August 10, 2020

Tuesday with Michael Spencer: No Regrets

Tuesday with Michael Spencer No Regrets (from 2009, edited) Young folks in ministry. Adults living in regret. This is for you…. There was a time, in the last decade, that I constantly and painfully struggled with regrets about various choices I’d made in my life. I regretted not finishing doctoral studies. (I made it 37 […]

Days of Planting

Some of what I’ve encountered in recent days, personally, and as a hospice chaplain… I found out that two friends, husband and wife, the man a former pastor with whom I shared a ministry, were diagnosed with Covid-19. At last report, they are not doing well, and may soon be admitted to the ER. They […]

Wendell Berry: “Work flowerlike”

• Shall we do without hope? Some days there will be none. But now to the dry and dead woods floor they come again, the first flowers of the year, the assembly of the faithful, the beautiful, wholly given to being. And in this long season of machines and mechanical will there have been small […]

Labor Day 2019 — Another Look: Adam and Eve – A Failure of Vocation

Labor Day 2019 Another Look: Adam and Eve – A Failure of Vocation What the Bible offers is not a “works contract,” but a covenant of vocation. The vocation in question is that of being a genuine human being, with genuinely human tasks to perform as part of the Creator’s purpose for his world. The […]

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann: We are not self-invented folks

Sunday with Walter Brueggemann We are not self-invented folks There is a mistaken notion that we are self-starters, individuals who “possess” capacity and worth. And we can make do and can do, if we try harder. Such a view belongs to American notions of success and progress. But it really doesn’t work. We cannot make […]

Sunday with Christian Wiman: Calling and Resistance

It’s almost the definition of a calling that there is strong inner resistance to it. The resistance is not practical—how will I make money, can I live with the straitened circumstances, etc.—but existential: Can I navigate this strong current, and can I remain myself while losing myself within it? Reluctant writers, reluctant ministers, reluctant teachers—these […]

Wendell Berry: “The best of human work…”

The best of human work defers always to the in-forming beauty of Nature’s work. But human work, true to the nature of places as it should be, is not natural and is not a mirror held up to nature. At best it is the gift of the Heavenly Muse to the farmer’s art or the […]

Genesis: Where It All Begins (4)

What the Bible offers in the beginning is not a “works contract,” but a covenant of vocation. The vocation in question is that of being a genuine human being, with genuinely human tasks to perform as part of the Creator’s purpose for his world. The main task of this vocation is “image-bearing,” reflecting the Creator’s […]

A Worker’s Prayer for Labor Day 2017

• • • A Worker’s Prayer for Labor Day 2017

Another Look: “To Go through Life Guessing Wrong”

Once, while reading Thomas Merton on the subject of vocation (No Man Is an Island), I came across this stunning passage: Our vocation is not a sphinx’s riddle, which we must solve in one guess or else perish. Some people find, in the end, that they have made many wrong guesses and that their paradoxical […]