there is a better way.

November 13, 2006

transparency. this is a quality i admire in people, and its one that somehow naturally flows out of my life. this isn’t to say i am something special, or that transparency never needs to be filtered or restricted in certain instances. but for me, it is a way of life. most people at anytime can ask me how i am doing and i am pretty frank.

frank. how did that become a name? or rather, an adjective?

anyways. transparency. i am usually transparent but i recently find myself struggling with this because i can’t really explain where i am at right now in my journeying. i am incredibly restless right now. restless with my theology. restless with my future. with whatever it is i am doing here in vancouver. its just one of those days where no matter how hard i try, i can’t seem to wrap my mind around what i am reading or thinking. everything feels muddy and without form.

i went to this art therapy session on friday at this place where i am starting to volunteer. and while i dont consider myself an artist in the slightest, i thought it’d be nice to support the therapist’s practicum for graduate school and also i thought it just sounded like an interesting concept. we made some pieces out of clay and took turns discussing our artwork and the significance of our pieces. i eventually throw up everything i have been thinking recently on a group of 3 other people, one of which was an older woman who doesn’t speak english very well. i have never been that vulnerable to strangers, and it was quite freeing to be transparent, even if a tad awkward. freedom came in those messy, unplanned moments.

but today i am restless again because after all, life keeps going after those moments. i am bad at allowing those moments to be formative, i admit. and as i try to study for church tomorrow night i find myself wrestling with a passage that is very challenging to me theologically and practically. i find myself unable to even write coherent thoughts, much less believe i can express any of them in any articulate way at church.

as this is festering, i decided to put my studies aside and started listening to rob bell’s latest sermon, but stopped in order to reflect on his prayer. this is how it began:

there is a life for you and me and it is a life in which we have time for what matters, in which we are not rushed everywhere. it is a life where our life is centered in such a way that we have time for people that matter and that we don’t always use the phrase “i’m just so busy” because we actually aren’t just so busy… because we have taken time to build into our lives certain disciplines and boundaries and margins so that we aren’t always rushed and frazzled and stressed. there is a life for you and me where we sleep well at night and don’t lie away with our mind buzing. there is a life where you do not feel as though your cell phone is glued to your ear. there is a life where you do not feel as though you are a slave to your e-mail. there is a life where you and i have time to reflect, time to examine how we are actually living and where things are moving slow enough thatlife isn’t passing us by, there is a kind of life to be living where our kids aren’t growing up too quickly because you are so dialed into what matters here and now that you aren’t missing it. and you and I live in a culture that is shallow, superficial …moves too fast and bows down at the altar of production which says “keep going. keep moving. get it done.” …and we serve a God who insists there is a better way.

i need a better way.


8 Responses to “there is a better way.”

  1. Jeffrey Says:

    wouldn’t it make sense for restlessness to be the result when we attempt to “wrap our minds” around the infinite? the question at hand, i suppose, is what is the alternative?

  2. Lacey Says:

    i read something last night that was helpful- that maybe the better way (ha, to keep with the theme) that maybe its more about letting God’s word master us rather than us master God’s word… i think that fits into this discussion. so instead of my goal being information, my goal becomes formation. what this actually looks like is a good question, but it sure relieves the pressure i place on myself to know/understand/etc

  3. Jeffrey Says:

    “maybe its more about letting God’s word master us rather than us master God’s word”

    what about the roughly 1 billion people on this planet that are illiterate? Can the “better way” truly be based on a text? It kind of seems to me that there is an even better way than that…

    I’m not suggesting that I know what it is while shrouding it with jargon, I’m just saying a text based “way” seems more exclusive than inclusive. What do you think?

    [though a smart-ass tone could easily be read into this comment, it is meant with sincerity, NOT smart-ass-ness ;-)]

  4. Lacey Says:

    well, i knew you’d go there, but im saying in regard to studying the text that there is a better way to go about it. nothing more or less.

    i do agree- biblical literacy is a subject that begs many questions, and you and i have had talks about this and i think we are on the same page, but i wasn’t trying to get at that in this post. 🙂

  5. Jeffrey Says:

    sry lace, no intention to “go somewhere” with the comment string. just asking a question for your opinion. didn’t mean for it to seem like i was “making a point”…

    at any rate, great post.

  6. Lacey Says:

    ah! i hate the internet!
    don’t hear me saying you had a hidden agenda 🙂

    i just meant that i wasn’t thinking along the lines of the text being the exlusive way we are formed… but that i have tendencies to default to thinking right thinking is somehow the most valuable thing to gain, when it really doesn’t matter what you think if your life isn’t showing you’ve adopted some type of thinking. to throw some big words in there… orthodoxy vs. orthopraxy.

    i find myself agreeing with scot mcknight’s idea of post-bible study piety. i tagged his .pdf file in my account (i protested, but kyle said it was a good idea to have one and i guess he was right)

  7. Lacey Says:

    wow. ive commented on my own blog a lot today.

    to clarify, for whoever wonders, i dont even think rob bell was talking about bible study as “the better way”
    if you listen to his teaching from this sunday, you will see that.

    i just meant for me, in that moment, a better way meant lots of things, including how i go about searching things out 🙂

  8. Jeffrey Says:

    ha ha, sorry to have apparently cause some misunderstanding today. ur right, such is the curse of internet dialogue.

    again, just meant to say, “good thoughts” and “here’s another question in that line of thinking…”


    skype ya later.

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