28 February 2009
a. Was it because people were not bored before the 18th century?
b. Was it because people were bored but did not have a word for it?
c. Was it because people were too busy staying alive to be bored?
Walker Percy from Lost in the Cosmos (The Last Self-Help Book)
Percy goes on to propose three additional answers, but they take up pages so I didn't include them. This question haunts me for three reasons.
1. I hear people complaining about boredom. I don't believe there is an answer to this. Most people say, "Well, let's go bowling, or to a movie, or to the mall, or to..." I have found myself saying things like, "You should ponder that" or "Think about what you just said." My responses are not popular. My response from now on: "You know, boredom did not enter the lexicon until the 18th century. HMMM." This type of response is very well received.
2. When I bring up the question to friends, there seems to be an underlying terror about the answer (or lack thereof).
3. I got my mouth washed out with soap by a babysitter when I was 11. My crime? Uttering these infamous words, "I'm bored." Oh, the humanity.
27 February 2009
22 February 2009
This is the second of Potok's books I've read. My Name is Asher Lev was wonderful as well. Both books have profound things to say about family, community, and independence. This was a wonderful book about the importance of friendship and how pain is passed on from generation to generation.
I found the above quote and the content of the book to be helpful in my work. I definitely recommend it.
20 February 2009
For all who are being killed, slowly.
For all who murder from their own pain.
Jesus Christ have mercy.
17 February 2009
It is laid upon every Christian. The first suffering of Christ we must experience is the call sundering our ties to this world. This is the death of the old human being in the encounter with Jesus Christ. Whoever enters discipleship enters Jesus' death, and puts his or her own life into death; this has been so from the beginning. The cross is not the horrible end of a pious, happy life, but stands rather at the beginning of community with Jesus Christ. Every call of Christ leads to death. Whether with the first disciples we leave home and occupation in order to follow him, or whether with Luther we leave the monastery to enter a secular profession, in either case, the one death awaits us, namely, death in Jesus Christ, the dying away of our old form of being human in Jesus' call.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer from Discipleship
I'm teaching on the season of Lent this weekend. It's a challenging topic to face at my home church. We're a group from many different backgrounds. As I was talking with some friends recently, we realized that most of our people are either from extreme Protestantism (we approach Lent-ish practice with skepticism) or former Catholic (we have had enough Lent already, thanks!) backgrounds. No way to play this one down the middle.
I've found so much healing and peace in Lent. I've experienced a lot of faith growth in seasons past. That said, I never look forward to it. At least not in the way I look forward to summer or the latest Justin Timberlake album. It's hard. It's not fun. I'm going to be talking some about the absolute unsellability of Lent (and really Christianity). If we had to develop a true sub-slogan for Lent (and Christianity), it would be COME AND DIE. Obviously, this is not the kind of slogan that is likely to increase market share...and here I go, getting all mad about the state of suburban faith.
Back to the Bonhoeffer quote. Why is it that deepening of faith is so often tied to deep suffering? If we are inviting people to suffer as Christ suffered, I feel like we need to have lived the answer to this question in some way.
12 February 2009
On defending yourself: You can either say, "It's not true," and leave it at that, or you can go on a 7-hour rant about why it's not true.
On the purpose of their job: Our goal is to make the perfect song. It's an impossible thing to do.
On why he is not a rock star: I'm not even a soft-rock star. I don't wear the right pants.
On their greatest talent: We rely on enthusiasm over talent.
On being called the greatest rock band currently working: It's probably true, but U2 comes off holiday next month.
On the meaning of Yellow: What's it about? Who knows? I can't quite work it out myself.
On doing interviews: We don't do them. One of our band rules is always keep mystery.