Thursday, April 24, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
It is amazing how much we allow the TV to put our minds on pause. Sitting in a hotel recently, I was eating breakfast. One of the attendants was working below one of the cabinets when she accidently hit something that turned the TV off. It was funny to see the reactions of the people sitting in the area. Silence. They were kindof woken up from a sleep. They began looking around like what are we supposed to do now. Weird.
It was actually a brief moment of peace for me. I was kindof hoping that she wouldn't get it back on so I wouldn't have to start my day off thinking about sports. Oh well. She got it back on and our brains went back on pause again.
Friday, April 04, 2008
When you watch a child play there will come a time when she will become bored. Her ideas for playing have reached a standstill. Usually, the child will walk around in a kindof daze looking for some idea, some new way of playing, something, anything. They might even come to their parents during this time. However, if left alone during that time (during that "boredom"), creativity will usually come. Something will spark an idea, something not connected before, and play will continue with serious vigor. Imagination comes out of the windows. They are again in their world of play.
Watching children play has proved to be a nourishing thing for my class and sermon preparation. In using some of these ideas, creativity is sparked like I've never experienced before. Let me explain.
I get to a place in my class and sermon preparation where I get bored. I don't see any connection between the text and life. The text is just one of those toys I've played with a thousand times. Nothing is there. It is at this moment when many teachers or preachers reach toward other outsiders, like parents so-to-speak who can help us "play" with the text. This is not a good move at this point.
When I get bored with the text, I stay there and begin to use my imagination, however vain I think the effort might be. For me (not necessarily for everyone), my dry erase board becomes a canvas for my imagination. I do a little bit of free association as I walk around the room bored with this text I keep reading aloud. Any image, idea, word, connection (no matter how outlandish) goes on my canvas. At some point, creativity happens. Sometimes it doesn't happen for a while. I might even have to go to something else (some other text) knowing that I will come back to my boredom.
Ever since I have started this, God has faithfully ushered in creativity. Even in how to present the text or arrange the class time. It is funny how this has sparked a new era, so-to-speak, in my ministry preparation.
Thank you, Lord, for loving me. Thank you, Lord, for blessing me. Thank you, Lord, for making my job such a joy. You are so faithful to sustain.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
"Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her."
It seems that wisdom accompanies silence. The Lord directs our hearts when we allow him to silently speak to us (if that is possible).
Father, my words seem to come from a desire to fill the dreadful silence of your presence. Please give me the patience to wait for your word and the courage to sit in silence. You are ...
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
"Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few." Ecclesiastes 5:1-2
I heard (or read) somewhere recently that Jews expression of religion hinges on the Shema, "Hear of Israel..." (Deut 6:4-6) and that our expression of religion hinges on our confession "Jesus is Lord." Interesting! One focuses on listening, the other speaking.
In light of this idea, the Ecclesiastes text has been talking to me for the last almost two weeks. I sit and wonder what to say?