Thursday, March 19, 2009

What is love?

Is it the willingness to give up your creature comforts so another may live?
Is it the smile on my face every time you call or write?
Is it chemical? With the shortened breath and anxious stomach of the fairy tales?
Is it sacrificing your time and skills for another without a second thought?
Is it giving what knowledge and wisdom you have freely, so no one may ever be called ignorant?
Is it the thing that inspires music and art and dance?
Or the motivation to make yourself a better person simply because you want to be better for their sake?
Or never giving up hope, even when the bills stack up, you haven't slept in a week, and the kids are crying...keeping hope that together, you can get through everything?

What do you think it is?

-- Rolling with the iPhone

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

When balance beats you up

So today was this amazing day. Bob Marley and R Kelley in chapel, students passionately talking about changing their island and needing better role models, and some powerful spoken prayer time made for a literally spine tingling worship service.
But aferwards, I relearned a lesson about how God is one of balance. Balance has been a theme in my personal spiritual formation, knowing that for every action there is equal, opposite reaction. Karma is not an eastern philosophy to me, but a very prominent and sometimes ironic part of the Gospel message. But today it tried to grind me up.
I realized that I was getting in the way of the Spirit at chapel services...talking too much, worrying about the music and activities to the point that i was losing energy about the whole thing. Today, however, as I sat in the office this morning, I put my head down and gave up.
"you know, father, I'm doing this the wrong way."
"I know you are...but you do it so beautifully well!"
"thanks, but the thing today is that I don't even want you to tell me what to do. I want to get out of the way and let you do your cosmic thing. I'm at your complete disposal."
"well then meson, let's rock and roll"

And we did! It was amazing, miraculous in many ways. And completely grace-full that we were talking about redemption and being born again...huh.

But then came the "after conversation."
The only wrinkle-free shirt I had was a Steelers polo. (stop laughing friends, I CAN use an iron, I just...don't?) I was talking with a group of students outside and the conversation quickly turned into Steeler bashing. It was fun at first, me defending the blue collar boys, but I realized that i was really getting beat down by this conversation! I ended up just walking away, wondering why these young men and women were cranking on me and I was so up-ended over the thing.

Later two things dawned on me:
1. Dark and evil things don't like it when you give yourself up like we all did in church today, and will strike out when you least expect it.
2. It wasn't about the football team to me, it was about home. They were ripping on a symbol of my home, and I was clueless to prepare for it. (see number one?)

So, note to self:
When you let God in completely, things WILL go right, just not according to YOUR plan. But when you to that, don't hate the world when you suddenly find yourself backed into a corner and fighting for air. Because the closer we get to the light, the deeper our shadow becomes...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Born again?

I just finished sleeping for three days. I was THAT sick.
I wish I were exaggerating, and most of you who know me will probably think, "ha! that man ALWAYS exaggerates!"
Three days. No joke here...
I know i spent most of my waking hours doing one of two things:
1. Trying to eat
2. Talking to my newest friend on the phone

So i'm just putting it all together...three days of rest, new relationships, and our steady and constant push toward Easter. How does it preach?

This week at the Cathedral, we'll be talking about being born again, about how it is a steady process, about how it is NOT a once in a lifetime thing. And we'll be talking about how to redesign ourselves each and every day.

It is simply amazing what you'll see about yourself once you get some perspective and take a step back. I found out how i'm hiding and running away from myself in order to maintain a defensive reality here in the islands. Maybe you'll find a way to be take three days of rest or retreat to gain some perspective, and figure out how best to come back into the mix and renew your walk towards Easter's empty cross.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

EDVI meeting series

I don't spend as much time in meetings here as i did in southern ohio...i'm usually on the street or running the meeting, so for those of you who are used to the regular update of doodles from my time "in session," here's something to satisfy the old standards.

Monday, March 9, 2009

See this? THIS is my smile!

there are times in your life when you know without a doubt that that the magnificence and might of God himself has just manifested in front of you, smacked you a couple times across the cheek, blew a raspberry, and left you panting for breath and reaching deeper within yourself to attain new heights. At diocesan convention, those moments were:
1. watching the clergy of this diocese truly become a team
2. seeing one man kneel before another to seek closure and reconciliation
3. being present while bishop gumbs took this diocese to a new height and a new way of living together
4. running my first "international" youth event!
5. forming the youth of DYE 2009 into a group that counted each other as friends
6. morning worship that challenged the status quo and let young men and women move to a solid beat in church.
7. getting through it all...and only being tired. not burnt, frustrated, or negative!

Now we get to start rebuilding. more on that later, but for now, it's rest, regrouping, organizing, and taking a deep breath to be ready for the next steps...