Refreshing Paws: December 2005

Running the last gauntlet of errands before Christmas, I feel the desire for a new notebook rise up. Ten running feet of spiral notebooks already lurk on various shelves, many notebooks only half or three-quarters full. Pads proliferate. Lack of paper is not the issue. More tantalizing is the desire is to start fresh, to bask in the shimmering potential of empty pages, to sit in a small room with a wide view and be able to hear myself think.

LIFE RULES! Wayne writes that starting the day by saying "I will serve" doesn't do it for him either. "Too much 'I' in it. When I look myself in the 'I,' I don't come away with much inspiration to serve. When I look into the eyes of my Glorious Savior & God...I receive strength to heft my cross and shrug off the pain of stretching myself out on it."

Jim sent his 5 sentence illuminations--a way to interface with daily readings. After each of the four readings, Psalm, OT, Epistle, Gospel; write a summary sentence. Then re-read the four sentences and write a fifth. Fun and fruitful. Email him for a more detailed description: [email protected]

Vi is working with the names of God--an aspect of His character for your every need. Sunnie snatched up THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE, which Pat brought in. She is finding it a great 40 day program--despite us rolling our collective eyes when it seemed that every evangelical church in the country was using it.

Carolyn thought a LIFE RULES gathering/discussion sounded fun. Lets get together at noon on Friday, January 6 and discuss prayer, journals and other disciplines for the new year. That's Epiphany: Arise, shine for the light has come.

Meanwhile I read through last year's journals. Here's an entry: "Tired after two hours of cleaning the living room, I go to the grocery, park, sit and do nothing. Eyes shut, name of Jesus, rest. When I open my eyes I see the white fuzz of the palest pink blossoms on a tree. Sometimes you have to close your eyes in order to see."

Books are better than movies because you can pause in the midst of the action and reflect on nuances--instead of being dragged relentlessly on to the next battle scene. Nonetheless, 'twas a great delight to watch NARNIA with my sons, their wives and girlfriends--eight of us filling the pew at a local theater--a Christmas service accessible to all. I missed the wisdom of the narrator and the innerscape that is always juicer in a book, but the movie stays true to C.S. Lewis's story, without descending into schmaltz. In the book CONVERSIONS, the authors Kerr and Mulder surmise that perhaps Lewis's classical training had something to do with "his ability to convey meaning for us today out of the collective treasury of Greece and Rome and the whole of Western culture."

"Really, a young atheist cannot guard his faith too carefully. Dangers lie in wait for him on every side." --C.S. Lewis in SURPRISED BY JOY (his autobiography).

The astonishing thing about the Church is that it gets renewed generation by generation. The Word is passed on, incarnated in story and song. Faith endures beneath the tinsel and crumpled wrapping paper, beneath the gross accumulation of stuff, in the darkness of poverty, self-inflicted wounds and perennial persecution. Despite the sin-laden, self serving, stultifying stupidity running rampant; despite the calcifying traditions and oppressive polemics; life breaks forth. The baby is born. The heart lifts. Love is on the move.

"We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person." -William Somerset Maugham

Happy indeed.


Alliee +