You know, it’s possible that God’s plan for us is littleness. His plan for us may be personal failure. It’s possible that when another door closes, it’s not because he plans to open a window but because he plans to have the building fall down on you. The question we must ask ourselves is this: Will Christ be enough?
Jared Wilson, “You’re Going to Die (and So Might Your Dreams”
The true source and analogue of our economic life is the economy of plants, which never exceeds natural limits, never grows beyond the power of its place to support it, produces no waste, and enriches and preserves itself by death and decay. WE MUST LEARN TO GROW LIKE A TREE, NOT LIKE A FIRE. We must repudiate … “the ideology of the cancer cell”: the idiotic ideology of “unlimited economic growth” that pushes blindly toward the limitation of massive catastrophe.
– Wendell Berry, Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community [Emphasis added]
If, as I believe, faith and imagination are the two primary sources of culture, then even in the darkest time it is possible to make poems and prayers out of our travails.
– Gregory Wolfe, in his Introduction to The New Religious Humanists
And though Christians may not always recognize their true place in the cosmos, they are less likely to embrace the delusion that they have transcended conventional existence altogether and are, therefore, free from “petty” obligations and common morality. In other words, Christians aren’t better than other people, but their worldview encourages them to recognize that fact.
Robert Inchausti, Subversive Orthodoxy
Sanctify our talents that our minds may re-echo thy praise which resounds from the beauty of nature and the great works of love and intellect.
– Northrop Frye.
A fitting prayer for the new year.
Speak the words, convey the data, and step aside… Step aside and they will know what you know because they know it already. You have nothing to teach them. You are not more beautiful than they are. You are not wiser. Do not shout at them.
Leonard Cohen, “How to Speak Poetry”. I need to remind myself of this every time I preach, just before I step into the pulpit.
Tell me, I ask of you, where will we get by all these labors of ours? What are we seeking for? To what purpose do we serve in office? What higher ambition can we have at court than to become friends of the emperor? In such a position what is there that is not fragile and full of peril? By how many perils do we arrive at a greater peril? When will we get there? But to become God’s friend, if I wish it, see, I become one here and now.”
Augustine’s Confessions (8:6)
Pit yourself against granite…
Our lives flower and pass. Only robust
works of the imagination live in eternity…
make your elusive dream
in the resistant mass of crude substance.
from “Art”, in Denise Levertov’s Collected Earlier Poems