“Another luxury for an idle imagination is the writer’s own feeling about the work. There is neither a proportional relationship, not an inverse one, between a writer’s estimation of a work in progress and its actual quality. The feeling that the work is magnificent, and the feeling that it is abominable, are both mosquitoes to be repelled, ignored, or killed, but not indulged.” -Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
Monday Morning Rehash
Dillard’s reflection on a writer’s idle indulgences applies equally to pastors and worship leaders. We have a tendency toward an unhealthy obsession with our own performance. For myself, I find that Monday mornings can be the worst for this. Continue reading
It’s been quite a few years since I’ve made any New Year’s resolutions. It’s not that I am opposed to them. It’s just that living within academic and church ministry year cycles, an early or late summer date tends to encourage contemplative assessments and reconfigurations of how I am going to live for the coming year. Continue reading
This post is part 3 of a 3-part reflection on Sabbath. Part 1 can be found here; Part 2 here.
Having grown up in Michigan and Indiana, there are inevitably a few words in my vocabulary that sound funny in my current Canadian context. Admittedly, some of it is the exaggerated nasal “a” that shows up from time to time, or the difficulty I have with saying ‘process’ with a British long-O sound. Even when I say it ‘correctly’ around here, people can still tell its not natural for me. But there is another set of uniquely pronounced words in my vocabulary that simply reflect a misplaced emphasis. The most obvious one is insurance. Most folks, place the emphasis on the second syllable, in-SUR-ance, and enunciate all three syllables. But not me, somewhere along the way I started to place my emphasis on the first syllable, followed by a contracting of the last two syllables as if the word only has two syllables instead of three: IN-sur’nce.
Too often, I’ve come to realize, our Sabbath practices have been like my funny sounding words and misplaced emphases. Even when we manage to adhere to the expected standards, its obvious something is still off.
For the last several weeks, I’ve wanted to write in this space again and I’ve been wondering what my first word would be as I re-engaged this setting. Until the last few days, Sabbath was not even in the top ten list of topics I was considering.
There has been plenty of other stuff churning in the media and in me. Continue reading
“How do you break silence?”
I suppose the words would flow more freely now if I had planned this silence. “Four Months of Silence” has a bit of intrigue to it. But when I last posted here, I did not imagine going 120+ days without posting. In fact, I had planned to write several posts while on vacation in August, reflecting on the missional church through the lens of travelling, being away from home, and experiences of hospitality. I even thought there would be a reflection or two spurred on by extended time in the car, at museums and parks, while playing with our kids. Silence was not in my plans. Continue reading