Category Ruminations

Are you the one?

It’s a simple question, and you will spend your whole life answering it: Who are you? Are you the person others expect you to be, or are you an authentically original expression of God? Will you live in such a way that you leave others no choice but to decide: Will they live as their […]

Aging toward saging

“For everything there is a season,” the Teacher said, “and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted. [God] has made everything suitable for its time” (Eccles. 3:1-2, 11a). Now that I’ve come […]

Easter, not where you think

It’s easy I think (though it seems not so easy for some), in the predawn birdsong of early spring, to pause in gratitude for the annual renewal of the earth. William Alexander Percy thought no one could listen long to that song, “A song so mystical and calm, / So full of certainties,” except on […]

On looking for the ocean

It’s a great metaphor for the spiritual journey, that an airliner is off course more than ninety-eight percent of the time. Countless variables are at work making it drift from its intended flight path. The thing is, the pilots are making constant course corrections, small control adjustments that bring the plane to its intended destination. […]

On growing toward wholeness

Like a menu from a New Jersey diner, there’s something for everyone in what we know as the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). We could look at it through the lens of the elder son, who followed the rules and did what was expected of him, and we could understand his irritation when […]

On bearing fruit for God

Are you happy? The likelihood that you are is decreasing every year. According to a United Nations report released Wednesday, Americans are only the nineteenth happiest people in the world, a position that has declined steadily for the last three years. The ranking was based on six key variables: gross domestic product per capita, social […]

On becoming fully human

Last week I invited you to name the one essential thing you’re living for. What is your single, compelling purpose in life, the one that guides your large and small choices every day? Can you state your answer in one short sentence? It wouldn’t be fair to ask that question of you if I weren’t […]

Sounds of hope, or death rattle?

What did I hear this afternoon, sounds of hope for a major Christian denomination (The United Methodist Church) that has been verging toward schism, or the death rattle of one whose vital signs are tanking? Death rattle, n. : a rattling or gurgling sound produced by air passing through mucus in the lungs and air […]

On choices in the wilderness

What are you living for? When Martha was distracted by many things, Jesus told her that only one thing is essential (Luke 10:41-42). What is your one essential thing? A meaningful life is not a matter of how many things you do or how fast and efficiently you do them; it’s a matter of what […]

On love for one’s enemies

Sometimes it seems Jesus expects too much of us. The invitation he offers makes the life of discipleship look pretty good. When we look closer, however, things look different. Jesus promises “more and better life than [you] ever dreamed of” (John 10:10 MSG). He says: Don’t worry about having enough food or drink or clothing; […]