Selected posts from around our network of affiliated bloggers
I was a kid when I first memorized John 15. I had a thing about memorizing. My life felt a little fragile, it seemed that people and places I cared about had a way of vanishing, and when I came across words that resonated, I committed them to memory so I could keep them with me. That was true for songs, poems, whole chapters of the Bible.
I always knew that people of faith were supposed to have devotional time. When I joined the church, I sort of expected someone to tell me the “official” Christian devotional method. But no one did. It wasn’t covered in the new members’ class. And that was for me somewhat unsettling. I knew I should be doing something, but I couldn’t figure out what that something was. I felt adrift, unsure of what I should be doing and a little worried I might be doing it wrong.
I was bequeathed a few of my father’s writings, which are precious artifacts to me. Some were written for publication; others are more personal. One of the more personal ones dealt with a simple home improvement project that went wrong. In addition to feeling frustrated, my dad began hearing his own father’s voice in his head, berating him for not knowing how to do something so simple.
I'm a sentinel of sorts, now, standing vigil over one of the last markers of a movement that flickered and died.After a brief conversation, Presbymergent shut down its Facebook presence many moons ago.
Ever since I started teaching I’ve always had a skeptical view of the very foundation of most college courses: learning objectives. Until recently, I’d be happy to go off on learning objectives without any very nuanced reason why. Now, finally, I think I’ve found a way to articulate my contradictory point of view.
I’ll admit it. I like to be in control. I don’t think of myself as a control freak. However, I want there to be a minimum of chaos. On Sunday, for instance, I like to have a general idea of where we are going to be by noon. It is fine for the Holy Spirit to be invited into our worship, but only to a degree.
This happens often. Before someone quotes or highlights or refers to another person’s remarks, they preface it with, “I don’t agree with everything but …” then proceed to say something that they liked. I hear it in conversation with others, I see it on social media, and I read it in books. In fact, the sentiment has been systematized into a legal disclaimer: “the words and opinions expressed here are their own, and do not represent an endorsement.” When I was editing a chapter of my book, I noticed I had employed the same tactic.
Right on schedule, I came down with a head cold on Easter Monday. It’s an occupational hazard. It’s practically what Episcopal clergy sign up for. It should just be added into the ordination vows.
Most therapists will say that a key to finding any kind of viable and lasting happiness in the world requires coming to peace with who you are. Not some future self that you wish you could be, not the person that you imagine yourself to be in your best moments, not the person that you will undoubtedly be two, five, ten years from now. No, the person staring back at you in the mirror.
It’s rare that my chiropractor and my spiritual director offer me the same advice, but when they do, I think it’s a sign that I’m supposed to pay particular attention.