Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Longest Day

A week or more ago the world experienced the longest day of the year (in the Northern hemisphere - thanks Jon!). Most of the day went along without me even taking notice that the Summer Solstice was being spent, the hours being burnt away while I was happily oblivious to the fact. It was a great day, with a delicate balance of rest, play time with the family, a bit of ‘daddy’ time on his laptop, a walk in our local forest with our dog and dinner outside on our patio. As the day wound down and I headed to bed, it finally occurred to me that June 21st was the longest day of the year and I felt it had been spent well.

That feeling of heading to bed well rested, well played (out), well fed and all with a happy heart is not my usual experience. Most days I find myself pressing the pedal to the floor in an effort to squeeze every available minute out of the day and use it well (productively). I usually struggle to just chill and intentionally be non-productive even when I don’t have to be. As I sit here in my living room on a Friday night near the end of June, I must admit that there are other things I would rather be doing than writing an article, but I feel the need to be responsible and fulfill a commitment I’ve made to myself and Risen to write. Not to say that I don’t enjoy it - it just takes discipline!

As I lay there in bed after the longest day of the year had passed, I realized that most of my days do not end in this way. I often hit the bed somewhat reluctantly, wishing I had more time in the day and more energy to be about all the creative ventures I have in my heart and head. This is not a good way to live life. There is a reason God has given us a certain number of hours and a specific amount of energy to expend each day. We are finite and have limitations (in spite of my regular attempts to prove this incorrect), but God has offered some of His infinite resources to us - not to diminish our human boundaries, but to complement them. If we believe in a God who is good through and through (even in the midst of life’s most trying experiences), then we must conclude that He not only keeps us from being tempted beyond what we can handle, He also gives us just what we need to be about all He asks of us for each day. Hmmmm, I smell Truth nearby . . .

So, if in creating the world, God built in a framework or limits for how I can exist in health and happiness with my fellow human beings, then it’s I who must change rather than demanding more. Even on the longest day of the year most of us would hit the bed feeling there weren’t enough hours in the day. The truth is - there are. Therefore, it’s up to each one of us to learn how to manage ourselves, the resources at our fingertips and the day we’re given - not to get as much done as we possibly can, but to live well and live free of the tyranny of the urgent. I struggle with this, but I know it is true. This kind of living requires a double dose of discernment and discipline. Discernment helps us to choose wisely that which we commit ourselves to and that to which we say no. It also helps us to prioritize those people and projects we’re committed to. Discipline on the other hand helps us give each investment of ourselves whole-hearted attention and sufficient time. Discipline is what helps us move intention into reality. It’s the mid-wife of our aspirations and dreams.

In the early years of my thirties I began reflecting on my life; how fast it was moving, the people that meant the most to me and the dreams that I had experienced becoming reality along with those I had yet to. I felt that no matter how much more life I was given, I wanted to live it better than the first thirty years. I wanted to become a better steward of all that God had graced me with, including my time, my strength, physical resources, my work, passions, gifts and my relationships. In order for this to happen I entered into a time of intense reflection and honest assessment of my life. I considered what I would need to accomplish my desire to live life more efficiently, more healthily . . to the full. I’d need regular doses of truth (the Scriptures are a mirror for my soul), a supportive wife and great friends to keep me in check. So began an attempt to discover life to the full that Jesus spoke of in John 10:10. I can say without any reservation that it will take the rest of my life to learn how to live it well, but I’m committed to the process and it feels right. The journey takes a turn toward the horizon of possibilities and I believe I’m heading the right direction.

Are you ready for a change?


Posted originally @

Friday, June 26, 2009

'Boom Boom Pow' - Black Eyed Peas style

This song is addictive, a few other songs have catchy tunes but most of the album seems to be choc-full of C-R-A-P. The lyrics are often just fluff and filler with epic moments of self-absorption and the destructive pursuit of pleasure for pleasure's sake. It's sad to see talent begin to implode and no longer be inspirational.

God draw them back . . to You.

