The Unopened

If we’re honest, culture forms us much more than the Gospel. It seems we have kept the basic storyline of human history in place rather than allow the Gospel to reframe and redirect the story. Except for those who have experienced grace at their core, Christianity has not created a “new mind” (Romans 12:2) or a “new self” (Ephesians 4:23-24) that is significantly different than the cultures it inhabits. The old, tired win/lose scenario seems to be in our cultural hard drive, whereas the experience of grace at the core of reality, which is much more imaginative and installs new win/win programs in our psyche, has been neglected and unrecognized by most of Christianity. People who live their entire lives inside of a system of competing, measuring, earning, counting, and performing can’t understand how the win/win scenario of the Gospel would even be interesting or attractive.

Up to now, Christianity has largely mirrored culture instead of transforming it. Reward/punishment, good guys versus bad guys, has been the plot line of most novels, plays, operas, movies, and wars. This is the only way that a dualistic mind, unrenewed by prayer and grace, can perceive reality. It is almost impossible to switch this mind during a short sermon or service on a Sunday morning. As long as we remain inside of a dualistic, win/lose script, Christianity will continue to appeal to low-level and vindictive moralisms and will not rise to the mystical banquet that Jesus offered us. The spiritual path and life itself will be mere duty instead of delight, “jars of purification” instead of 150 gallons of intoxicating wine at the end of the party (John 2:6-10). We will focus on maintaining order by sanctified violence instead of moving toward a higher order of love and healing—which is the very purpose of the Gospel.  Richard Rohr, Franciscan

Garden or Toxic Dump

 

To work well is to live out of an identity that works–one that is growing in beauty simplicity and moves like a stream that daily rids itself of toxins. Spirituality is identity in action and springs from the mystery of our being.

We live in environments that are “Out of Order.” We need time and space to wonder, to discover together the beauty within ourselves so we can shape a beautiful world.

To wonder…

 

is to stand in awe of the ultimate mystery of life and to understand that mystery exists not merely in the ecstatic but in the ordinary daily life.  Eliot Deutsch observed that wonder, unlike curiosity, does not try to figure out, or to explain.  We do not wonder “at, ” “about,” or “why” —we wonder with.

from Rob Lehman in Seeds of Awakening

If I had…

 

…influence with the good angel who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world would be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life as an unfailing antidote against boredom and dis enchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength.

from Sense of Wonder by Rachel Carson