Post-Election Beatitudes

innerwoven

What follows is not a statement of political preference – although with little effort one could easily determine my ideology. Nor is this a kumbaya-just-come-to-Jesus plea by someone without convictions who just needs a hug. Nor is it a milk-toast acquiescence to fatalistic non-action. This is a simple exhortation for us to stop living from our heads, perhaps even our hearts.

It is an invitation for us all to rediscover ourselves. Our souls.

Anyone within spitting distance of social media the past few weeks, uh, months…well, years actually, has had to endure the cage match that has become political discourse in this country. Chances are you jumped in to scrap on occasion as well. Come on, admit it, doesn’t it feel positively cathartic to drop your well-reasoned, deftly-articulated, bulletproof opinions into the foxhole and then run back and wait for the barrage of new disciples? 

I confess, despite self-promises to…

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Maidin Paidir – Luain

innerwoven

Cross_Image copy.jpgThis title is not so cryptic (or shamelessly hipster) as you might imagine. Rather, it is the not-so-original title of this new series entitled simply, Morning Prayer in Gaelic. This is of course, Luain, or Monday.

On this grey, rain-damp morning in Yakima – a rare, but gratefully received, occurrence in this geography – I offer up a new series of simple, daily morning prayers.

My intention for these prayers is that goodness, grace, and presence may result, if only long enough to bridge our awake-ness with awareness.

May just enough grime from the windshield of our lives be wiped away by a few words to the God who sees us through and in spite of it.

 

I

God of first things,

don’t stay in the queue we impose on you

to accommodate our tiny desires.

Erase our pages of want,

if only to satiate the thirst

we didn’t…

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The lonely walk of faith

Like me mate Rob Rife, who publishes his superlative posts on his blog Innerwoven, another dear friend and soul brother, Dr. Charles Ringma posts reflections on his blog Notes from the Hermitage.  I desperately hang out for both their contributions each week/month.  Let me help you to see why….

Charles recently published a blog spot that read:

The Christian life for me has been much more a journey of ‘plugging along.’ And the months of hermitage time has only reinforced this.

This ‘plugging along’ has often had the flavour of ‘the dark night’ of the soul. Rather than a sense of being caught up in something, it has been the lonely walk of faith.

As I have ‘sat’ with this and pondered its implications, I have only come away with more questions. Is our secular Western life-style so all pervasive that this is what sets the tone of our lives – secularity is what we are caught up in and our maintenance of a Christian way of life is but a weak protest? Furthermore, is our participation in the life of the church so minimal that it is no longer a formative and sustaining reality – thus we are at best spiritual pilgrims or religious refugees? And finally, and surely most importantly, is a ‘move’ of the Spirit no longer to be expected in our world. I think in all honesty we would have to answer ‘yes’ if our lack of prayer and expectation is any indication. This then raises the troubling question, is God simply giving us what we have resigned ourselves to? It may well be so!

He concludes his pondering by asking a very poignant question;  “Maybe the time has come that Christians, and particularly those in the West, need to become ‘God botherers.’ By this I mean that we need to ‘trouble’ God.”  At first blush, I wondered if he meant this as a pejorative.  But then, I sat with his words for a while — and it came to me in a flash.  Maybe my friend is echoing what Thomas Merton voiced so long ago concerning the Contemplative lifestyle adopted among the monastics?   Maybe we’ve forgotten how to be trouble makers?  God-botherers…  Maybe we’re being to prim & proper?  Out of the zone, so to speak.

I believe I’m out of the zone, at least.  I walk this journey. many times feeling very alone.  God seems so distant.  People are too much to take.  Life seems so convoluted.  Expectations diminish.  Spirituality becomes hard work.  A job — a task.  Just like all the other “tasks” in  life that I feel caught up in.  It really take on the lackluster stance of maintenance.  I honestly can’t say what forms my current reality.

I’d love to be a trouble-maker again.  Taking the mickey out of God and Christ.  How about you?