Sunday, August 29, 2010
Our present political culture is confusing and frustrating me. I don't like it. I don't understand all of the anger. I know that anger may arise from wanting something and not being able to get it. In our culture most of us have more than we need and that may be the issue. We have become a greedy people--wanting more than we need. I don't understand people who have plenty but don't want to share in order that others may have what they need. For example, I have wonderful health insurance. Therefore, why wouldn't I, especially as a Christian, be willing to share through taxes so that others could have health insurance. Good health care for everyone is a moral issue for me. It seems like some are saying that they want God to care for the poor and needy among us. Only they just don't want them to be cared for with their tax dollars or in their neighborhood. I also know that anger causes us to loose our perspective. Angry people idolize their supporters and demonize those who disagree with them. None of our leaders or potential leaders are perfect and none of them are evil. All of them have some wonderful ideas as well as some terrible ideas. They are human beings trying to do their best as they understand their task. Our best decisions come from honest and respectful dialogue. We've more than enough arrogance and arguing. We need some humility. I wish we could disagree without being so angry and disagreeable. I pray that God would help us stop thinking of those whose ideas are not just like mine as an enemy.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
I've been reading a wonderful book on prayer. Bro. Frederick, a monk at the Abbey of Gethsemani, put me on to Michael Casey. His book, Toward God, is full of wisdom about prayer. From reading Father Casey's book (he is a monk in the Tarrawarra monastery in Australia), I get the sense that he has been praying for many years and not just talking about it. He writes about the struggles that I have. We usually desire some kind of benchmark or standard so we can tell we are progressing in the spiritual life. Monk Casey writes, "We wobble along the journey, stumble off the path, find ourselves attracted in other directions, stand still, even regress. This is almost a universal experience. What is significant is the strength of the reflex that keeps us bouncing back. There is something we keep returning to: a vision, a dream, a hope. Something gives us the courage to get up after each fall and resume the journey. This is concrete evidence of the Spirit's work, far more potent than any spiritual euphoria." (page 122-123) This guy is one who really prays and not one who just talks about praying. He describes my spiritual and prayer journey. He's been where I've been repeatedly.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
During the summer, I'm a baseball fan. Granted I'm not as intense a fan as I am with college football or basketball, especially the OU football "Sooners." Nevertheless, baseball is a great summer pastime. I enjoy sitting on the front porch swing with a radio and listening to the Cincinnati Reds. Yes, I like the Cincinnati Reds, especially the coach, Dusty Baker. The Reds just finished playing a three game series with the St. Louis, Cardinals. The games were even played in Cincinnati. It was a series for the lead in the National League central division. The Reds entered the series in first place. Then, oops! They lost all three games. The series was even punctuated by a bench-clearing shoving episode. Whatever happened, the Reds lost all three games and are now chasing the Cardinals for the lead position. Sometimes things, friends, team members, family, etc. just don't work as expected. Hal Mumme coached the UK football team several years ago and he was reported to say after a messed up play, "Just play the next play." That's pretty good advise. Just go on and do what's next. When I spend a lot of time and energy wishing things had not happened or wishing they were different, I end up wasting a lot of time and energy. So, Cincinnati Reds, let's go on and play the next game. Could it be that Jesus meant something like this when he said to dust off the dirt of a city that wouldn't listen?