life in the suture zone...

In the earthquake faults between tectonic plates, the suture zone is the in between place where they meet. I find in that a metaphor for the times in which we live... and invite your conversation in the suture zone.

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Location: Bakersfield, CA, United States

... a struggling, but mostly joyful, apprentice of Jesus.

Friday, December 30, 2005

key questions...

Okay, so I said check back after Christmas, or around New Years, right? And this qualifies, I think.

I’ve debated back and forth whether I’m going to continue this blog or not. I’m going through some particularly trying times right now. And it does take a good bit of time to keep it up. But... guess I’ll try it for awhile.

I’ve spent over two months now on Sabbath. (Marshall and my side conversations don’t count, right? Nor does facilitating the A Generous Orthodoxy class on Sunday morning, correct? Or leading worship every Sunday? Or rehearsing the praise team weekly? Hmmm......) Anyway, I don’t know that I have much to show for it: a partially-read Grisham novel, finishing of the novel Princess Bride, a greater recognition of my adult ADD, and, well, I guess I’ve been able to better see the questions that are currently occupying my thoughts. Here are a few....

What is the gospel? I have spent time reading Storm Front (as recommended for the Zoe conference last October). It’s tough reading and a bit more than my ADD can currently handle without more concentrated/dedicated time. I’m taking it with me next week on retreat (see below).

If the gospel is the active presence of God in human lives/history and his inbreaking kingdom, why is my experience of him so lacking? In other words, why does our conversation seem so one-sided? I’ve read Blackaby some years ago and find that his Experiencing God book peters out toward the end IMHO. I’ve picked up Dallas Willard’s Hearing God and am on my second fitful pass through it. Again, my question is why do I have to feel like a contortionist?

I know, I know... I had these questions before I went on sabbatical, right? True, but now they are more focused, and more acute.

Getting me to a monastery (see previous posts) has taken some time. But, for now, I am scheduled to spend next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in Santa Barbara at an Anglican Benedictine monastery on retreat. I am hoping that the brothers there can assist me in the beginning of the pursuit of answers to these questions. At least it is a good way to begin the new year.

This trip was almost sidelined by another necessary trip. My son and I fly to Abilene on 1/13 and will be driving home from there. He’s coming home for a Sabbath from school, at least for this semester.

Anywayz, I will try to post a few articles here as time allows. It won’t be every day. But I do have some other things to say, besides dealing with these questions.

Grace and peace, my friends!