Raymond Park

My face is red and chapped,
But the heat, the rain, the snow –
They will not still this relentless complaint.
I must be heard.

And so I return to this place.
Daily, I pour out my complaint,
But no one listens;
I beat the air.
I preach to the wind.
I wait.

I have trampled the life around me,
This circle of dead grass is an altar to my pride.
I will not move forward until my complaint is heard,
And so I return.

Maybe tomorrow change will come;
Maybe tomorrow I’ll have my answer;
Maybe tomorrow I won’t need to return.
Where would I go?
This circle has become my home;
My complaint my closest companion.
I am tormented by the weight of it;
I am fearful of freedom;
I am ruined.


The life I want most for myself...

I was recently reading a spiritual formation book that had an exercise where you write out as a prayer the life that you want most for yourself. At this transitional moment in life, it struck me as a helpful thing to do. Really it gets at a redefining of success...here's what I came up with (I wrote in list format out of laziness - sorry!):

 The life I want most for myself is...

 - to walk in holy reverence before the Lord daily and love as Christ loves.
 - to be steadied by wisdom and filled with the joy that comes from seeing Christ clearly - the perfect wisdom of God.
- to always be found ready to serve sacrificially and be poured out on behalf of others.
- to carry traces of the kingdom into whatever context the Lord places me.
- to, in faith, see the Lord's hand at work in every circumstance and daily trust Him more.
- to be sensitive and obedient to the promptings of the Spirit.
- to actively carry others toward closer intimacy with the Father.

 I wanted to be more specific rather than conceptual, but I just couldn't bring myself to it. If my ability to be faithful and fruitful for the kingdom is bound to a circumstance or context, then I have limited the power of God who is over all and in all. As Psalm 139 states, If I ascend to the heavens, You are there. If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me and your right hand will uphold me. If I say surely the darkness will overwhelm me and the light around me will be as night. Even darkness is not dark to You and the night will shine as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.

 This, my friends, sounds like a pretty sweet life.