reading: Ancient-Future Time

this sunday marks the beginning of advent. for years now, i've wanted to observe advent, but i always seem to miss it. Robert Weber's book, Ancient-Future Time talks about the usual preparation activities of fall, getting ready for all that winter will bring, then he goes on,

"But where is God in all of this? The danger we all face as we prepare for the future, whether it is for our fall activities or something else, is the tendency to be indifferent to the presence of God in our plans. We participate in that humanistic spirit prevalent in our Western world, a spirit that often expresses itself in the way we plan for the future. When we think we can do things on our own, we act as though we have little or no need of God. Then we become self-confident, begin to believe in ourselves, and think ourselves to be invincible...Advent is a time when God breaks in on us with new surprises and touches us wiht a renewing and restoring power."

advent is all about waiting. Israel waiting for a Savior. us waiting for the second coming of that Savior. Webber goes on to say,

"Advent is always needed when we, the people of God, separate our lives in the world from the true meaning of worship. Worship celebrates God for us and works within us to be servants to others and to the world. when we go about our lives striving for power, success, and wealth and seek things for ourselves and yet attend worship, listen to the Word, and take bread and wine into our stomachs, we ar no better than dead Israel. God cannot be in our worship because God is not in our lives. Our worship becomes mechanical, dull, dreary, and rote. Our lives drift further and further away from God and from his will, and the sense of God's absence becomes more and more acute....Advent is a time to cry, "O God, turn me away from my indifference, creat in me a heart of repentance, and lead me to the waters of spiritual refreshment."

given my own ability to think myself self-confident, i need all that i can get in the way of God breaking into my life to remind me that i am nothing without him.

i am nothing without him.


a million little pieces

listening: snow patrol
reading: prayer [yancey] & this beautiful mess [mckinley]

last night i told someone that i was feeling shatterable. that with the wrong combination of words, all that is me would shatter into a million pieces, and i would then cease to exist.

i don't like feeling this way....and even more, i hate admitting it. even as these words of rilke's echo through my memory, i struggle to find the grace to do what needs to be done.

“Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves ... Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point it, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps, then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” ~Rilke


at a loss

over the past seven days, since arriving home from Ukraine, i have sat down at my computer no less than six times, with an aim to write about the trip. frustratingly, every one of those times, i have felt completely inadequate and at a total loss to do what i am feeling and what i experienced justice.

so many people have asked me how the trip was, and to merely say that it was a good trip, or even a great trip would be like saying, when asked to describe the eiffel tower, that it is brown. but to expound, to try to encapsulate the essence of this trip, is, at this moment, not quite a possibility.

we only did five school presentations, less than even our first year in Poland. there was opposition, which made the week very definitely unboring. the people of Ukraine are beautiful, whether we are talking about our hosts who were with us all week, the students who so graciously dropped everything in their week to join our drama team, or the students in the schools themselves.

the trip was filled with laughter, the beginning of friendship, the understanding of close friends, seeking God-- together and individually, and the knowledge that we were presenting, both on stage and with our lives, the fact that life is so much more than those students may have ever realized.

i'm ready to go back.



equilibrium and greatness of spirit
cannot be the chief deisre
of a single entity

equilibrium and its cousin, fairness
negate all attempts to be spectacular
as useless as tightrope walking
only inches from the ground

true greatness of spirit
true adventure
seeks not for itself or safety
but rather for
the blind to see
the lame to walk
and glory to an unseen force of grace

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