Skip to main content


It is an unsettling day today. The weather has been windy, rainy, sleety and much colder than normal. I am unsettled as well. An important meeting that was supposed to happen this afternoon was cancelled. I am in limbo about how things will unfold in the next few months as I finish my degree. I just received a second offer of admission for doctoral studies, which probably won't change my direction, but it adds another factor to the mix. We are in the process of moving my work space to the guest bedroom (which doesn't have a lot of traffic these days). Also, any vacation plans we have tried to make in the last month have all fallen apart due to scheduling conflicts or unique opportunities that keep popping up.

Unsettled. The path is not clear ahead. I cannot step forward decisively. I must wait until the things that are in flux touch down. Flux. That's an interesting word. It means 'flow' or 'moving across' and has a dynamic quality to it, like a river which is always in motion. Despite feeling a bit like I am going 'round and 'round in a washing machine today (as my clothes have been all afternoon), being unsettled is good for me. If I go with the flow of life as God allows it to unfold (as I prayed this morning), I find myself listening more closely. I often see things I had not noticed before. I remember to hold things lightly, and make time for contemplation and rest.

If I fight against the current of the flux of life, I tire quickly, because despite my best efforts, I don't get anywhere. I cannot make the skies clear and the clouds stop hurrying across the landscape. I cannot force a meeting when numerous other people are involved. I cannot control the speed at which institutional administration decisions are made. I cannot transport furniture from one room to the next and conjure up new furniture out of thin air (though I would love to be able to do that today). I cannot inject extra days into a calendar. All these things are feeble attempts to fight against flux.

Aside from being a term used in physics to denote magnetic and electric flow, flux is also a word that refers to the turnover of molecules in the body. Like what is happening right now as a cut on my finger heals. Flux is the movement of life. It is necessary not only for healing, but for growth and progress. It keeps me buoyant and moves me along from one place to the next. If I embrace it, there will be no painful wrenching or uprooting.

I read something today that reminded me of this type of fluidity in the context of living by the spirit: Let prayer become life and life become prayer.

This is a photo of the rope that holds the drumhead taut on Dean's djembe - an example of well-placed tension that allows small movements to become become beautiful sound.


Popular posts from this blog

the songs we sing

NOTE: I am going to make some pretty strong statements below, but understand that it is my way of taking an honest, hard look at my own worship experience and practice. My desire is not to be overly critical, but to open up dialogue by questioning things I have assumed were totally fine and appropriate. In other words, I am preaching to myself. Feel free to listen in.


When I am in a church meeting during the singing time, I sometimes find myself silent, unable to get the words past my lips. At times I just need a moment of stillness, time to listen, but other times, the words make me pause because I don't know that I can sing them honestly or with integrity. This is a good thing. We should never mindlessly or heartlessly sing songs just because everyone else is. We should care deeply about what we say in our sung, communal worship.

At their best, songs sung by the gathered body of Christ call to life what is already in us: the hope, the truth, the longing, t…

comedic timing

One of my favourite jokes goes like this:
Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Interrupting cow
Interrupting cow w---

Timing is important in both drama and comedy. A well-paced story draws the audience in and helps it invest in the characters, while a tale too hastily told or too long drawn out will fail to engage anyone. Surprise - something which interrupts the expected - is a creative use of timing and integral to any good story. If someone is reading a novel and everything unfolds in a predictable manner, they will probably wonder why they bothered reading the book. And so it is in life. Having life be predictable all of the time is not as calming as it sounds. We love surprises, especially good surprises like birthday parties, gifts, marriage proposals, and finding something that we thought was lost. Surprises are an important part of humour. A good joke is funny because it goes to a place you didn't expect it to go. Similarly, comedic timing allows something unexpected …

singing lessons

When I was a young child, a visiting preacher came to our country church. He brought his two daughters with him, and before he gave his sermon, they sang beautiful duets about Jesus. They had lovely voices which blended well. The preacher, meaning to impress on us their God-given musical talent, mentioned that the girls had never had any singing lessons. The congregation nodded and ooohhed in appreciation. I was puzzled. I didn't understand how not learning was a point of grace or even pride. After all, people who have natural abilities in sports, math, writing, art, or science find it extremely helpful to study under teachers who can aid them in their development and introduce them to things outside their own experience. Being self-taught (though sometimes the only option available to those with limited resources) is not a cause for pride or celebration. Why? Because that's just not how the communal, relational Creator set things up.

I have been singing since I was a child. …