Skip to main content

2 kind of related things: feasts and counting

1. Tomorrow we leave on vacation for a week. As I write this, the last of the laundry is drying, clothes are laid out on the bed (as are the cats), the air mattress has been patched and packed, the list of supplies is ready and waiting for me to go shopping, and directions and reservations have been made and confirmed and communicated. Oh, and 8 other people are joining us on this road trip to the East Coast to participate in the National Gathering of the Vineyard church.

There are times to rest and enjoy solitude, there are times to rejuvenate ties with ones spouse/family, and there are times to celebrate and refresh your spirit and soul with feasting and partying and communing within the context of a large group of people who are similar in their love for God but very different in their expression of it. You read a lot about these types of feasts in the Old Testament and personally, I think we could use more of them in our community of faith. We tend to be too preoccupied with getting things done in our Western society and the pattern God originally laid out for his people was to stop often in the day and the week and the calendar year to celebrate and remember his goodness and faithfulness - alone and together with others.

2. Two days ago a friend of mine asked me, "How often does God speak to you in a day?" I had never been asked this question before and somewhat at a loss, I was not quick with an answer. She continued, "Between 2 and 10 times, on average, would you say?" Arghh...I really had no idea. I finally came back with, "As often as I stop and listen, yeah between 2 and 10 sounds right." I don't feel it was an adequate response.

First of all, it seemed strange to be trying to quantify communication with someone, especially the creator of the universe, but I understood where she was coming from; she just wanted to know what this communion with God looked like in someone else's life. If you asked me how often I talked to one of my friends, I could answer that quite easily, because one can count phone calls, emails, and msn conversations. But if you ask me how often I talk to Dean in one day...well, how do you define that when you live together? Your lives are intricately intertwined and there is no definite stopping and starting to your communication and togetherness. Some days are more silent than others, but that does not mean your thoughts are not on them or you are not actively seeking to make their life better or encourage them in some way or just let them know you like them. I hope that my communion with God is much like that - we live together so he is always present and affecting my world, whether it is an 'out loud' moment or not, whether it is visible or invisible.

Secondly, I do believe that it is my responsibility to take the time to listen, to do my share of communicating, to sit down and initiate the conversation, and to be available. Some more pertinent questions might be...How often do I talk to God? How often do I listen for him? And how often do I wait for his response instead of moving ahead with my plans?

Pray without ceasing.

Comments

Dan Wilt said…
So glad you came to Mahone Bay, SkySeeker!

d.

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…