Then we'll know 'tonight's gonna be a good, good night!'

A Prayer for Ireland

I was listening to this song from KJ-52 again yesterday morning as I was out for my early morning run and I just felt that this is God's song for Ireland right now in its history. God has moved heavily and used the people of this island for great purposes in the past and so much of it has been lost - only the shadows remain - but God's not finished with this little island on the edge of the world! His invitation remains extended to the Irish and to each one of us, to walk with Him in intimate relationship and dynamic, collaborative friendship in which we become the people He designed us to be and dreams that we can become. So many of us live portions of, or our whole lives ASLEEP and never truly, really experiencing the height, breadth and depth of REAL LIVING God offers each person. It's time to WAKE UP . . .

'Wake Up' lyrics:

How long you gonna sleep
How long you gonna act like you gonna act

Be how you wanna be

So when you gonna see

You need to get the facts but you wanna laugh

At what I'm gonna speak

You steady sinking deep

Plus ya sinking fast why you running back

Man why you wanna leave

So whats it gonna be

You need to get with that but your missed the fact

That what I'm gonna speak

This aint all a dream

You can try to dash but you gonna have

To face your reality

So this is what I seen

One day it's gonna crash then you'll understand

Everything I'm gonna mean

Wake up wake up Wake up wake why are you falling asleep

So what you wanna do
You turn off the lights then you run and hide

And act like you never knew

Man you aint gotta clue
But you think you're right every single time you
Do what you wanna do

So when you gonna choose

When you gonna try to find your peace of mind

It's right there in front of you

It's time to make a move
You can still deny but the time's running out
Very very soon

So what I gotta prove

Why you walking blind when the signs

Is so obviously coming thru

Man this is now for you

You can try to lie and just still deny
But can't change what is true

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Am Second

Here's a very interesting site for various reasons:

1) It's aesthetically pleasing and presented very, very well = tasteful.

2) The people interviewed are extremely honest and authentic as they share their stories.

3) It's more than a public 'showpiece', they've set up a network of small groups with resources to help people find health, freedom and hope through intimate connections with others and God.

[click on the image to visit the site]

Watching The Lord of the Rings in Tehran

This is a brilliant article written by a resident of Tehran, Iran. He has some very keen insights into the struggle now dominating their country's political life and makes some very interesting connections between the film and how it is viewed through the eyes of discontented Iranians. Enjoy and add your voice if you think injustice has been rampant in that country!

Watching The Lord of the Rings in Tehran

On June 23, Iranian security forces, reportedly using live ammunition, clashed with protesters numbering in the hundreds in the area of the country's parliament in Tehran. At the same time, there were indications that a behind-the-scenes struggle was intensifying in the corridors of power even as the government continued its campaign to quiet the populace through propaganda and entertainment. A resident of the capital, who asked for anonymity, sent TIME the following report:

In normal times, Iranian television usually treats its viewers to one or two Hollywood or European movie nights a week. But these are not normal times, so it's been two or three such movies a day. It's part of the push to keep people at home and off the streets, to keep us busy, to get us out of the regime's hair. The message is "Don't worry, be happy." Channel Two is putting on a Lord of the Rings marathon as part of the government's efforts to restore peace.

Lots of people, adults and kids, are watching in the room with me. On the screen, Gandalf the Grey returns to the Fellowship as Gandalf the White. He casts a blinding white light, his face hidden behind a halo. Someone blurts out, "Imam zaman e?!" (Is it the Imam?!) It is a reference, of course, to the white-bearded Ayatullah Khomeini, who is respectfully called Imam Khomeini. But "Imam" is at the same time a title of the Mahdi, a messianic figure that Muslims believe will come to save true believers from powerful evildoers at the time of the apocalypse. Isn't that our predicament?

