It is Thanksgiving day,
And I just wanted to take a moment to express how grateful I am.
Last night I felt as if I had crossed a finish line. But don't ask me what that means.
And since life is one long race, the end of one race is the beginning of another, and then another, until the end.
Nonetheless, I feel so grateful to be the thing I am today. And perhaps that is the race that I have finished: the race of becoming.
And surely that race will go on and on for thousands of tomorrows.
But today feels like the culmination of many yesterdays
And something to be thankful for.
How grateful I am for the chance to exist in this world!
I pray that God will bless you on this Thanksgiving Day in all that you're becoming. And I thank God for what you are today.
How does the man of God grow rich?
In the same way that the deer, and the elk,
And the moose grow rich,
By natural process,
And by unexplainable divine intent.
What else can explain the growth
Of the glory of the males
Of these species.
And every year their rack grows larger.
But unlike the worldly man
Who hordes his cache of fame and wealth,
These kings of the forest shed, each year,
The symbol of their age, and power, and wisdom.
So, the man of God is much the same.
Through natural process
And by unexplainable divine intent
He grows great through the bestowal of divine gifts
Only to shed these gifts
To the betterment of his fellow man,
Until he reaches that poverty
In which lies the seeds of wealth.
And the process starts all over again.
And every time he lets go of his worldly possessions
And allows himself to become empty,
There arises renewed faith
In God's ability to do it all again.
He is going to allow us to suffer
Because he wants us to know Him.
We have worshipped
But we have not fully known
And we cannot fully know
Until we have suffered with Him
The loss of all.
Ruin is a gift.
Within the context of ruin,
One can reassess and recalibrate.
But the unrepentant will not do that.
And I cannot help them here.
I do not speak to them.
But for those who've always known
That something wasn't quite right
With all their self-made glory,
Ruin opens the portal
It breaks down in preparation
For that which God will build up.
It kills and strips to the bare bone.
In preparation for a more glorious resurrection
When sinews and flesh will come up upon them
And we will live and not die.
But the path to such things
Does not lead down roads of glory.
It leads through the valley of dry bones,
Through the valley of ruin.
People make choices to avoid pain.
Some avoid immediate pain
And mind-numbing choices.
Others make choices
To avoid future pain
By being responsible
And looking out for their future selves.
But if we choose to follow God into the trackless path,
We will discover that inevitably,
He will lead us to embrace
Not only the sweet but the bitter.
And it is only in this way
That we can be freed from our aversion to pain.
Only then can we come to be pained
By that which causes God pain.
You cannot hack the flow state without undesirable repercussions.
A fruit tree does not set a goal. It lives according to its nature and suffers well the pruning, and thereby, in due season, gives forth fruit.
They blindly imbibe in earthly pleasure
But that won't work for long
Because all earthly bliss
That does not unite us
In heavenly bonds
And the end is close at hand.
And the day will come when you will need
The help of unseen helpers.
For that reason,
The best strategy is to forego momentary pleasure,
To forestall the impulse toward the profane
And wait upon deliverance
Unto the sublime.
And if you can't,
To seek the help of God.
But the prophets and the sages
Have been saying that for a long time.
And perhaps we now must reap what we have sowed.
Surely...the time has come.
And the message has gone forth.
And the end is at hand.
And perhaps in that
Some, if not many, will be redeemed through suffering.
But how black the night that comes,
How unspeakably terrible,
You do not know.
For the world will be wrapped
In what will appear to be endless night.
So that, in comparison,
All that which you believed to be evil
Will shrink increasingly
To ever paler shades of grey.
And some will run headlong
Into all that they feared with a will
And with loathing of the light.
And others will turn with yearning hearts
Toward the unseen place of glory.
And when the darkness has had its way
And the world with all its pomp
Has descended into the pit.
Then, with key in hand,
The mighty one will come and seal all those
Who do not love the light
Unto the thing that they desire.
I shudder to think of it.
But there is hope for them
Who have not killed the truth within.
And may heaven shed its mercy upon them
In whom still lives the love of light!
And deliver them from darkness!
One step at a time.
