Saturday, May 5, 2012

what a dose of reality does to good news

Carpe Diem
Here’s a question: How does all my enthusiastic talk about this ongoing life-charged life initiative hold up in the face of the apparent contrary realities we all constantly run up against? I’m talking about:
I guess these thoughts are more “in my face” now because I’m recovering – kind of – from a very bad case of the flu, and the fact of imperfection and dis-ease is omnipresent.
- creeping middle age; the nagging loss of acuity in hearing and sight; this general erosion of physical strength; the less than subtle gravitational shift which makes us look twice sometimes when we catch a glimpse of ourselves in the mirror; the stunning and repeated fact of lost friends and loved ones; the tragic mess our generation is making when it comes to governing the affairs of this world….
CONTRADICTION? And so, in a nutshell, I am challenged to resolves two seemingly incompatible truths:
  1. I ache; I hurt; I feel weak; I am compromised. And I know that the end of the flu (in another few days) will not nearly resolve all of these issues!
  2. At the same time, this weekend I’m completing one of the final edits on my new book, 10 Life-Charged Words. One key section reads like this: ”Our opportunity and our responsibility as followers of Jesus is to live in such a way that light and life spill out from us from the moment we wake up every morning… telling the truth about the Gospel, simply by the way that we live…”
My new book, coming this summer!
THAT’s THE EXACT POINT: Fact is, I can write posts all day from the point of view of the easy life and never make a significant impact in this broken world. So what if I feel all Holy-ish and Jesus-esque and Gospeled-up on a warm Spring evening when everything is right in my world? So what if I tell you about the peace and the loveand the blessing when all is right at Maul Hall and my darling grandson is cooing at his grandaddy on SKYPE even as I write?
  • This life-charged experience I’m documenting has more to say about understanding the transcendent truth about life even as someone we love dearly passes into eternity.
  • It’s about believing that “The Joy of the Lord is my strength” when the flu has me curled in a ball on the bathroom floor because it’s too far back to the bed.
  • It’s about looking in the mirror and smiling (instead of shaking my head) – because who I am is, in fact, increasingly beautiful in response to my growth in serenity, and grace, and maturity.
  • It’s about taking these gifts of grace and being the change I want to see in this tragically fractured world.
This life-charged experience has everything to do with taking the damaged, compromised, flawed and imperfect mess that wakes up around 6:30 every morning, and then:
  • living at and beyond capacity,
  • loving with passion,
  • seeing with clarity and imagination,
  • making a difference with excellence,
  • and serving one-another in the context of an authentic spiritual community that affirms that we are children of the living God…..
So, to answer my original question, this talk about the life-charged life hold ups up better than well in the face of difficulty and challenge. In fact, that’s where the life-charged life comes into its own - DEREK
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.  In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

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