samedi, février 18, 2012
This is one of the hardest things for traditional Christians to "get" about Mormon theology.
But Mormon theology itself is evolving, as I see it. What would it have been like to live as a Christ-follower in the 3rd or 4th century? Perhaps one might find oneself in a similar place.
vendredi, février 17, 2012
Over the past week, I've been having a candid conversation with a few people on the subject of hope.
There are very few times in my life when I have, as though filing books on a shelf I need a ladder to reach, deliberately put hope aside.
Many years ago, having lost a brother and my mom within the space of a few years, I chose to table my faith in a hopeful future.
If fortune could be so cruel ( I don't believe God chooses to inflict suffering on people), then why believe life would offer happiness?
Stoicism was possible.
Hell, stoicism was preferable.
It was all that I could find, groping in the darkness as I did.
Recently, and a bit more wearily, I decided to push the hope of happiness in a romantic relationship to the back of the queue.
Not that I'm sad. Far from it.
A new house, a new career in the offing, and my great kids...there is an open place at my table for gratitude.
But I don't want to allow myself to have my heart broken anymore. No more laying on the train tracks, waiting for some baffled man to run me down with his unresolved issues.
So I must cultivate hope in other arenas.
Not untimely, like the flowers outside my kitchen storm door, pushing their poor heads up a month before they are supposed to blossom.
A faith-based realism?
I don't believe that's an oxymoron, my friends.
I just need to run those scales until I get better at playing.
Those of you who have traveled down those pathways ahead of me can lend a hand.
We need each other.
Our challenges will be different, but we are all tested.
Cultivating contentment is one of the great tasks of daily life in our ADD universe.
Given the choice, I choose to be clear-eyed, rather than deluded. It can be painful -- but it makes for better friendships, and deeper connections.
If this be stoicism, it is a cheerful one. Perhaps even an optimistic one.
Thanks for accompanying me.
mardi, février 14, 2012
In those troglodyte days
Millions of years jammed into one
Clumsily I peeled off scaly armor
Bared my thoughts and reached out one tender hand to you.
One -- but oh so much more than to others who beckoned
Waving their arms as they sank from sight
Yet in the end
For end crept up in famine and fire
I see all my little kindnesses
Tokens of my faith
Were like the evening sun behind the trees
Illuminating for a moment
And then gone
Shaking me off as an albatross
In search of
Twining ivy arms
Adoration unsullied by thought
They lay bets, you know, on whether you will ever
Free to see all that I pushed aside
More than I ever wanted
This twisted blessing
Wondering if I sipped from the same chalice
Would I have woken -- ever?
lundi, février 13, 2012
Thanks to my friend (and colleague and mentor) Tom Heneghan for allowing me a "voice" on this issue. So often, the middle ground and conflicted among us get lost in the storms of outrage!
I don't know about you, but I find that reading that Facebook ticker isn't doing anything for my character.
Since most of my friends are classy folks, the majority of posts seem pretty innocuous, educational, or benign.
Even some of the debates are interesting..
It's when I start to wander into the six degrees of Kevin Bacon territory that I get into trouble.
Vicious arguments break out.
Vapid quotes and pictures pop up like spots of blue mold on cheese (I ain't talking Stilton, honey).
Updaters enforce conformity, and chase away those who dare to differ.
What you say, and the way you choose to say it, is revealing -- perhaps more revealing than you intend.
Where real life and virtual life blur, it's hard to know if the nasty or empty status update is one side of a personality or a window into her or his inner truth.
In some cases, it's pretty obvious, as unfair as such a one-sided standard of judgment can feel, that superficial is the best some FB members can manage.
Sometimes I feel like I'm watching a car wreck happen -- and that one of my friends is trapped inside one of the autos.
As I said, FB, a complex social animal, has a lot of positive angles. I've made new friends, and engaged others at a deeper level.
I'm sure that although I try to avoid spitting contests, I've gotten into some myself. Sometimes the "delete" key is my friend.
But when I see someone else expose themselves, I can't help wishing I had the discipline not to look.