Each one of us has been called into being by a loving God, and called by name. God longs for each of us to become the unique person that God made us to be, and to reflect the glory of God out into the world.
-Br. Geoffrey Tristram
Full Sermon: http://ssje.org/ssje/2011/09/06/called-to-life-br-geoffrey-tristram/
Uncle Tupelo – Life Worth Livin’
This meditation emerged as quite loaded as I sat with it. It brought up the contrast of the gift of life, the possibilities inherent in life, and the reality of how life can seem to unfold. For so many, that gift inflicts wounds and warps, and disfigures us before we really gain a conscious awareness of what life can be. I’ve talked about brokenness and vulnerability with people a lot recently. Those are imposing terms for us, and we are reluctant to even entertain the idea of being broken or vulnerable. But I don’t think it is even avoidable. We take too long to incubate as humans to not be – we can’t really care for ourselves for years and we are subject to the external forces of circumstances and other people and that shapes us quite a bit in our formative years. I’ve found genuine power and liberation in accepting my own brokenness, both inflicted externally, and through my own hand. But all this leads to an easily identifiable frustration with God, and with people who speak about God. From a calm perspective, I can understand, and even appreciate the beauty of why life is like this. But don’t bring that to me when life is inflamed and I’m in the middle of circumstances which are squeezing me – it’s a lot harder to try to wrap my head around such poetic dynamic when it’s hitting the fan. But from this point on life’s curve, which for me, is a time of sort of crisis over which I cannot fix or control, I am finding that the more I embrace this dynamic of strength through vulnerability, the more at peace I am, the more certain I am that I can get through whatever I am facing. Where I once devoted huge swarms of my energy to anger, now I sidestep that anger because anger is an energy, and I am learning I can put that energy to better use. Same with worry. I’ve found this strength not by my self, but through seeking to collaborate with God in my life. And this song from Uncle Tupelo’s great first album captures in raw, beautiful honesty the sort of life dynamic I’m speaking about. God has a bad rap because too many people have the wrong approach to God. They give up, blame, or get really uptight and shut down in some hapless attempt to please God. This meditation seems to be bringing me to that – God isn’t looking to be pleased. We’re not going to impress God any more than we’re going to impress the strangers around us. No one cares! The more we can get past the circumstances – admittedly, extremely hard – the more we grow into our best selves. This whole album sort of strikes a brilliant balance, and I’m finding it’s a balance I’d like to master in my life. This song walks the edge of erupting, but never does. The energy is there, the rawness, but this song doesn’t necessarily call for the full amped up wave to come crashing. The next song might, though. For now, this is what is present, and it is good enough for today.