I wonder which official picked this film, starting to suspect, even hope, that there is a subversive soul manning the controls at seda va sima, central broadcasting. It is way too easy to find political meaning in the film, to draw comparisons to what is happening in real life. There are themes that seem to allude to Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the candidate President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claims to have defeated: the unwanted quest and the risking of life in pursuit of an unanticipated destiny. Could he be Boromir, the imperfect warrior who is heroic at the end, dying to defend humanity? Didn't Mousavi talk about being ready for martyrdom?

And listen: there is the sly reference to Ahmadinejad. Iranian films are dubbed very expertly. So listen to the Farsi word they use for hobbit and dwarf: kootoole, little person. Kootoole, of course, was and is the term used in many of the chants out on the street against the diminutive President. In the eye of the beholder in Tehran, the movie is transformed into an Iranian epic. When Gandalf's white steed strides into the frame, local viewers see Rakhsh, the mythical horse of the Rostam, the great champion of the Shahnameh, the thousand-year-old national epic. "Bah, bah ... Rakhsh! Rakhsham amad!" someone says in awe.

At the moment, the ancient Treebeard bears Pippin through the forest, and the hobbit asks, "And whose side are you on?" Those of us watching already know the answer: Mousavi! Treebeard is decked in green, after all. That's as much as we can see of an opposition viewpoint on TV. The news has a droning sameness, the official message being "politics is a nasty business, but now it's over." At least nothing is really being hidden anymore. Except for that first night, Saturday the 20th of June, the broadcasts have not shied away from the violence. But they've found a way to turn it inside out, make it about the protesters and not what has happened. When they want to make a point, they lay it on, 10 minutes, sometimes close to 15. As a friend says, "This is not news. It's interpretation."

Finish the article

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cigars, Cigars, Cigars

I just walked past this shop / cafe on Grafton Street in Dublin. It's been a long time since I had a cigar and the smell piqued my interest again. I usually only partake of these fine pleasures a couple of times a year on special occasions (seeing an old friend, a wedding, the birth of a child, etc.) and not often enough! I'm hoping to do so this summer when I have some time w/ good friends in the States. Not soon enough!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jeremy Begbie: Theology through the arts

I came across this page today and experienced one of those moments of 'convergence' where various aspects of your person seem to meet and greet each other for a bit, trying to decide whether to be friends. These days I think I'm homing in on my own sense of purpose, getting that bit closer to being about what I was made to be about. Artists-theologian Jeremy Begbie has been helping me to do that. His most recent book, 'Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music' is on my 'To Read' list. I posted about it earlier here.

I have heard his name recommended to me a number of times and have read some reviews of his books. Today I got to hear from him directly through a 13 minute video exploring the inter-relationship of music and theology. It's all resonating in a place very deep within me. The crazy thing is I'm not really musical at all! I've played around with violin and guitar in the past but was never disciplined enough to keep with it.

See how what Jeremy offers here connects with you . . .

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Freebies from Ireland

I've gotten a kick out of giving away free stuff on the blog recently, so I figured why stop now. This could escalate into some fantastic give-a-ways which I am already dreaming about, but until then, let's keep it small and see where this goes. If people (that's you) respond, we'll keep this train movin' and I'll find more creative freebies in the future. For the time being, these freebies are for those who have an interest in Ireland, the Church here and historical 'legends'. While I was at our Church of Ireland General Synod in in May, I picked up some very interesting publications (at least I think so) in St. Patrick's Cathedral (protestant) in Armagh city, N. Ireland. Armagh is called the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland and is supposedly the spot where St. Patrick decided to base his mission to the Irish some 1600 years ago.

The first of three items is the cathedral's own magazine called 'Cathedra'. This is the Spring 2009 issue featuring a piece on the royal visit from Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, another on Brian Boru (Ireland's most famous monarch / high king) and a short piece on the Center for Celtic Spirituality established by the Cathedral two years ago. The second item is a pamphlet on the life of Brian Boru himself, including a time line of his life and important events. The final item (and my favourite) is a small, attractive publication on the person we've come to know as St. Patrick. St. Patrick is arguably the best known extra-biblical (outside of the Bible) saint in the world. This nice booklet is well produced and is quite insightful for how brief it is (I've read a bit on Patrick in the past), including some brilliant photography of sites around Ireland and beyond as it tells Patrick's story. This item is called 'Patrick - More Than A Legend' and is good keepsake for those interested in the saint.

