i have found yet another rilke poem that has moved me. (why am i still surprised by this?) 

Dedication (Rainer Maria Rilke)

I have great faith in all things not yet spoken.
I want my deepest pious feelings freed.
What no one yet has dared to risk and warrant
will be for me a challenge I must meet.

If this presumptious seems, God, may I be forgiven.
For what I want to say to you is this:
my efforts shall be like a driving force,
quite without anger, without timidness
as little children show their love for you.

With these outflowing, river-like, with deltas
that spread like arms to reach the open sea,
with the recurrent tides that never cease
will I acknowledge you, will I proclaim you
as no one ever has before.

And if this should be arrogance, so let me
arrogant be to justify my prayer
that stands so serious and so alone
before your forehead, circled by the clouds. 

so much...there is just so much in here, the first stanza is so full of life, i could use it as a springboard to write for days. but what has struck me most tonight is in the second stanza, "my efforts shall be like a driving force/quite without anger, without timidness/as little children show their love for you."

when is the last time that i showed God my love for him as a child shows love?

last sunday, when mom & dad were here, after church, we went out for lunch with my friends lynn & kurt, and their two and a half year-old daughter liesl. while we were waiting for lunch, liesl was climbing all over me, hugging my head and the two of us were laughing our heads off. she didn't care that other people where watching. she didn't care that she might be too loud, and disturb the people at the next table. she didn't care that people were laughing (probably mostly at me, but you get the point). she didn't care.

sometimes we get so caught up in being 'grown ups', that we forget that we are God's children, and sometimes he just wants us to love and enjoy him; to follow the path he's put before us with so much abandon and passion; to get so caught up in showing God we love him, that we, like liesl, don't care what other people think.

this is who i want to be...


another friend

i admit that i LOVE alanis morissette's music, and her new album, flavors of entanglement is no exception to that rule. one of the things that i love about her, which has been evidenced in her music for years, is that she is on a journey, seeking 'something'. and flavors is no different.

one of her most compelling songs reminds me, lyrics-wise only, of alanis' brilliant, that i would be good. it is called incomplete, and these are some of the lyrics:
ever unfolding
ever expanding
ever adventurous
and torturous
and never done

one day i will speak freely
i'll be less afraid 
And measured outside of my poems and lyrics and art
one day i will be faith-filled
i'll be trusting and spacious authentic and grounded and home

i have been running so sweaty my whole life
urgent for a finish line
and I have been missing the rapture this whole time of being forever incomplete

'the rapture of being forever incomplete'. it's eerie how much this song echoes my own experiences. and sprinkled throughout out the album are phrases that i have actually either said or wrote in recent days.

i think, that even given our differences, if we had the chance, we'd be friends.



listening: alanis morrissette's flavors of entanglement
mental state: glass half empty

why is it that when you really don't think you can handle one more thing, that invariably someone walks up to you needing something?

why is it that you can spend your whole life wanting something, then when you get it, you wonder what the big deal was, and want nothing more than to go back to the way things were?

why do i spend so much time wishing for tomorrow when i am not doing all i can today?

why do i put off those things that i really need to do, that will enhance the tomorrows that i wish for?

why do i think that getting the questions that roam around inside my head out will actually free me of them?


room to shine through...

listening: P.S. i love you soundtrack

i seem to have learned quite a few lessons recently. it's odd how that even as 'grown ups' (gosh, i hate putting myself in that category!) we still go through growth spurts. in all reality, i hope these spurts never actually end.

as usual, there is a theme running through all my lessons...and the theme is that i still don't have it all together. saturday night, during a worship service, my prayer was that all the pieces of me that tend to run in every different direction possible would unite to worship my God in that moment. right then, i was reminded of rilke's words, '...i yearn to belong to something, to be contained/in an all-embracing mind that sees me as a single thing/i yearn to be held/in the great hands of your heart..."

sunday, the feelings of incompleteness continued, my life feeling like just so many bulky, grey rocks with no cohesion. then tonight, it all came back again. only this time, with a different perspective. instead of lamenting the areas of my life that are incomplete, rather than wishing or hoping them into 'done-ness', i have actually become grateful that it is in and through these holes, these cracks, that God can shine, fill and use me extraordinarily... a stark contrast to my desired 'completeness', which could only ever hope to be ordinary.

for someone who so abhors the ordinary, i waste far too much time desiring it.