For there, just on the other side
Of that great night to end all nights
Shines the brightness of a world reborn.
And you do not know how bright it shines!
Its pillars rise heavenward
And glisten in the light
Of everlasting truth.
And for all those who can forego
The delights of earthly pleasure,
Or at least begin the journey
Toward the holy place,
There awaits unseen helping hands
Ready to lift them up and point the way.
And the time is now.
The clock has already tolled the hour.
And the only thing left to do
Is to turn the refiner's fire up
And discover who is who.
To give good gifts is an art
And it requires the intervention of heaven,
It's not enough to gift out of obligation
Though that kind of giving has its own beauty
When it's done thoughtfully.
But as for me, I desire to give good gifts
For no other reason than
That the gift is the ideal peg
For another's empty hole.
Such giving binds
The giver and receiver
With an eternal kind of love.
It engenders true and deep felt gratitude.
And lasting friendship
Of the kind that transcends the veil.
For this reason,
The hosts of heaven get involved.
For it is no small thing to give a good gift.
You might even say that it is a sacrament,
A holy exchange.
Dear God, help me to give good gifts.
Help me to love and to lend a hand to those who lack.
Help me to be the means of meeting another's need
In just the right moment.
For this is no small thing.
It is so easy to give poor gifts
And to throw away my portion
At the same time, dear God,
Help me to empty myself out
In such a manner that, from time to time,
I will also know lack that others can fill.
And by so doing, dear God,
Please bind us together
And forgive us of our mindless
Getting and giving.
I am so sorry that I did not understand until now
What it was all about.
We thought that we could find it by looking back,
But we cannot. It lies in the future.
And we will never turn around.
We will never look back.
We'll keep on moving forward,
With our eyes upon the thing that's coming.
Even as the world comes to a screeching halt
Because they cannot imagine any future
Not of their own making.
And some will attempt to bunker down
And retreat into the past.
But they will find that they cannot.
For there is no amount of hoarding
That can prepare them for what's coming.
But for those who choose the future,
This is only the beginning.
And if the world has been free with it's substance
Unto carnal pleasure.
We will be more free with our substance
Unto the acquisition of friends in heavenly places
And faith, and everything we ever needed
Flowing out from the unseen cache
Of God's limitless storehouse.
And as for technology, we embrace it
Wherein it serves to point us to the light.
And when the towers fall
And the world is weeping for their loss,
We'll erect new ones made of faith
So that upon Mount Zion,
We will not miss a beat.
Sometimes it feels as if I am on an endless Safari
In search of some wild prey which constantly eludes me.
And I don't know why I cannot let go
To the beauty of the Serengeti.
There is no reconciliation
Accept in that final reconning.
But there are those who choose to recon early.
And when they do,
They are met by the vilest opposition.
They are despised for choosing truth and love too early
Because the world wants to go on reveling to the end
And settle up later.
But for those who choose to settle their accounts
Before it's everlastingly too late,
There is no turning back.
For the world will never love them for their loving
Nor laud them for the wealth of truth that they embrace.
And so, their consolation is not of this world.
Their hope is in that final day
When all will see the truth together.
And since they welcome it with gladness,
It is enough.
Dear body of mine,
Though you cannot see,
There are hopeful reasons to stay alive.
Please trust me.
And carry me another day longer.
One day at a time,
One day at a time.
I promise there’s a new day dawning,
If only you can bear the cross of all
That shields your eyes
From hiding joys of impossible tomorrows.
Stay with me old friend.
Please don’t forsake me in my sorrows.
But trust me unto the unfolding.
I am at your mercy.
For we are partners in a work,
Yoked together for as long as we can stand the fire.
And I love you more than you can know.
Keep your eyes forward.
Don't look back.
Let the dead past bury the past.
Love will resurrect all that
Which truly was yours, to begin with.
Faith must come first.
So put it at the forefront,
Since results spring out of belief.
It's a matter of priority.
And faith is nurtured
In the dark brown fertile beds of peace.
So, you must relax into it.
It's a meditation.
And it takes time,
Not to say it takes a long time,
But that you must alot time for it
Before you start to work.
