Tag: Christian living

Still working on this coffee thing

Two years ago this fall I started drinking coffee while on a trip to Guatemala. When I started I didn’t know there was so much to learn. Tuesday, I learned something new.

I have thought the disposable plastic lids were odd because the tab pulls back rather easily, but then it’s hard to completely remove it. Then, Monday, I’m at Cafe Brazil with my wife and for some reason I notice that little hump in the middle of the cap. Sure enough, if you pull back the tab and push it down on the hump, it stays back and out of your way.

Then, Tuesday morning, I go to our break room to get a cup, put on the lid, start to pull it back to the hump and then read “Fasten Tab Here.” The instructions had been there all along, and I had totally missed them.

It kind of reminds me of trying to live the Christian life. Sometimes you realize the instructions have been there all along (in the Bible and in Christian experience), and you’ve totally missed it.

A Thanksgiving Day prayer: Lord, thank you for giving us instructions for how to live a life that honors you and that is best for us. Thank you also for forgiving us when we fail to know or follow the instructions. Amazing!

Howard Thurman and the Spirit of God

Howard Thurman

“The movement of the Spirit of God in the hearts of men often calls them to act against the spirit of their times or causes them to anticipate a spirit which is yet in the making. In a moment of dedication, they are given wisdom and courage to dare a deed that challenges and to kindle a hope that inspires. ”

Howard Thurman, an African American who played a critical role in laying the theological foundation for the civil right movement, published those words in 1959 in his book, Footprints of a Dream: The Story of the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples.

What might the Spirit of God be doing in the hearts of women and men today? What spirit of our age would God have us challenge? What hope can be kindled?

Rohr: Our deepest self

Last night, I started reading Richard Rohr’s new book, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, because I felt I needed a devotional boost. Got it.

“I believe that God gives us our soul, our deepest identity, our True Self, our unique blueprint, at our own ‘immaculate conception,'” Rohr writes. “Our unique little bit of heaven is installed by the Manufacturer within the product, at the beginning! We are given a span of years to discover it, to choose it, and to live our own destiny to the full.”

The phrase, “given a span of years to discover it,” is what captured me. Since I am now in the second half of life, this rings true. I do feel I’ve been discovering myself, my deepest identity, and it’s just now becoming clearer.

Rohr does not, however, seem to leave any room for the nurture side of the nature-nurture equation. It seems obvious in life that we are shaped by both. I guess his point is that our deepest identity, our soul goes beyond both nature and nurture — that soul is before nature and nurture. 

“We do not ‘make’ or ‘create’ our souls; we just ‘grow’ them up. We are the clumsy stewards of our own souls. We are charged to awaken, and much of the work of spirituality is learning how to stay out of the way of this rather natural growing and awakening.”

Lord, help me to wake. Help me to grow my soul.