Our marriages are meant to be our first ambition in life. When we marry we make a vow to love our spouse exclusively until we die. That vow informs every decision we will make the rest of our lives. When a man or woman take a monastic vow, they take years to move through a process that typically takes 6-8 years. First, they are observers, then postulants, and eventually novices. After that they take temporary vows, usually for two to three years, until they finally make permanent vows. At that point, they change their name, divest themselves of all their wealth, and commit to be part of a particular community the rest of their lives. Every decision they make from that point forward is informed by that vow. In the same way, if we are married, we have made a vow. That vow informs every decision we make. The pace of the church, and. Read more.
Every year we experience a marked increase of activity around Christmas. We have our own families to attend to (thinking through and buying of gifts), our co-workers and staff, our churches’ additional services and the normal stuff of life (e.g. food shopping, laundry, car break-downs). This time of year only accentuates our need for increased differentiation and less fusion from the forces seeking to shape us. Consider what, I believe, is God’s order for us as we shape our lives and time. 1. God. It was Heidegger who made the distinction between waiting “for” and waiting “upon” Waiting for involves looking for a specific, concrete result. Waiting upon involves allowing insight and direction to emerge, an openness to whatever God has. I spent a good portion of my day alone with God yesterday meditating on Ps. 123:1-2. The most loving thing we can do for those around us is withdraw for our rhythms with God and to wait upon the Lord. Read more.