An incredible young man gave me a drawing after church. I have several by the young artists in his family on my office door, so I wanted to reciprocate out of appreciation for how welcome he made me feel when I became his pastor. I took his tree and merged it with elements from Byzantine icons, so that what we ended up with was the Tree of Life and River of Life – symbols of a restored Eden (Rev 22) – with Adam and Eve (humanity) climbing out of the grave. We created an Eden where all humanity is invited to ascend. We shall title it Rev 22:3a – “No longer will there be any curse”
Thank you Henry and church family for seeking to create, renew, and reconfigure the beautiful frailty of our humanity into something eternal.
Life moves pretty fast. … (wait that’s Ferris Bueller).
Tonight, the SPR reminded me that one’s rest, self-reflection, and relationship with God are connected. This counsel led to me perusing through 10 years’ worth of journals. Most of them begin around Christmas time. Journaling and Advent are a time of anticipation – a mixing of expectation and hope.
I begin each journal with a title. I noticed that running them all together said something profound about how we wait for (and in) those moments of rest, self-reflection, and divine relationship… “The End (or the beginning of someone new)” – “The Days Following” – “It Begins and Ends, And Does So Again” – “There is Always More to Learn” – “Feeling My Way Forward.”
Notice the repetition that life holds. We seem to always be in transformation … giving and receiving, winning and losing, forgetting and remembering … as we seek rest, an authentic self, and the grace of God.
Maybe you’re waiting right now for something; anticipating who you might become as you experience God and life. Waiting can be stressful and rough. Look what was in one of my journals … Eric Speir notes 5 reasons why God makes us wait. Waiting(1) reveals our true motives, (2) builds patience in our lives, (3) builds anticipation, (4) transforms our character, (5) builds intimacy and dependence on God. (Relevant magazine).
If the waiting is weighing on you, you might look at some of the Psalms (69 is a good one) because the Psalmists seem to be always waiting on God.
… “If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Comments: Comments Off on Journaling: Smelling the RosesPosted by: Warren LangfordCategories: fun
There is an element of chance in life, yet it doesn’t overpower the importance of perseverance and dedication. Things change but it is hardly by chance. Chance is that moment of uncertainty after a choice is made. The duration of change (the emotional) is proportional to the amount of time between choice and action. Before I get to far off in the philosophical and leave behind the playful – the fear of chance is the moment between when my daughter choses to change the paper doll’s clothes and the act of putting on new clothes: nakedness. Naked seems to be a good word to describe the point in which we feel all our emotions at once – joy/excitement and fear/uncertainty concerning the future. I have been trying to express this in art … this is what I have so far.
I used to say with pride that I was a Texan, then I realized that I have lived in Louisiana for over half my life. So, now I say I’m from South Louisiana. This might have saddened me 15 years ago, but now I revel in the mysteries and adventures this area brings. Its just backwoods enough to have a great oral folklore, but modern enough to call it folklore.
Grace is often described in black and white terms. In the religious tradition I was raised, there was grace and then there was dismissal. With age I have learned that grace is experienced in a spectrum. Expressions of grace are colored by the giver – his/her character, life experience, self-identity, etc.