revealed that my eyes would require a change on my lenses so I would need to wait about 7-10 days for the new glasses to arrive. In the mean while, we
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
PSALM 121: 1-2 I lift up my eyes to the mountains-- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121 has always been one of my favorites. My father had all 4 of us children memorize the entire Psalm when we were young. It’s amazing that these verses have come to my heart and mind at different times in my life, even after having not read the Psalm for a very long time. Today, as I look at the mountains in front of me and all
“Being Still” can be one of the most challenging things we do in the journey of Christian spiritual formation. In our culture, there are so many distractions. Some of them are good distractions, such as our jobs and tending to our families and friends. Others are distractions of guilt, shame, or fear that keep us from even considering “being still” much less actually “doing” it. Scripture doesn’t say to us, “Be still and be perfect” or “Be still and God will love you forever,” or “ Be still and God will protect you.” Psalm 46:10 says, “BE STILL and KNOW
Christian Spiritual Formation is a journey that is one of posturing ourselves to be awakened to the process of coming back to the true self of who God created us to be. The posturing is sometimes difficult. It can require us to be still or it can require us to step into something new because we have been still long enough. Being still requires us to let go of distractions of work, family life, or being busy for the sake of busyness. Stepping into something new requires that we let go of what feels safe and familiar. Which ever
“And who is he sir, that I may believe in him? Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you. He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshipped him.” - John 9:36-38 This past Sunday’s gospel reading from John 9:1-41 featured a beautiful and comical account of a man born blind healed by Jesus. The disciples inquired as to whether this man sinned or his parents so as to cause his malady. Jesus corrected their bad theology by saying his infirmity wasn’t divine retribution but divine opportunity for God to be