So, there you have it. Nothing grand, but very interesting for a discerning few. To enter this competition you must live outside of Ireland (sorry friends, this island is small enough for you to get copies for yourselves!) . Here's the question that needs answering:

When Patrick escaped from being a slave in Ireland for six years, he left the island for a long time. What experience did he have which led him to return to Ireland to share Christ with the Irish?

The first correct (or closest) answer wins the gear described above. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Free Audiobook: 'The Sacredness of Questioning Everything'

I just came across this free audio book by respected thinker and author David Dark. I've appreciated David's angle on life from some of his previous contributions and so will you, if, like me you appreciate a voice that usually doesn't say what we want to hear . . but what we need to hear. Go here for a brief synopsis and a *limited time* free audio book from David called 'The Sacredness of Questioning Everything'.


The Sacredness of Questioning Everything
“Rehabilitation, Redemption and Ultimately Resurrection”

For a limited time!
Download a Free Audiobook edition of this book!!!

In attempting to reduce a book-length testimony to four or five paragraphs, there’s always the risk of perverting the author’s original intent (if, of course, he/she has something intentional to say). When I say ‘perverting,’ I mean it in the sense that David Dark defines it in THE SACREDNESS OF QUESTIONING EVERYTHING: the object is “reduced to a thing… dispensed with, taken care of, filed away.” “Perversion is pigeonholing,” he says, and I sincerely hope not to do this to Dark’s message, since I’m convinced he actually does have something to tell us.

In SACREDNESS, Dark champions the power — and the spiritual necessity — of the open mind. Asking questions of our convictions, assumptions, perversions, religions, is the only way to let the light and air into them. “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in,” he maintains, using Leonard Cohen’s words. Questioning our God(s), our government, our eschatology, our language or our lusts, opens them to the possibility of rehabilitation, redemption and ultimately resurrection.

His chief target is the concept of God as an angry, vengeful tyrant, an abomination who punishes the slightest doubt or faithlessness with a swift and terrible consequence, a false God he names Uncle Ben, or (via William Blake) “Nobodaddy.” Dark confesses to slipping into this conception of God every so often, and he marshals all his courage and skill to outline the means to counter this concept with truth and grace. This involves crossing carefully drawn boundaries to tip over some of the very sacred cows of the modern evangelical tradition. Particularly challenging are Dark’s explorations into postmodernism and moral relativism, and what those ways of thinking might have to teach us about the value of continuing to search for a truer witness. “Freed from the burden of cognitive certainty, the postmodern mind is determined not to fall for transcendental pretensions or any idolatry of concepts.” (125) Dark acknowledges that, though we must act on what we believe to be true and right, we must always remember that we may be wrong, and we must be ready at a moment’s notice to rehabilitate our actions if it turns out we are wrong. In what might be the mission statement of this work, Dark writes:

I want to announce the good news that God, the God in whom I believe, never calls anyone to playact or pretend or silence their concerns about what’s true. I want to break through mind-forged manacles that render us incapable of seeing truthfully for fear we might let in the wrong information. God is not made angry and insecure by an archeological dig, a scientific discovery, an ancient manuscript, or a good film about homosexual cowboys. Nor would I imagine God to be made angry or insecure by people with honest doubts concerning his existence. God is not counting on us to keep ourselves stupid, closed off to the complexity of the world we’re in…

Damn this demonic Uncle Ben business. Damn it all to hell. May we bear it no more…” (143)

Finish the post here

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fashion for Freedom

I received an email this week from a ministry called Free For Life out of Nashville, Tennessee that is hosting a 'Fashion for Freedom' night here on the west coast of Ireland this summer to raise money for the fantastic work they are doing amongst people who need our help for change to happen! Check out the info below and on their site and, if you're able to make it, get out to the show next month in Galway!

