June 24, 2013

A Quote

I received this from Day Carr, a lady who has been a part of my camp faculty for almost two decades.  Yes, you read that right, two decades.  She is a down to earth lady with a love for God, His creation, and the slowness of life.  Any morning at camp you can hear her playing her lap dulcimer and singing as she communes with God.  In the evenings, she sings the girls in her cabin to sleep.  She is an awesome lady!

She gave out this quote hand written on a sheet of paper.  It was tagged to Saint Bernard.  I wanted to get the reference right.  In my searching, I found the original quote, which comes from Thomas Merton.  I'm going to give her version, and then Merton's.
Untie my hands
and deliver me 
from my sloth
Set me free 
from the laziness
that goes about 
disguised as activity
when activity
is not demanded by You, Oh Lord
rather it is an escape
from the sacrifice
that it takes
to be with you

Here is the statement from Merton's New Seeds of Contemplation (p. 45)
Untie my hands and deliver my heart from sloth. Set me free from the laziness that goes about disguised as activity when activity is not required of me, and from the cowardice that does what is not demanded, in order to escape sacrifice.
Certainly something to pray regularly.

June 2, 2013

An Intriguing Question

"How many people who go to church every week are going to hell?"

This was a question that Francis Chan put out at the recent Exponential Conference.  I don't remember much at this point about his message.  The only thing I wrote down was that question.  Is it because he didn't have other good things to say?  Chan always has great things to say.  I think its because that question is so haunting to me.

What have I done in my years of ministry to influence the answer to that question?  Have I done positive things that have encouraged people to grow in their spiritual lives?  Or, have I focused on things that, while important, have caused complacency and drift?

These are the things that challenge me every day.  They sometimes take my focus away.  They are challenging me to rethink what I do and why I do it.

Thank you for making me think, Mr. Chan.