Skip to main content


I have a confession to make...I hate being told what to do. I like to think that if everything and everyone in my world would just order themselves according to my wishes, things would work out alright. But welcome to an earth filled with billions of beings each with free will, and each probably thinking very much the same thing! A sure recipe for trouble! Perhaps that is why traffic can be so frustrating...all those other people are just not lining up with your idea of how things should go!!! So irritating. You know, I have come up with some ideas that have been rather good and enjoyed implementing them, but when I think about it, the most meaningful and effectual events or changes in my life have come as somewhat of a surprise to me - something was initiated by someone else and I got to participate and benefit.

Here's confession number two...I love to be loved. Well, who wouldn't, but very few of us come right out and say it. I crave attention, affection, acceptance and any other "a" word you can think of (like perhaps adulation and appreciation, but definitely not alienation). The times I know and feel love are a euphoria unlike any other. But wouldn't you know it, I am discovering that an even greater sense of well-being, in fact a deeper and more driving passion, overtakes me when I choose to give lavishly from my seemingly meagre storehouse of love. The contentment that stems from knowing I did not withhold any good thing from someone is far superior to that of knowing I grasped at affection and obtained it in some measure. I don't know why, but its true.

Confession number three...I struggle with fear and inadequacy. Too often I find myself hesitating instead of leaping, frozen instead of active, remaining passive instead of initiating, choosing to let the "impossibles" loom larger than life in my line of sight. But you know, fear has never accomplished anything is this is not a driving force. Wait, let me rephrase that, I am learning how to harness it and made it work for me. For now I fear that if I don't do it now, I never will. I fear that if I don't take that risk, I will never find out if it might have amounted to anything. I fear that if I don't reach out and befriend that person, I might miss the best friendship I ever knew. I fear that if I keep thinking about all my fears, I will find myself at the end of my life...a shriveled soul not having moved from one spot. I fear missing the boat, losing that chance, not letting people know how I really feel about them until it is too late, and most of all, I fear standing before God and seeing the incredible things he had in mind when he created me and being overwhelmed with disappointment at how few of them I was brave enough to try.

So we get to choose...
1. Maintaining control (at best, it ends up being a feeble attempt to grasp that slippery steering wheel) or relinquishing the outcome to someone who is wiser, more benevolent, and infinitely more creative than we are.
2. Grasping for every bit of love that comes our way or choosing the sacrifice of lavishing it on someone else.
3. Fearing the things that can damage us or cost us something, or choosing to fear that unless we start to buy into this game, we will never get off the starting block. You have to pay to play. Are you in?


Popular posts from this blog

what binds us together?

For the past few weeks, I have been reading a book by famed psychiatrist M. Scott Peck which chronicles his travels (together with his wife) through remote parts of the UK in search of prehistoric stones. The book is part travel journal, part spiritual musings, part psychology, and part personal anecdotes. A mixed bag, to be sure, and not always a winning combination. At one point, I considered putting the book aside, not finishing it, but then Peck started writing about community. He is no stranger to the concept. He has led hundreds of community-building workshops over the years, helped start a non-profit organisation dedicated to fostering community, and written a compelling book about the topic, one which greatly impacted me when I read it oh so long ago.[1]

In preparation for a course I am teaching next year, I have been doing quite a bit of study on unity and community. Once you start thinking about it, you see and hear evidence of it everywhere. (See my blog on the impact of b…

job hunting

I am on the hunt for a job. PhD in hand, I am a theologian for hire. The thing is, not a lot of places are hiring theologians these days, and if they are, they are usually looking for scholars with skills and experience outside my area of expertise. Today I found job opportunities for those knowledgeable in Religion, Race, and Colonialism, Philosophy and History of Religion, Islam and Society, Languages of Late Antiquity, Religion, Ethics, and Politics, and an ad for a Molecular Genetic Pathologist. Not one posting for a Dramatic Theologian with  a side order of Spirituality and a dash of Methodology.

I know, I know. My expectations are a bit unrealistic if I believe I will find an exact match for my particular skills. I know that job descriptions are wish lists to some extent, so no candidate is ever a perfect match. I also realize that one must adapt one's skill set according to the requirements of the job and be flexible. But there are so few jobs which come within ten or even…

building the church

Imagine two scenarios: 1) Give every person in the room a popsicle stick. Ask them to come together and put their sticks onto a table. Invariably, you end up with a random pile of sticks on a table. 2) Give every person in the room a popsicle stick. Show a picture of a popsicle stick bird feeder and ask people to come together and put their sticks on a table according to the picture. You will end up with the beginnings of a bird feeder on a table.

What is the difference between the two scenarios? In both, each person brought what they had and contributed it to the collective. However, in the first scenario, there were no guidelines, no plan, and no right or wrong way to pile the sticks. People came, placed their sticks on the table, and walked away. In the second scenario, people were given a plan to follow and as a result, something specific was built. Instead of walking away after they made their contribution, people huddled around the table to watch what was being built. Some were…