An estimated 27 million people are victims of modern day slavery at this very moment. Thousands of innocent boys, girls, women and men are trafficked into the sex trade and forced prostitution daily. Helpless and alone, victims of Human Trafficking have no escape without help.

For one night, world renowned Fashion Designers will be partnering with Discovery Church and Galway Fashion Revolution to bring you Fashion For Freedom: A Life Doesn’t Have a Price Tag, a benefit show to raise money for Free For Life, an organisation fighting human trafficking. Don’t miss out on the biggest fashion event the West of Ireland has ever seen!

Check out the site with sponsors complete with video!

Irish Midland Vista

Here's a shot I took just now as I was driving in my car of a hill I always pass on my way to and from Dublin. You can see this hill from a few miles away on a clear day and it always piques my interest. There's one tree on it which you may be able to see in the middle that stands on its own. I'm drawn to this tree for some reason. It seems to me like the kind of place that would be a good place to be buried - just under the tree. Someone has probably already beat me to it I'm sure. For those of you who are psychologists, you may be able to analyze my fixation on that hill and that solitary tree and give me some insight. ;-) As you can tell from the pic, today is an exceptionally beautiful day!

Angels, Demons and All In Between

So what did you think? I mean, that is if you went to see the new film ‘Angels and Demons’ based on Dan Brown’s prequel novel to ‘The DaVinci Code’. Were you feeling good, bad, indifferent about it? Did you think it was pure entertainment? Was it trying to make a statement? Was it accusatory or questioning in nature? Do you even care?

I got hooked by watching the trailers before it was released. So, on a night that I found myself far from home on the West coast of Ireland, I took the opportunity and strolled over to the local cinema in Sligo town. As someone who has been journeying from being completely disinterested in church (or formal expressions of faith), to conversion into the Christian faith, to being employed by the Christian Church and then to constructively questioning some of the Church’s theology and all of the Church’s methodology - I had to see it the film. It is by nature a ‘questioning film’; a film’s whose main character is in search of the truth. That was enough for me . . I was in!

Even though I’ve never read either of the books, I had seen the first controversial film ‘The DaVinci Code’ when it came out a few years ago, but was largely unimpressed. It was somewhere between trying to be an adventure/action film and a politicized commentary on the Catholic Church and Christianity in general. This left it squarely occupying the ‘docu-drama’ category, which, as we all know, are challenging to engage with (and that’s being generous!). While I appreciated it’s exploratory nature, the film (and possibly the book) came across as the neglected, attention-starved child, now an adult trying to hard to be noticed.

‘Angels and Demons’ on the other hand was craftily executed both in form and content. On the aesthetic end of the spectrum it was shot beautifully (CGI helped in that department), it had a healthy, deliberate cadence and exhibited a decent balance between being entertaining and offering the audience a perspective on a long-standing megalith of moral influence in society. In regard to content, the film was much more believable- not necessarily the story line that was put forth, but the way in which it was sensitively offered up for the viewers’ consideration. ‘Angels and Demons’ was both true to its inquisitive nature and yet somehow respectful to the Catholic Church and Christianity in the observations it made. A number of times throughout the film I resonated with side comments made either by the main character Robert Langdon, or various priests including Ewen McGregor’s character, the Camerlengo.

One such conversation between the two main characters mentioned above, which ensued in the Papal office illustrated well all that was good about the film. The Camerlengo asks Prof. Langdon, “Do you believe in God sir?” and the professor responds by giving a side-stepped, weak answer intended to illustrate the tension between faith and reason. Then the Camerlengo breaks in and cuts short Prof. Langdon’s remarks by stating, “I didn’t ask if you believe in Man’s interpretation of God (religion) . . I asked if you believe in God.” What a brilliant and insightful reflection on the nature and the role of the Church! Later in the film this theme is played out again in a scene between the professor and the ‘head’ of the Cardinals- just as the new Pope is about to be revealed to the world in St. Peter’s Square. He suggests to Prof. Langdon that God had used him to usher the new Pope to serve in the Papal seat. When the professor denies it, the Cardinal gets to the core issue by explaining that we humans sometimes subvert God’s intentions for us to be His ambassadors to the world, but we should be careful to not confuse our subversions (willful or not) with God’s own character and actions. Bravo.

