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I have been thinking and reflecting a lot about change lately.  It’s been easy to do that here at St. Luke’s Church.  Our community is taking some bold steps in faith to follow where we believe God is leading us.

Change is often unsettling.  I think, by the way, that’s as it should be.  I would also say that being unsettled doesn’t necessarily have to lead to anxiety and fear.  I’m not sure who said this, but I believe it to be true,

life is 5% what happens to you and 95% in how you deal with it.”

Let’s try on another one:

the only constant is change.”

It seems to me that if we believe these to be true, on any level, then we’d be well served to embrace the reality of change and equip ourselves with the tools to do so.  As Christians I think we are ‘equipped’ with a great set of tools by virtue of our call to discipleship.

In his book The Sky is Falling, Alan Roxburgh contends that we would do well to understand the important difference between change and transition.  Roxburgh basically says that change is the often unavoidable forces that are external, transition is the result of our internal responses to external realities.  To paraphrase our first quotation change is 5% of the challenge, transition is 95% of it. Read the rest of this entry »

Please take a few minutes to follow this link to the story in it.  It’s about a man who made a Nobel Prize worthy discovery and shared it out of a sense of obligation and nobility for the work is what was truly important, not the credit!  I was captivated by both the poignant nature of this story and its melancholy tone.  What would happen if we could be collaborative in all such ventures as Dr. Prasher has been?

How many of us, when faced with the missing out on the notoriety and money Prasher faces, would see silver linings in the way he does?  I pray God that I might have the humility and solid grounding it appears as though he has.

This is likely not news to a number of you who will read this but, here goes anyway!

What’s the most common ‘one-liner’ in all of Holy Scripture??

(Cue the Jeopardy Music)

If you questions, “What is ‘Be not Afraid?”, or “What is Fear Not?”, you have control of the board and a leg up on an even keel through the present uncertainty that surrounds all of us.  If you can really live into that advice, you ought to look into offering your services as a spiritual director!!!

No question we live in anxious and scary times.  The realities (or at least perceived realities) of living in the 24/7 new cycle are that we have at least one pseudo-crisis every day.  The language of exaggeration and hyperbole surround us on every side and inspire a sort of neo-panic that can function as practical atheism.

I’m as ‘connected’ as anyone (maybe more so) when it comes to access to information and ‘news’.  I’m coming to believe that it’s not having the best effect on my spiritual life.  When I invest my energies and time on what ‘may’ happen, I’m very likely to miss what ‘is’ happening.

Call me Pollyanna or accuse me of living in ‘denial’ but I’m coming to believe that ‘news and information’ are eroding our ability to be thankful people in relation to God.  For all the time I spend on worrying about circumstances beyond my control, I miss the opportunity to be truly present to the people in my life that are God’s gifts (for me that includes every person).

I baptized a father and daughter yesterday and the community was aglow with the joy of that event.  For a time, at least for me, anxiety was put on the run and Jesus truly was Lord of my life, my worship and my consciousness.  I, for one, want to learn how to live there more than I live in worry.  More chance for God to continue to form me.

Thanks be to God!

I have to confess that I am weary of the political season.  I am tired of hearing good people talk badly about each other.  I am weary of the collective monologue that seems to pass as debate in this day and age.  I am tired about the zero sum game that too often dominates religion as much as it dominates politics.  I’m tired and I just want to go to sleep and wake up and find out that it’s all over–or even better yet, that it was all a bad dream.

I’m not merely tired of partisan politics in government here or anywhere else in the country, I’m tired of the diversions from doing the work of heralding the Kingdom of God that sidetrack the Church as well.

I was reading a little book by Teilhard de Chardin the other night before going to sleep that made me sit up and take notice and helped me to refocus and fight the urge to flee from the struggles of politics.  In “Building the Earth” Chardin writes these words…may they rekindle your hope and focus your energies as they did mine.

Fundamentally, in spite of the apparent enthusisasm with which large sections of mankind go along with the political and social currents of the day, the mass of mankind remains dissatisfied.

It is impossible to find, either on the right or the left, a truly progressive mind which does not confess to at least a partial disillusionment with all existing movements.

A person joins one party or the other, because if he wishes to act, he must make a choice.  But, having taken his stand, everyone feels to some extent hampered, thwarted, even revolted. Everyone wants something larger, finer, better for humanity. Scattered throughout the apparently hostile masses which are fighting each other, there are elements everywhere which are only waiting fora  shock in order to re-orientate themselves and unite.

All that is needed is that the right ray of light should fall upon these people as upon a cloud of particles, that an appeal should be sounded which responds to their internal needs, and across all denominations, across all the conventional barriers which still exist, we shall see the living atoms of the universe seek each other out, find each other and organize themselves.

We must unite.

No more political fronts, but one great crusade for human advancement.  The democrat, the communist, and the fascist must jettison the differences and limitations of their systems and pursue to the full the positive aspirations which inspire their enthusiasm, and then, quite naturally, the new spirit will burst the chauvinist bonds which still imprison it; the three currents will find themselves merging in the conception of a common task; namely to promote the spiritual future of the world.

I believe that force that can bring an end to the systems and allow what’s best in them to coalesce around the promotion of the spiritual future of the world is nothing more or less than the Gospel of Jesus.

Should you, like me, find yourself weary, stressed, fearful, lonely, or whatever else in the coming months of high uncertainty, pick up the stories of the Gosple and let the Good News re-orientate you to work for the spiritual future of this world and all of God’s children in it.

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October 2008

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