Date Archives September 2021

In Pursuit of Aliveness

What is the future of spirituality?   I’ve thought a great deal about this question over many years. I’ve watched institutional religion decline over my 20 years of being a pastor. I’ve interviewed hundreds of people about their relationship to those institutions and how they have shifted. Ultimately, here is what I can say with conviction about the future of spirituality: It will be in service to the pursuit of aliveness. Scholar and teacher Joseph Campbell reflected in The Power of Myth, “People say that what we’re all seeking is… Read More

Say What You Mean

Have you ever wondered why we created the world we have and if there is a better way to develop social structures that serve the common good? I’m discovering that part of the challenge is our language. We speak – and therefore think – in binaries: immigrant or citizen, black or white, good or bad, rich or poor, male or female. When we think in this way, we create an artificial sense that we must choose to be one or the other. Ultimately, we must value one over the other…. Read More

The Lost Art of “Visiting”

This past week I traveled to Florida to spend time with my aunt and uncle at their lovely beach home in Carillon Beach. I haven’t seen them much in the past two years because of COVID, so being together was a particular treat.  For four days, we practiced the lost art of “visiting.” We would get up in the morning, fix coffee, and sit on their back porch in comfortable chairs with magazines in our lap (a book in mine). We would talk for a little while, sit in silence… Read More

Everything Falls Away

Everything Falls Away There’s a thread you follow. It goes amongthings that change. But it doesn’t change. – William Stafford Sooner or later, everything falls away.You, the work you’ve done, your successes,large and small, your failures, too. Thosemoments when you were light, along-side the times you became one with thenight. The friends, the people you lovedwho loved you, those who might havewished you ill, none of this is forever. Allof it is soon to go, or going, or long gone.  Everything falls away, except the threadyou’ve followed, unknowing, all along.The… Read More

Lessons from a Peace-Maker

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1 Our world is roiling with movements of people longing to be seen, heard, and treated with respect. Every one of us holds this as our deepest need after the need for food and shelter. Our desire to belong to one another in peaceful community is embedded deeply within the soul of each of us as a Sacred being. As scriptures teach us, we are each other’s keepers. The challenge is that in so… Read More

Unreliable Winds

In general aviation, when a pilot is approaching an airport to land, we are required to listen to a field-specific frequency to get the weather report (ATIS). It will often sound something like this: Rockford Tower information X-Ray, 0754 zulu.Wind zero-eight-zero at eightVisibility one-zero, light rainCeiling 2500 broken, 4500 overcastTemperature four, dew point oneAltimeter three-zero-zero-threeILS runway one and ILS runway seven approaches are in useClearance Delivery is 119.25Ground control is combined with tower on 118.1Advise on initial contact you have information X-Ray All of the information in an ATIS report… Read More

The Old Woman in the Cave

Continuing on our theme of “dark night experiences,” I discovered a story called “The Old Woman in the Cave” told by mythic storyteller Michael Meade in his book Why The World Doesn’t End.   The old people of the tribes would tell of a special cave where knowledge of the wonders and workings of the world could be found. “Not too far to go,” they say, yet no one seems to find it anymore.  Inside the cave, there lives an old woman who remains unaffected by the rush of time and the… Read More

Our Collective Dark Night

It seems like we’ve lived five years in the last seven days. Between the trauma and heartbreak we are witnessing in Afghanistan and the fear and foreboding we have lived through with hurricanes, droughts, fires, and floods, we are staring starkly into the face of the world from our nightmares. Lately, I’ve been reading and meditating on “dark night of the soul” experiences. Today, when most of us use that phrase, we casually refer to a challenging moment or a season of sadness. The term “dark night of the soul”… Read More