the blessedness of the ordinary

listening: joss stone's introducing joss stone
reading: the rest of God by mark buchanan

i started reading my utmost for his highest again for my devotions. it's been a couple of years since i've been through it, and i have no idea how he did it, but somehow oswald chambers has done it again.

one paragraph in today's reading says:
"'I will never . . . forsake you.' Sometimes it is not the difficulty of life but the drudgery of it that makes me think God will forsake me. When there is no major difficulty to overcome, no vision from God, nothing wonderful or beautiful— just the everyday activities of life— do I hear God’s assurance even in these?"

i have such a difficult time with the ordinary. the everyday. the incessant dailyness that makes up the majority of life. the necessary yet banal. if i am going to feel forgotten or alone, chances are it won't be during a G180 school presentation. it won't be while i'm walking in the rodin garden. it won't be while i am playing with meg & nick. it will be during the ordinary-ness of life. the time that i too often tend to think of as filler, rather than actually life.

it seems like i have always struggled with this. i have always been looking forward to something...a trip to disneyworld or paris or poland, a visit from angie, visiting the family...always something. something to help me get through the boring, ordinary-ness en route to something exciting.

yet i know that i cannot climb the arc de triomphe or walk through the silence of the concentration camp at auschwitz every day. even my G180 role might get old if i did it every day (i said 'might'). i suppose if all the extraordinary things of life happened all the time that they too would become the ordinary.

so tonight, i will forget what is to come. i won't focus on all the somewheres i would rather be. tonight i will remember that there is blessedness in this ordinary wednesday night, and i will trust that even though there is nothing spectacular happening in this moment, that God is here with me, and as the prophet Zechariah put it, in chapter 3, verse 17,
the Lord your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
he will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.
i don't know about you, but that seems pretty extraordinary to me. :-)



it's summer again...and on the weekend i was reminded (by dear, sweet joash) that it was almost a year ago when we 'kicked' the boys out of our small group. so, during our reminiscing, joash came up with the reunion idea...and i think that it is a brilliant one. 

then i got to thinking about what a great and amazing group of people that our small group, past and present is. the girls all know how much i love them... they see me every week. but it's true, i do miss you guys! 

i will forever see you, joash, running around my kitchen in circles for what amounted to no reason whatsoever. i love your sweet spirit, your willingness to allow God to use you, no matter what. i am a better person for knowing you.

and chris martin's, "45...50...55...ANGER!" and who can forget the 'sweet, sweet hands of fate"?! (was that chris or james?!)

i miss chris (drummond)'s 18-part questions that always challenged me more than i wanted to be at that moment (and sometimes more than i wanted to admit), and that you never let any of us off the hook with simple answers. i also miss that great look you would get on your face when you would be the only guy, and one of the girls would say something a little too "girlish"...and how you would look at me as if to say, 'fix it'...and all i did was laugh. :-)

kyle, my mississauga 'brother', when you got home from bible college after your first year, it was so amazing to see how you'd grown...i miss the deep conversations. we are too far apart this year. (too bad taco bell isn't very conducive to theological discussions! maybe we should change that!) and speaking of TB...we need a date soon!

and james... what can i say about you, my friend? no one on the planet has proposed to me so many times, makes me laugh so much, 'hugs' me so long, and whose conversations i always so look forward to. come home soon, i miss you!

in my heart, you all are still part of the group. and when james returns from his 'God Rocks' tour, we are so having a reunion!



given the fact that i have been listening to the 'les miserables' soundtrack for a few days in a row now, it is only natural that i've once again got the desire to read the book. that being said, since i do not have it to read, i found a quote by victor hugo online, and it made my heart smile.
"music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent."
i am not an envious person, but i do envy those who can make music. those who can take an instrument and make some beautiful sound emerge from it...who can read and understand music... who can take music and words and weave them into something with such great power and emotion that it makes your heart beat faster, and helps you to see your life in a different way.

and...because everything in life either has a 'friends' quote or rilke poem attached to it, here is another of my favorite of rilke's writings, entitled, to music
Music: breathing of statues. Perhaps:
silence of paintings. You language where all language
ends. You time
standing vertically on the motion of motal hearts.

Feelings for whom? O you the transformation
of feelings into what? --: into audible landscape.
You stranger: music. You heart-space
grown out of us. The deepest space in us,
which, rising above us, forces its way out,--
holy departure:
when the innermost point in us stands
outside, as the most practiced distance, as the other
side of the air:
no longer habitable.


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