There was a deep respect for the Godhead running through this film which I did not sense so much in the previous film. Furthermore, an honesty was displayed in 'Angels and Demons' that is seldom seen in the Christian family itself, which we could use much more of. There was an admission that although our God is good (and that He is!), our attempts - and motivations - in sharing Him with others are often not in line with His character or wisdom. I deeply appreciated this sort of humility and affirmation of the reality of God in spite of, at times, those who have been chosen to reflect Him to the world. In this emerging era in which we live I the West, I take great comfort in the greater emphasis on actions over words. There’s an underlying move toward deliberate acts of mercy and service for our fellow human beings which was at times done with motivation ‘arse-ways’ (backward) round the past two centuries. The needs of the poor or hungry were often met so that the ‘main point’ could be accomplished - to issue them a verbal presentation packed with information about Jesus and the dire condition of their souls. Wasn’t the act of service to them also the Gospel in tangible form? Salvation is, after all, God’s holistic intention for humanity - not solely a ‘spiritual’ remedy for our malaise.

I do not mean to diminish the necessity for our verbal affirmation of the realities of the Gospel (God-spell or ‘good news’) - all Jesus is and came to accomplish. I just sense the importance should first lie with action (lives lived in service and obedience) and then on our words conveying that reality now present in our lives. In the stories of Jesus in the Scriptures it is often noted that he spoke ‘as one with authority, not as the priests and teachers of the Law.’ This, in my opinion, is because Jesus’ life was what gave power to the words He spoke. What He taught was attested to in His actions and example. 'Angels and Demons' speaks to the places in the Christian family where our beliefs as expressed in our words do not line up with the beliefs we demonstrate in our behavior. Even in so noting this discrepancy, the film was gentle and generous . . an approach the Church could include in its playbook more often.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Change, Emerging Church and Dashboard Confessional

Here's a Wall Street Journal article that typifies life's relentless march onwards and the need to change and respond to the Spirit's (zeitgeist) lead at the time . . . Enjoy!


An Upstart Church Movement Wrestles with Growing Older
by: Amy Dockser Marcus

GREENWICH, Conn. -- On a recent Saturday morning, musician Rob Mathes was in London's Abbey Road Studios, where the Beatles recorded, working with rock band Dashboard Confessional. But he rushed back to the U.S. for what he sees as an equally important gig: playing Sunday morning services at Trinity Church in Greenwich, Conn.

The 44-year-old Mr. Mathes helped found the church to draw in young people with a new kind of service -- hipper, less formal, trying to reach people who had drifted away from church but still felt a spiritual need.

Last weekend, Trinity celebrated its 10th anniversary. Its parishioners, numbering 500 to 700 every Sunday, attend prayer groups and take communion. But they do so while a band plays original works as well as contemporary songs based on traditional hymns.

Now, Trinity is at a crossroads. Mr. Mathes's bandmate, Ian Cron, 48, is stepping down as lead pastor. At the same time, Mr. Mathes's outside career is growing -- he was the musical director for President Barack Obama's pre-inaugural celebration. The church hired recruiters to search for a new pastor. Neither of the two leading candidates is a musician . . .

Read on . . .

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

New iPhone Rumoured Features Mapped!

Here's the rumoured features on the new iPhone mapped for sufficient iLust to ensue. I've been waiting for nearly nine months and saving for seven months to get my paws on one of these babies! I hear Dubai has legislation in place that forbids cell/mobile phones from being tied to one phone service provider which means . . you could conceivably put ANY SIM card into it and it could work on your current contract! Does anyone have more info on whether this is true?

U2 & Spiderman on Broadway??

