Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Muscles need to be stretched. I know that sitting around doing nothing isn't best for my muscles, so I exercise and stretch. I feel better when I stretch and keep my muscles conditioned and active.

Stretching applies to life, too. We need to be stretched. Our modern western thinking conditions us to try to provide for the most comfort and the least stretching possible. But it isn't good for us to just sit around in absolute comfort all the time. This leads only to atrophy. Stretching contributes to strength.

Just when I think I can't do it, a little perseverance and prayer pushes me past the point I thought I would crumble. I experienced it last weekend hiking farther than I should have, running low on food and water with miles of difficult terrain still ahead. But it stretched me and now I am stronger because of it. (So are you, Nathan!)

Just as our muscles need to be stretched, so do our lives. We should embrace and even seek out stretching experiences. Otherwise, we send our lives down the road toward atrophy- "a wasting away or progressive decline."

"...we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope..." Romans 5:3-4

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Grace of Doing Nothing

"This will be pretty scary at first for most of us... The command ['Keep the Sabbath holy'] is 'Do no work.' Just make space... Learn that you don't have to do to be. Accept the grace of doing nothing. Stay with it until you stop jerking and squirming." -Dallas Willard, pg 36 of The Great Omission

This idea of doing nothing flies in the face of the productive American mindset. "I've just gotta get stuff done." Well, frankly, you don't. There will ALWAYS be more work to do. So God graciously commands us to stop work every week. He intended the Sabbath to restore us.

A whole day of rest. No work. Only relationship, rest and restoration. We must discipline ourselves (counter to our productive instincts) to keep the Sabbath day set apart for extending ourselves the grace of doing nothing. Let us be careful not to fill "rest day"with tiring activities, even activities deemed sacred.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


It's summer now in Colorado, the grass is green and the flowers are doing their thing. My days are filled with busyness and lots of dirt and sweat. I feel tired much of the time and I long for the freshness of the wilderness: soothing wind in the trees, wildflowers above treeline, the sound of my heart beating in my ears as I hike and the expansive views from the summits of Colorado mountaintops. I will make time to enjoy these things during this summer season. I can hardly imagine what it feels like to snuggle up by a fire in the middle of a snowstorm, but I can remember wishing for hot summer days not so long ago! Seasons change.

And as seasons of a year pass, so do seasons of our lives. It is all too easy to wish away the current season and long for another. It takes discipline and dedication to find contentment in each season. For now, I'm stepping on baby toys in the hall, learning how to balance business and family, correcting the attitude of a 5-year-old, changing dirty diapers and trying desperately to maintain connectedness and cohesiveness with my beloved wife of 11 years. But this season will pass as the many before it. So I will enjoy it and savor each unique aspect of it, being careful to be present in it instead of living in the past or longing for the future! Seasons change.

"Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning." Daniel 2:20-21