I spend a lot of time weeping on planes. Well, not A LOT of time, but I think it happens to me well beyond what could be considered normal. I suspect the causation of this bizarre behavior (I’m usually flying alone) is a concoction of how isolated I feel when I’m traveling, my commitment to listening to the most personal and most inspirational of my music library while I’m flying, and that travel often means I’m on my way to something I love or something I loathe. Regardless, I have learned—in the company of strangers—to let the tears roll.Read More
I think that at the core of the human experience is journeying. Movement, risking that dangerous in-between that stands between the certainty of past and future, here and there, now and later. The present moment is always the product of leaving and finding.
We are always on the road.Read More
By engaging the HEART we engage the only transformation possible of holistic renovation. We can have better habits, manage our emotions, take better care of bodies, read more books, pick meaningful causes, but all of it will be difficult and willful like a man steering an elephant until the HEART itself experiences meaningful growth.Read More
The Self-Help section is one of the largest at Barnes and Noble, and without a doubt high on the profitability scale. The idea of an accessible and simple formula for lifetime success has now even seeped into the biography section. There was a time when one read biographies to view from the long end of history how a life had been formed by experience, choice and belief. Not today. Today, the majority of “biographies” more accurately stand as mid-life memoirs (some earlier than that) and they don’t intent to map out the story of life so far, but instead to manipulate the events of an unfinished life into the few short platitudes which can create tips for a ravenous public.
Our new ways of defining human thriving have so denigrated our ability to stand in our own skin and to relate to each other with love and respect that anyone with an objective view would jettison these views in an instant. But without a meaningful alternative, an attainable counter-narrative to the way to life, the deep and addictive rut of the status-quo will continue to hold us in its sway. Thankfully this counter-narrative is not far off. There are signs for optimism.Read More
I have stated previously that desire is a sequence. It is a way of functioning in the world that draws us from the surface of our lives into our deepest heart. In the murky crevices of our
being is where we meet the Triune God who subsists as Faith, Hope and Love—an infinite giving and receiving of desire in relation. This, to say the least, is a mouthful. More than a
mouthful, it is a life-ful because attempting to live conscious of such a pervasive reality as the desire of God working through the distorted desires of human hearts is something that only
the unfettered and ordained days and years of a lifetime can begin to untangle.
Daunting as it may be, we must begin here, because desire in the beginning of everything. And for our surface wants and preferences to transition into the deeper waters of intimacy with God, it is required that we have accessible places to being. To have categories. Categories are like rungs on a ladder or grips on a climbing wall. They don’t define the precipice your climbing, but they sure make the summit a whole lot easier. In the grand context of desire and longing, I think there are such ladders. The frame of them was acknowledged by Plato millennia ago and has been affirmed by thoughtful people ever since. Plato called them the “forms:” truth, goodness and beauty. Not only do these three useful frames of reality occur around us with regularity, drawing us into God’s presence, calling us into the Trinitarian life, they are also the spheres in which our desires play out. The desire to know the Truth, act out the Good, be the Beautiful.Read More
I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear... The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
- Henry David Thoreau
The gospel of life begins with a want. This is to be distinguished from a lust. A lust comes from the skin, it is easily satisfied and comes back like a sinus infection or a hunger pain that you feed with Chinese takeout. No a want, a longing comes from the gut, from what the Bible calls the spirit, and it is insatiable, taunting and vague. This gospel-want is vague because of its object. It is a want for God, a want for the Infinite, a want for one’s place in a cosmic fabric knit together by the heart of its Maker. Such a want can’t be described in easy turns of phrase, neither can it be limited to the words we use to describe it. Even to say the want is for God, begs the question: which God? The Christian God? The Catholic God? The Evangelical God? The self-help God? The universalist God?Read More
It was an age and epoch not far from our own, though its remoteness cannot be measured by time or distance. It could have happened in a galaxy far, far away or once upon a time or both, though neither one describes things entirely. It was a time of everything and nothing, of darkness and light, an era of openness and repulsion, of rightness and crookedness. The goodness of things only stood so brightly as to reveal the shadowed truth of the entanglement of things, and for all those who lived in such a beautiful time and place, it was simply the way things were.Read More
The sheer humanity of it
The blades of grass bend and bow
For the likes of unhurried feet
Unrushed the waking dusk
The frailest dance exults
Unwaiting for our coming peace
The straining mounts push the dawn
To be the souls we were