The more disciplined I am with time,
the less I see myself as king.
For moments otherwise committed
are seconds I can’t waste.
Archive for September, 2011
The more disciplined I am with time,
Peace will never characterize this iteration of the world
Nor has it graced any other generation of it.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, seek inner peace
blessed be the peacemakers, peace be with you:
all pointing toward a deep desire for peace
that, if it has not ever been known collectively,
must be known individually and in small groups
a ceasing of striving, an acceptance of loss
knowing that a million more acres of life are lost
but a faith that someone knew this would happen.
But how can we? We are tragic beings.
We care too deeply to be peaceful.
There is only one peace: and that outside ourselves
there is only one Shiloh, one peacemaker
one spirit that calms our spirits
for no matter how loud our noises
and how quick our feet and hands
we all still want Shiloh
and we long for a stillness over our plans
I want a loud life and a quiet soul
but my heart makes all the racket
and my days pass by pedestrian
I want to know and be known deeply
and know and be known professionally
I want the whole world
but I want it with a few people
I want to play music
but with my friends, for my friends
I want to write for you
but know God’s name
And today I’m trying hard to make racket
instead of make peace
and it’s killing me, except for the part I enjoy
because I wouldn’t do it if it didn’t feel good
at least part of the time, on the worse days
I’d just like to get more days to be the good days
than the worse days
(wouldn’t we all?)
Not for my own comfort, but so I’d know Him better
which is for my own comfort
the only comfort
except on days when I don’t believe that.
An upturned bowl of fruit
green apples on parade
a whole basket of still life
now sparked with live life
a mind of its own, rolling about
bright corners of the room
all these, content before falling
now in new places, new callings
new hidings, new livings
outside contexts existent
now in space unimagined
who knew this would happen?
thirty thousand things or more
I never could have known about
Praise the things I like first, because it’s easy.
Praise hair color.
Praise the mole on my cheek.
Praise the beard that comes in thicker and thicker each time I shave.
Praise olive complexion.
Praise the brain, and the thoughts, and the booming laugh, and the ability to get along with almost everyone (after a time).
Praise less likely wonderfuls.
Praise crooked teeth, once fixed by braces and now partially returned to their own devices.
Praise an uneven gait.
Praise a deviated septum.
Praise the loudest sneezes I’ve ever heard, the ones that created murmurs of “elephant” and other sundry things in middle school.
Praise allergies (current and dead).
Praise fingernail biting.
Praise that which I hate.
Praise the emotions that ebb and flow like an erratic tide, arrival and departure time unknowable.
Praise the subtle understanding of the way people communicate (even with the massive disappointments it can bring).
Praise the dudebros.
Praise the girlfriends.
Praise the fact that my best friends are all around the world now.
Praise high standards.
Praise analyzing everything (even with the massive disappointments it can bring).
Praise all these things, because when I hate these things in myself, I hate what has been made.
Praise the one who loves me even when I insult, berate, and hate his work.
Praise the God who takes each blow to his work and gives grace.
Praise His mercy.
Praise His forgiveness.
Praise the work of his hands as the work of His hands and not for its own value; for if you loved it for itself, you would be robbing him just the same as if you hated it.
Praise the fact that he understands when I swing back and forth between the two.
Praise You like I should.
Tomorrow I, should God be gracious enough,
will wake up. And I will find again that
some days are hand shakes that seal the deal
while others are putting your arm in a gator’s mouth
and most days you don’t know which is which —
even though He knows and is working through it —
till much, much later.
Finally finding a place to be
a home for my mind + soul
not a what if, or an if/then,
but a here, today, right now
and alone, in the vernacular,
although who is ever alone?
With friends, in community
but an empty room and bed
The longing hasn’t gone away.
I know you promise “with.”
Maybe myth will real someday;
or perhaps I’ll get better at this.
We start with all our bones broken
and we quickly learn who will heal
Some say God, and some will say other
That choice is the window, life’s view
So I came to the Maker for healing
But I struggle to know what to think
Does he heal all at once, we re-breaking?
Or heal steady, and we slow it down?
And when are we healed? Are we ever?
When do I go out there and do?
Am I trying to skate with bones broken,
or wasting the great healer’s good?
We are always in the middle of something
Constantly starting and ending and more
This bone breaks while that bone gets better
This set wrong, that one never got there
And then what of the very known moment
When we stand at the lip of the list?
We should go, and we know it, we have to
If we break bones, it’s not ’cause we missed
So “broke” is a relative concept
that does not always mean that we failed
this one must be snapped to bring new life
broke bones will set hard once they’re healed
In all this, we stand in a moment
when all of our metaphors pale
God is healer and breaker to heal us
So we’re stronger the next time we fail.
Real life is a series of small emotions
anxiety when the money cuts close
small mourning with disappointment
excitement of a great football victory
old fears triggered by new situations
comfort from an incidental touch
Feels: life’s stenography. Boring, yet
every moment its own moment
every second never to be again
and the crush of time says that
we must grab each moment and
wring out of it every last drop of
and it’s not true
for His redemption is not contained
and He does not operate on our time
So when he says, “Come,” I come, for
I know that my time here (100 years?)
is yet short, and each moment not
exactly as important as it seems
For His redemption makes it all inconsequential;
for when infinity lies before you, why keep time?
But the other side of the coin: we have more time
than we can ever imagine, so taking a moment
to rest does not cost us anything meaningful.
Now every moment can be savored, for we are freed
from the tyranny of making every instance perfect.
If we screw this second up, we get another.
We are not beholden to a perfection of this instant
Only the perfecting of our souls
through the One who created time.
So rest, and feel not guilty;
dance, and feel not loss.
I try very hard to be worthy of the Gospel
and to live up to all that I should be in it.
The glory of His redemption lies not there;
but in that we cannot, and yet still receive.