Monday, January 14, 2013
Notice that all the great stories pretty much follow the same story line. Things were once good, then something awful happened, and now a great battle must be fought or a journey taken. At just the right moment (which feels like the last possible moment), a hero comes and sets things right, and life is found again. It's true of every fairy tale, every myth, every Western, every epic-just about every story you can think of, one way or another. Braveheart, Titanic, the Star Wars series, Gladiator, The Lord of the Rings trilogy. They pretty much all follow the same story line. Have you ever wondered why? Every story, great and small, shares the same essential structure because every story we tell borrows its power from a Larger Story, a Story woven into the fabric of our being-what pioneer psychologist Carl Jung tried to explain as archetype, or what his more recent popularizer Joseph Campbell called myth. All of these stories borrow from the Story. From Reality. We hear echoes of it through our lives. Some secret written on our hearts. A great battle to fight, and someone to fight for us. An adventure, something that requires everything we have, something to be shared with those we love and need. There is a Story that we just can't seem to escape. There is a Story written on the human heart.
Saturday, January 12, 2013
In the end, it doesn't matter how well we have performed or what we have accomplished-a life without heart is not worth living. For out of this wellspring of our soul flow all true caring and all meaningful work, all real worship and all sacrifice. Our faith, hope, and love issue from this fount, as well. Because it is in our heart that we first hear the voice of God and it is in the heart that we come to know him and learn to live in his love. So you can see that to lose heart is to lose everything. And a "loss of heart" best describes most men and women in our day. It isn't just the addictions and affairs and depression and heartaches, though, God knows, there are enough of these to cause even the best of us to lose heart. But there is the busyness, the drivenness, the fact that most of us are living merely to survive. Beneath it we feel restless, weary, and vulnerable. Indeed, the many forces driving modern life have not only assaulted the life of our heart, they have also dismantled the heart's habitat-that geography of mystery and transcendence we knew so well as children. All of us have had that experience at one time or another, whether it be as we walked away from our teachers, our parents, a church service, or sexual intimacy; the sense that something important, perhaps the only thing important, had been explained away or tarnished and lost to us forever. Sometimes little by little, sometimes in large chunks, life has appropriated the terrain meant to sustain and nourish the wilder life of the heart, forcing it to retreat as an endangered species into smaller, more secluded, and often darker geographies for its survival. As this has happened, something has been lost, something vital.
Friday, January 11, 2013
What exactly are you perfectly clear on these days? How about your life-why have things gone the way they have? Where was God in all that? And do you know what you ought to do next, with a deep, settled confidence that it will work out? Neither do I. Oh, I'd love to wake each morning knowing exactly who I am and where God is taking me. Zeroed in on all my relationships, undaunted in my calling. It's awesome when I do see. But for most of us, life seems more like driving along with a dirty windshield and then turning into the sun. I can sort of make out the shapes ahead, and I think the light is green. Wouldn't a little bit of clarity go a long way right now? Let's start with why life is so dang hard. You try to lose a little weight, but it never seems to happen. You think of making a shift in your career, maybe even serving God, but you never actually get to it. Perhaps a few of you do make the jump, but it rarely pans out the way you thought. You try to recover something in your marriage, and your spouse looks at you with a glance that says, "Nice try," or "Isn't it a little late for that?" and the thing actually blows up into an argument in front of the kids. Yes, we have our faith. But even there-maybe especially there-it all seems to fall rather short of the promise. There's talk of freedom and abundant life, of peace like a river and joy unspeakable, but we see precious little of it, to be honest.
With the new year we are going to be focusing on expanding the kingdom and spreading the good news. We have a sister site: www.foryourdailybread.com and we will be soon launching a Nationwide Church Directory. God has blessed us in 2012 and we look forward to all that he has planned for us in 2013 and look forward to our journey together. The Wildmen of Sarasota meet every Tuesday Night at Woodlands the community church at 6:30 and hope you can join us for Dinner and fellowship. If you are looking for a place to meet other believers and spend some quality time growing and walking with Jesus this is a place to be. Like las vegas what is said at Wildmen stays at Wildmen. For me personally this is a place where I can go and be with other believers and share what is going on in my life and get advice from people I can trust. Hope to see you there.