Life at the Table

Meaningful life does not come via a powerful person we happen to know but through a weak and powerless friend who freely gives of himself.

How often do we boast of the rich and powerful people we have brushed up against or met in a chance encounter? And yet, these are not the people who can really shape us or give definition to life. The people who define us are those who may not have money or fame to give but who freely give of themselves. And we do not have to go looking for these people or stand around hoping they will notice us. They are right in front of us. They live all around us. They are the weak and wounded, the broken and powerless. We miss them while we stand craning our necks to see the famous person pass by or when we pretend to be the rich and powerful. Meaningful life comes as we find each other at Christ’s table, offering life to each other. In such humility and friendship, we give and receive from one another the transforming life of Christ.

Living Privileged

What a privilege it is to age.
Fullness awaits us at each stage; hope on every page.
The key is to live, truly live and remain with heart and voice engaged.

Old age does not come to everyone.  Some die young, before their time.  These young ones live as if they have all the time in the world.  And yet, death, the unexpected and uninvited intruder, robs them of experiences and cancels their plans.  The more conscious ones among us will do everything we can to increase our chances against death – eat healthy, exercise daily, drive safely, lather sunscreen abundantly – and still we cannot beat the odds.  Sooner or later, death comes.  So, whether you and I live beyond our teens, into our 30s, or up to 80, it is as privilege, as pure grace that we grow older.  It is truly a privilege to age.

So, how dare I hold back or postpone living for another time?  It is exactly because life is a privilege that I am obliged to live fully in each stage and into every turn.  Others may not or cannot, but privilege tells me I must live with full heart and voice into life.  For certain, life is full of hard stuff that provides ample reason to pull back or disengage.  And yet, experience tells me that the key to navigating the good and the bad is to live in the awe of privilege.

As I live into my 60s and as my mind and body brace for the challenges of decay and feebleness, to live privileged means I stay engaged with people, take on new challenges, and give myself to big and worthwhile causes.  And while living privileged does not make me the exception to the rule or give me license to live a wasteful or foolish existence, it certainly gives me permission to live strong and deep into everything and everyone around me.

If you and I shrink from living privileged, age will surely curse us and ultimately consume our hope.  So, with gusto say with me – ‘What a privilege it is to age!’

The Way Ahead

The following is a quote from a student’s paper …

“… fear weakens and paralyzes us … hopelessness is a kind of death; one is immobilized by the dark and threatening visage of the future.  But hope enlivens us.  When viewed with hope, the way ahead is open and inviting.  Hope draws us into the future and in this way it engages us in life.”
– Glenn Tinder, The Fabric of Hope: An Essay (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1999), 13.

Thank you Katie.

Saved for Life

Given a chance religion will squeeze desire and love from life.  It tends to destroy our deepest feelings and hopes.  By necessity, it requires uniformity and compliance, and therefore, uniqueness and diversity, appetites and passions must yield to a sameness of mind and heart that blunt and numb our spirit and being.  Religion can kill. Continue reading