Skip to main content

new role

What character are you in the parable of the prodigal son (read it in Luke 15)? I have never really been the "bad boy" who runs away squandering an inheritance and breaking the old man's heart. I will admit that I have been known to whine and complain about always being the faithful and dependable one and never getting a party, but I'm getting over that. However, these past few weeks I have been thinking about the story in a different way. God has been asking me if I would like to play the role of the father.

This means that as a friend and as a spiritual leader, I have to let people walk away if they want to. This means that I have to be willing to give my riches (the things I have worked hard to build in my life) to certain people even though I know they will probably not value them. This means that I spend a lot of time waiting for people to realise they are making bad decisions without pointing it out to them. This means that I don't go chasing people down to make sure they are okay. This means that I do not take responsibility for the spiritual well-being of my friends and family. This means that I let people grow up and make their own mistakes. This means that I really have much less control than I would like to over those that I care about. In fact, I have none. This means that my job description is now boiled down to one thing: love without condition or judgment.

But it also means that when people make decisions, they own those decisions. It means that when people come back to a relationship, they really want to be there. It means that my most persuasive and often silent plea to others is a life spent on loving God. The Father is not asking me to do anything that he hasn't already done.

Here is me looking out my window at our house in St. Lazare a few years ago.

Comments

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…

lessons from a theological memoir and a television series about lawyers

It's a hot Wednesday afternoon, so let's talk about false binaries. Basically, a false binary or false dichotomy happens when a person's options are artificially limited to two choices, thereby excluding all other possibilities. Insisting on the limited choice of either A or B leaves no room for middle ground or another, more creative solution. In other words, a false binary assumes the rest of the alphabet (after A and B) does not exist.

Binary thinking is quite prevalent in our society. Either you are for me or against me. Either you are guilty or innocent. Either you are a Democrat or a Republican, conservative or liberal. Either you are a Christian or a pagan. Either you are all in or all out. Admittedly, it is convenient to see things as either black or white, but we live in a multi-coloured world and not everything fits neatly into two categories. This is why insisting there are only two choices when, in fact, other options exist, is labeled as a fallacy in logic an…