unreasoned and unreasonable

maybe even most,
of what i believe is unreasoned, unreasonable, or both.
i'd wager the same is true of you.
we all hold to things that are, either apparently or ultimately, nonsensical;
that is unreasonable.
we constantly accept things without understanding them;
these are unreasoned.
and many things we don't reason through we would find unreasonable.
now, to say something is unreasonable,
is not to say it is untrue.
that is another question entirely,
one i don't want to deal with here.
what i want to know,
is whether this is faith,
this active,
but not always cognitive,
trust in the subconscious assumptions,
traditional maxims,
fantastic religions,
inscrutable fundamentals,
shifting fashions,
and selfish lies
that underlie so many of our daily
and actions.
is all of this faith?
none of it?
some of it?
if you asked me right now
to define faith.
i do not believe i could do that well.
i can offer cute analogies,
simplistic synonyms,
and scriptural descriptions,
i can talk about faith,
pray for more of it,
and even look up a "definition" in a dictionary,
but that's not what i want to know.
i want to know the length, depth, breadth and heart of it.
of course, it may be unreasonable to assume that i could,
but this is what's on my mind.


fear of faith

faith terrifies me.
real faith.
utter trust.
i am so frightfully independent,
afraid of the cost of faith.
i know the truth.
my reason knows reason cannot be irrational.
my heart knows a desire unmatched in this world.
my spirit has felt His touch.
my eyes have seen His work.
my ears have heard others testify.
reason, desire, experience, sight, hearing.
but faith is a step beyond.
it is trust with self-abandon.
i want to have such strong faith
that the truth i know would be deeply and regularly real.
what i desire terrifies me.
my faith feels so weak.
i have not what i desire, what i fear.
have i some secret wish for weak faith?
do i pray in earnest when i ask for strong faith?
knowledge will never take me past fear to the faith i desire.
only perfect love can drive out the fear.
such love can only be a gift.
if i can accept it.
God help me, and forgive me.


of cost, contentment and cliches

the great things in life never come without a price.
to be married is great, but it costs your singleness.
with every big decision,
we constantly give up one freedom for another,
one treasure for another,
one chain for another,
one debt for another.
such is the way of things.
this would not be so bad,
except that we usually take what we have for granted,
and we rarely count the full cost.
you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.
don't get me wrong here.
it's ok to want more,
and it is good to mourn the loss of good things.
to be content is not not wanting or not missing good things.
one can even be in great need and be content,
for contentment is to know that all we have is from God,
to be grateful for all that He has given us,
and to understand that we cannot have our cake and eat it too.
there are a thousand cliches for what i am saying here,
and more than a few of them, i've already used.
but cliches are cliches for a reason.
again, the great things in life never come without a price.
the price for expressing the profound in a simple way
is that it will one day be dismissed as a cliche.
my advice:
do not treat such things flippantly,
however trite they have become.


where soul meets body

I've been told that the modernist view of salvation and sanctification is wrong. that ideas of "making a decision for Christ" and "choosing to follow" are misguided. God does not save us by empowering our will to overcome the wicked desires of our wayward hearts, but rather, God captures our hearts. He gives us new, pure desires to combat the desires of our fallen flesh. God comes as a benevolent seducer, not a compelling logician. A theology of the affections, this is called, and i doubt i have done justice to it here.

But i fear the swing of the pendulum! One said it is about the will, and the other, the heart. Back and forth the ages go from modernity now to post-modernity, and soon we may return. I can see nothing new here. We're just shuffling the same boxes, drawing the same lines upon humanity in different directions and different shades. But i can draw no such lines upon my self.

Where does my will end and my heart begin? How can i divide my thoughts and my emotions? In this life, even soul and body cannot escape the consequences of the other. We are messy creatures, intertwined and woven tightly with threads we should not lightly discount. I recognize precious little of myself in such diagrams of the soul.

Please know, i do not protest curiosity here. Certainly, one should seek to understand the paradigms of the day and be willing to challenge them. I do not think these debates are worthless, but their questions are not mine. I can't accept the premise; i cannot see the lines between these things. But what are my questions? I'm not sure...


the blessings of the mundane

life is surreal,
or at least it often feels that way.
especially before the pivotal moments
and in the quiet, introspective ones.
it feels most real in the trivial and the mundane.
there is something unflinchingly real about
washing dishes,
eating breakfast cereal,
cleaning a toilet,
carrying my daughter,
or digging in a garden.
i believe that we must need such things,
that these trifling routines of life are both essential and sublime
for those wandering in a finite world.
They are a ground,
a baseline that allows us enjoy the rest of life in peace,
not desperate for ever higher highs,
not collapsing in despair at our lows.


A question...

I do not know who i am asking this or why,
but here it is...

Are you a pastor, a minister, or a preacher?
Are you a shepherd, a servant, or a teacher?
Do you teach with your feet, your hands, or your mind?
Are you a guardian, a lover, or a mentor?
Are you a king, a priest, or a prophet?

This is just one question and an honest one.
I doubt you can or should be only one of the three,
but i suspect one must be in the forefront.

Perhaps i'm meant to answer this myself.