Over the last few years I’ve been involved in a lot of discussions about spiritual formation and how it happens in an educational environment. It’s a fascinating conversation, and in the process I’ve had the opportunity to look at what a number of other churches and institutions do in that area. One thing that I’ve noticed is that much of what is being practiced (solitude, silence, Scripture meditation, journaling, prayer practices, etc.)—all good things, mind you—seem to be best suited for people who are introverts (see this helpful article for more insights). Now, I understand that reflective practices are, by nature, quiet and personal. They are ways that we center our consciousness toward God in order to be present to […]
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Entries by holytrinity
Since this Easter season began, I’ve been struck in a new way with a particular mystery of the Resurrection: the beauty of a new kind of life that God brings about through death. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about the very genuine kind of death involved in surrendering our own will—our own personal “chooser”—to God. Though there is a sort of death involved in such surrender, there is also—and just as genuinely—a new kind of life birthed in the process. How amazingly beautiful and paradoxical! There is a mysterious kind of goodness unlocked when we—without seeing the details we’d (really!) like to see—intentionally take God’s path, rather than our own. While we tend to settle for safe, we find such surrender […]
At the beginning of one of his sermons, the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard asks, what is the one thing we ought to wish for the people we love—a friend or spouse, a sibling or child? I’m sure many things come to mind. We would want for them success in their work or calling—although we know that our careers and endeavors go through ups and downs, cycles of struggle and prosperity. We would wish for them comfort and loyalty from a community, small group of friends, or late—although we know that inevitably there will be times of pain and disappointment at the hands of those who like ourselves, unsteady in love and loyalty. We would certainly want health for them, but we […]
After years of living through days, I’ve observed that afternoons are hard for me. I prefer mornings; they hold more promise. In the a.m., I am energized by a new start, the vision of achievement, or maybe I am simply lifted by the vaguely purposeful parade of people heading out to work or to school or to their tasks and errands. But in the afternoon, everything seems to slow to a crawl. What I set out to do in the morning has taken more time than expected. I’ve hit a few obstacles and must again confront my limits. The vision I began with has grown hazy or distant. Nothing is quite as meaningful as it was a few hours earlier. […]