So that, when you begin to work
You do so peacefully,
Fully knowing that the work
Has already been accomplished,
And that your temporal labors
Are no more than tokens
Of a much larger set of unseen movements
Which have been set in motion
To bring the work about.
Sometimes a monster is not what’s needed.
And sometimes we come at a problem with a knife
When what we really need is a pillow.
And sometimes the giants fall
Like a rock
To the sound of silence.
Get out before it's too late!
The fight is only beginning.
Get out before it is too late!
Or you will lose.
All will lose.
Get out before it's too late!
You don't know what you are facing.
For if you hurl yourself into this kettle
You'll discover when it boils
That all who fought in this last battle
Die like lobsters in the pot.
Looking out upon the world through prison bars,
They wonder how it ends.
And I hate to tell them,
Since they don't yet know
What lies on the other side of pain.
But I do. And we have not yet been forsaken,
Nor ever will be, though the world devolves into chaos.
But for now, the world that lies beyond
Is hidden from them.
I pity them for this.
And I do not mean life after life.
I mean the place that will rise from the ashes
Of all that we've burned with our ill-placed passion.
I wish that I could give it to them.
Perhaps that is what I am trying to do,
Here, with these failing words:
To shine a light on what might be if we believe.
I have often been ashamed
Of my need to be alone.
And it's not to say
That I don't long for people. I do.
I need others deeply, perhaps too deeply.
But I also need my solitude,
Perhaps more than other people.
And I wonder if it is because
There are so many others with me all the time.
I cannot pick them up and put them down.
There are no superficial conversations.
And it all, they all, weigh upon me
All the time.
Their stories cling to me,
Reach down deep inside of me,
And turn me over and over wondering.
Solitude gives me time and space
To process that,
And to hear the songs
That rise up in response,
Songs for the people I love
But whom I cannot see just now.
But we do our best
To speak the truth
To spite their treachery.
For only by the Spirit
Do we really know a thing.
And only by the Spirit do we speak
If we speak well.
And we do so knowing
That some will misunderstand,
And others will write them down
In an attempt to bottle up the light.
But we fear the coming years,
Long after we are gone,
When stony hearts will go to war
Over the interpretation,
Stones beating upon stones.
But we do our best.
They're all we have - words.
And we carefully pour over them
In an attempt to choose just the right ones,
So that, perhaps, someone listening
Can hear the whisperings
Just underneath all that can be said,
Not by words,
But by the Spirit,
Those truths which can't be spoken.
It is God who rewards the righteous,
Not the world.
So seek to please God,
What a comfort,
That God is more easily pleased
Than the world.
In the midst of temptation,
Know that the desire for immediate gratification
Comes because you have not sufficiently believed.
Carnal desire plays upon the need for comfort.
And never do we feel the need for comfort so acutely
Than when it appears that all is lost,
Or that the task before us is impossible.
It is then that the lesser man rises up
And begs to be satiated.
For the carnal part of us does not live for the age
It suffers in the present.
And if it cannot see clearly enough
The reality of future reward,
It may storm the mind
And take it by force,
For it is the mind that directs the body.
Mind is the master.
For this reason, we are told
That we must be of a sound mind.
And so, If you have a lofty goal,
And a future intent for which you work
And which requires faith and endurance,
Project your mind forward
To the desired outcome.
And experience more deeply
The thing you can't yet see.
By this, the carnal mind will be appeased.
You may not believe me.
And I must admit,
It's harder than it sounds.
And it won't come without effort.
But it is better than the alternative.
I fear to check out
Lest another check in while I sleep.
For they can be hard to roust
Once they've taken possession of the house.
I do one thing, this thing.
Just a reminder to myself,
To not be distracted by the gimmicks,
To focus upon the thing that I am good at,
The thing to which I am called:
I could serve hell forever
And it would drain me dry and ask for more.
It’s longings are insatiable.
Because it doesn’t want the cure.
It wants the patch, the poison.
It wants me for it’s errand boy,
But not to heal,
Not to heal.
Perhaps that’s why
There is a place for such.
And it appears
That I am learning late
The thing my fathers knew,
That hell cannot be reasoned with
Or even helped
In any consequential way