Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What I learned on my summer vacation...

Through the book in my prior post, I learned some things about myself:

I have been too resentful. Not of anyone in particular. But of people and things generally. It's an ugly reality to see; but in the end, good to see it and recognize it. And start to move beyond it.

I learned that the habits of trust and gratitude are the paths out of resentment.

I also learned the truth that "joy and resentment cannot coexist." And "joy is the secret of the saints." And that joy is a discipline. A choice. (And yes, a fruit of the Spirit.)

I learned that God doesn't need a lot to rejoice about. If one sinner repents, He rejoices. When you consider all the people this side of heaven, that's not exactly a numerical win. But volume isn't His game apparently. Neither should it be mine.

I probably need to re-scour this great little book by Henri Nouwen. It's been good just the past few minutes revisiting my scribbles & underlines in it.

It's been a great break. Hugely relaxing. Productive. And thought-provoking.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Retrun of the Prodigal Son -Henri Nouwein

I would not have thought a book about a man's (near) obsession with the painting by Rembrandt and the short Scripture verse would be of much interest. I would have been very wrong.

It is a short book (139 pgs). But the chronicle of Nouwen's search for the painting and his simultaneous inner search are very compelling, relatable, profound and full of great theology.

I am finding someone who shares his insecurities, that are also my own. I'm also finding a fresh, more accurate view of God. It seems over time, I subconsciously twist the view of God in my mind and create attributes that aren't truly there. Anybody with me?

Here's a piece I read this morning that woke me up:

"The question is not, 'How am I to find God?' but 'How am I to let myself be found by him?' The question is not, 'How am I to know God?' but 'How am I to let myself be known by God?' And, finally, the question is not 'How am I to love God?' but 'How am I to let myself be loved by God?'" pg 106

I'm finding this book rich and worthy of my revisiting so much underlined text. Could be a great book to read with a friend or small group.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Den Make-over

Spent last week overhauling the den from floor to ceiling. And built a desk & bookshelves. We love the way everything turned out. Now it's time for less work and more motorcycle riding ;-)

Click here to check it out.

I Capture Moments

Life never stops; it just keeps moving. It won't stand still. As we read each of these words, they effortlessly move from our present to our past. The word we read, the breath we just took, the thought we just had, are in motion; moving from now to then.

These thoughts have come out of my year of embracing photography. I love shooting. I do it for fun, for money, for others and sometimes just for me. And as I have been somewhat surprised as to how much I enjoy this new hobby, I have asked myself, "Why? What is the big attraction?"

Then one day it hit me: I love to capture moments. That's why I love to write and likewise, that's why I love to take pictures.

Life is always moving, and as much as we'd like to stop and savor a moment, stop and stare at an expression, they're gone--always moving from now to "just a second ago" to "yesterday" to "last month" to "last year" to "our childhood" and so on.

But to write and to photograph is to grab and hold time in my hands. It's the gift of reliving a moment. It's reversing time; taking the past and bringing it back to the present. And seeing that moment in the stillness that wasn't possible in real time.

I don't write and photograph because I want to live in the past. It's because I so often miss the details, as life is ever moving. My mind would not have kept the simple image at the top of this post. (That dinner alone was an hour of mental video footage.)

As I capture moments, I better appreciate the nuance of all that is there, all that is happening. And hopefully I become keener at appreciating the next real time moment coming my way.

I capture moments.