Quotes and Thoughts

Category: , By Christian
Sometimes it’s tough to get things out of your head. Songs, slogans, images. Last week, I had two quotes that just kept bouncing around. Sometimes the bouncing hit nerves. Other times the energy of the bouncing caused outward actions. The quotes and my thoughts…

You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.
-John Ortberg

This quote came up a few weeks ago at my silence and solitude retreat. It then made an encore appearance on someone’s blog, though I can’t remember which one I was reading at the time. Ortberg’s words really struck a chord with me because there are times when I really hate the pace of my life. The most frustrating time as of late was the period between Thanksgiving and Dec. 22 this past year. We were running all over the place like crazy and we never really got our feet under us. We didn’t even decorate our house for Christmas because we didn’t have the time and energy. I was terribly frustrated by the whole thing because I had no time for Jesus during Advent until we went to Portland and got away from all the commitments that were dogging us.

I thought it would be better after the New Year. And it was. For a while. But the past week and a half have been crazy and wild and I’ve been busting around all over the place. When I hurry then I start to grip, and when I start gripping then everything feels like it’s spiraling out of control. It’s like life starts moving so fast that I feel like I have to hold on tightly before everything flies all over the place, but that just wears me out even more.

So I have a new strategy. I only have so much control over my schedule. We are a busy family that has seasons of chaos and seasons of calm. Right now is a season of chaos. That being the case, I can still eliminate hurry from my life. I don’t have to run around like the sky is falling. I don’t have to be frazzled and disheveled. I don’t have to be a lunatic. You should say that to yourself every morning. It’s liberating.

Yesterday was a mad crazy day. Drop Elli off at daycare. Drive to class. Have three hours of class. 12:30 staff meeting. 1:30 prayer time. 2:15 kids start showing up for the first day of programming. 8:00 go home without feeling so trashed and tired that I can talk with my wife about my day and my thoughts and my feelings.

I didn’t hurry once all day. I just resolved not to be that guy. I resolved to walk at a leisurely pace. I resolved to not speed or ride anybody’s bumper. I resolved to take deep breaths. It was so good. There was no grip and there was no chaos. There was indeed a lot to get done, but it all got done and I wasn’t late to one thing all day.

And when it was all said and done I felt good.

The church is never a more peculiar people than when it points to the alternative of the peaceable reign of God
From Ducking Spears, Dancing Madly (p. 92)

Ok. This war thing is killing me. From the start it has been ill-conceived and poorly executed. As life would have it, we are where we are and I have no time machine, so we have to figure out a solution.

But what’s a Christian to pray for? More troops and a swell of violence that will hopefully restore order and eventually bring peace? A withdrawal that will stop fighting between the US and the insurgents, but that will leave Iraq a disaster for decades to come? Maybe we should just pray for some kind of miracle to get us out of this thing.

Granted, if I had a macro answer it would fall on deaf ears. VP Cheney made it abundantly clear on national TV last Sunday that this administration refuses to run the war by committee because nobody has constructive ideas. So they are disregarding the diplomatic suggestions that the Iraq Study Group made, as well as the feedback from their own generals that they need 30,000 more troops to get a leg up on the situation as opposed to the 20,000 that the administration is sending. Essentially, the administrating is doing everything it can to listen to nobody.

So if the macro solutions are going to be perpetually flawed, there must be some people out there who are living incarnationally doing what they can to lend a reconciliatory hand to the Iraqis. If anyone has heard of any ministries or individuals who are doing that kind of work in Iraq please let me know because I would like to pray for them and support them.

Fair Dinkum

1 comment so far.

  1. Mia 1:57 AM

    have you heard of Shane Claiborne? He wrote about spending time with just such a group of folks in Afghanistan. I don't know if they're working in Iraq too, but I'm guessing that they would be where ever they're most needed.


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