Doubts…

8 04 2013
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio

In light of the Gospel reading yesterday, the text that has been dubbed throughout history as “The Doubting Thomas” text, I decided to lay out a few of my own thoughts on the topic of doubt.  For the most part these are my thoughts and my opinions, but they have been shaped, of course, by my education, my study of scripture, and my own relationship and experience  with God.  A special shout out goes to Paul Tillich and his book, Dynamics of Faith.  Without reading this book, I probably would not have been able to reconcile my personal thoughts and beliefs with my calling to be a pastor.

You see, I had many questions.  I had many doubts.  About God.  About Faith.  About organized religion.  About Jesus.  About creation. About life.  About death.  About evil.  About suffering and pain.  Just to name a few…

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements




Back for another go…

1 04 2013

Well, here I tried…

And as with so many other things that I find healthy and life-giving, I ended up getting too busy, too consumed, too lazy, too scattered, or whatever other excuses I might use to justify my lack of focusing on self-health and healthy spiritual practices.

What am I talking about?

I am talking about the fact that I started this blog to be an outlet, a spiritual practice to let out my thoughts and feelings and perhaps receive some feedback. I enjoyed it…all 5 posts that I created…Indeed it has been almost a year since I last wrote and posted.

Oh, I know exactly what happened. It happens far too often. And, I’m sure, I am not the only one this happens too. I get all fired up to start something that I know will be healthy for me… that I know will be good… that I know will be life-giving:

Dieting
Exercise
Meditation
Morning and Evening Prayer
Intentional Daily Scripture Reading For Me

These are just a few of the practices that have been tried multiple times.  Each time I begin excited and ready to take on the world…Each time I begin knowing that this time will be different, that this time I will follow through, that this time I will choose to continue what is healthy for me.

And this works for a week…maybe more if I’m lucky.  Each time it’s a different reason that I end up stopping, but what happens with each practice, without fail, is I let myself down once.  I might get over that one and pick myself back up, but then I fail again.  And maybe a week after failing the practice I think, “Maybe I should start back up again…I enjoyed it when I did it.”  And my response to myself?

“Why bother?  You will only fail again…you will only let yourself down one more time…you will only be right back here…So, why bother?”

And of course I listen to myself…which is a problem…you’d think I’d have learned to stop doing that by now.

So, this process happened with my blog.  I was going to post at least once a week, if not every other day.  I placed stupid, silly expectations on myself that I knew weren’t realistic.  When I failed those unrealistic expectations I asked myself, “Why bother?”

Well, I’m going to bother.  I’m going to try to not place unrealistic expectations on myself and to just write when I feel moved to write…to just write when I need to write.

You see, one thing I have found, especially in the almost two years now of being a pastor, is that it is difficult to practice what I preach.  To put into practice the fact that I am not the one in control.  To put into practice the fact that in Christ I am able to let my failures, sins, and blemishes go time after time after time after time.  To put into practice letting go of my guilt, self disappointment, and fear, knowing that God loves me know matter what, that God even loves me in my brokenness and failures and struggles and pain.

Yes…it is difficult to practice what I preach.

But I figure….if Christ can suffer and die on a cross for me and for you and for all of creation…if Christ can conquer death, not just for himself but for all, and rise from that tomb…Then maybe, just maybe, in Christ, I can let go of my failures, rise from my self-given disappointments, and give it another go…