In the absence of me having anything original to say for myself, here are a couple of excellent quotes:
What we in the church must be about, I am convinced, is a return to religion of passion—a way of being in which anything less than spilling over with the Spirit of God is not enough; spilling over with desire to know and do the will of God in our daily work and play. (Source: Carter Heyward- Our Passion for Justice)
Sadly in today’s world being passionate about religious faith is regarded with deep suspicion, as if it was somehow akin to extremism.
But passion is so important; it is much more than just deep emotion. Passion is practical. It is about attitude. It is about the outpouring (or over spilling) of our experience of God into every part of our living, making everything is vital and vibrant.
With passion the ordinary becomes extraordinary – this is the journey of discipleship.
Happiness consists in finding out precisely what the ‘one thing necessary’ may be, in our lives, and in gladly relinquishing all the rest. For then, by a divine paradox, we find that everything else is given us together with the one thing we needed. (Source: Thomas Merton- No Man is an Island)
This passion for God (our discipleship) is ‘the one thing necessary’ … everything else pales into insignificance before the desire to know him and to serve him… and in the reality of journeying with him.
Photo: ‘dance in the flame of life’ by Mike Lockie on Flickr.
Scunnered. (Noun: Scunneration)
This is one of my favourite words ever. It’s one of those brilliant Scottish words whose meaning is almost onomatopoeic – just saying it, with the right inflection (and the precise balance of vehemence and resignation) communicates its meaning:
sick of it
I’m outa here
Scunnered is a sort of blending of all these emotions into one ‘catch all’ word… we Scots are good at that!!
Being scunnered… it just isnae funny!!!
in the space between
the hurt and the healing
the question and the answer
the disease and the cure
we search for a kind of calm to get us through
a kind of happiness that defies logic
a kind of peace that cancels out despair
a kind of joy that overrides circumstances
a kind of courage that commands attention
and demands a shift in focus
all this waits
in the space between
hope is not mere sentiment
or wishful thinking
but a treasure map to follow
all the way through the darkest night…
This is part of a poem posted by Jen Lemen (the picture is by Jen too).
I like this idea of hope filling the “space in between” life’s transitions, especially if that hope is grounded in the God of surprises and possibilities (Isaiah 43:19)… the God who in Christ makes all things new (2 Corinthians 5:17)… the God whose light shines on even in the darkest night (John 1:5).
I came across this meditation from Henri Nouwen recently.. and I post it here for myself and for everyone else in need of hope.
“Hope means to keep living
and to keep humming
in the darkness.
Hope is knowing that there is love,
it is trust in tomorrow.
It is falling asleep
and waking up again
when the sun rises.
In the midst of a gale at sea,
it is to discover land.
In the eyes of another,
it is to see that you are understood.
There will also be prayer . . .
And you will be held
in God’s hands.”
Picture: ‘waking the forest’ by Mike Lockie on Flickr
Be ye our angel unawares
If after Kirk ye bide a wee,
There’s some would like to speak to ye,
If after Kirk ye rise and flee
We’ all seem cauld and still to ye.
The one that’s in the seat with ye
Is stranger here than ye, maybe.
All here have got their fears and cares,
Add ye your soul unto our prayers,
Be ye our angel unawares.
(Scottish Blessing from this site)
Perhaps this Sunday you will be “our angel unawares” for someone who needs a kind word or the hand of friendship.