Hhhmmm, very interesting. I'm listening . . . (click the image for video)

Monday, June 08, 2009

Anois 2009!

Here's the official artwork and promo video for the Church of Ireland Youth Department's national youth weekend called Anois. We'll be in our sixth year this year and in a new location - Kilkenny College in Kilkenny City! My friend Scott Evans from the same diocese is our core messenger and another long-time friend, Jeremy Casella, will be returning from Nashville this year to lead us musically. New location, new messenger, new activities, new friends, new insights into God's character = good for all! Keep an eye on CIYD's site for registration details for both young people and youth leaders!

A Compelling (Rhythm of) Life: Five

Here's the fifth and final section in a 'Rhythm of Life'. This section follows on from the first, second, third and fourth posts (read first) . . . as always, your feedback is welcome. Anyone who has any thoughts on this stuff I'd welcome your insights, questions, experiences. There has been some progress on a conversation regarding this Rhythm at the Dreamers of the Day site here. Thanks!


Desire as Fuel for the Journey
Desire plays a huge role in life. Many Christians view desire with suspicion and some with contempt, seeing it as that aspect of the human soul that leads one away from the path of God into rebellious habits. Their response, I believe, stems mostly from fear of the unknown. If we are to truly understand our deepest, core desires as human beings, we must begin telling the Story from the beginning - not from the Fall where many churches focus their efforts. We need to remember that in the beginning God created and it was good. He made us for Himself and there was joy in that union between God and humanity. It follows then that if God made us for Himself, our greatest longing, fulfillment and desire can only be met in Him. By nature, God is an independent being and humans are dependent beings. Independent being(s) by nature exist outside of the need - or self-sustaining - desire for what others or things offer them. They exist in their own right regardless of anything else. Dependent beings however, must derive their value, their identity and therefore their worldview from independent sources in order for them to thrive in health and wholeness. Unfortunately, the opposite has proven true throughout much of history leading us into the ‘crisis of the soul’ humanity now experiences. We need to get back to ‘good’.

One prayer I often pray for myself and others is that God will remind us of our hunger for Him. Since He, in fact, made us for Himself in love, our greatest desire - everyone’s greatest desire - is truly for the One who loves them, although that desire is possibly hidden under layers of rebellion. Ontologically, desire is such a foundational building block in the human soul that it follows we need to see change happen at that deepest level of who we are for the rest of our soul to be transformed. That process of change can come about through individuals getting in touch with their God-desire, whether or not they call it that or recognise the desire in the first place. People are yearning for God and so many cannot even see it. We might immediately think of those ‘outside’ the confessing Christian family when we hear a sentence like that, but the same is true of those of us who confess. We often still seek satisfaction through avenues other than God when our God-hunger begins to surface. The challenge in life is redirecting our souls to the Source that absolutely satisfies. Our desire for God - or to what degree we’re aware of it - sets the stage for God to show up in our lives. Our desire forms the basis of our invitation to God; an invitation He will not quickly pass up. Recognising this and owning it is a key step toward healthy growth in Christ-likeness.

Deconstructing and analyzing our behaviours and motivations will often reveal a glimpse of our hunger for God which is intended to be a help for us in the spiritual journey, reminding us of our true ‘home’ in God Himself. Answers to our prayers, miraculous experiences and the acquisition of inspired knowledge will never substitute for intimacy with the Lover of our souls. He is our Great Reward, He is our True Desire, He is the Fulfillment of our soul’s longing. God extends a wonderful grace to us that in those times when we honestly do not sense or own desire for Him, this too He can grant us if we only ask. We find our beginning and end in Him who is and who sustains everything. In conclusion, all of the aforementioned details of developing a Rhythm of Life are meaningless activity unless propelled by a rapacious hunger for the Living God.

May God reveal to us that all the best we dream for ourselves and others is animated in Him.

“Few people could imagine what God would make of them if they would whole-heartedly surrender themselves into His loving care."

- - St. Ignatius of Loyola; founder of the Jesuits