Some people collect beetles, or stamps, or objects with penguins on them. Apparently, I collect crises of conscience. Because moral angst has been a prominent feature in the landscape of my spiritual journey, I’d like to share what I’ve learned with others who traverse those regions.
Previously, a pastor could explain the sinfulness of smoking pot by highlighting its illegality. But what do they do when the laws change in favor of it? North America is seeing this shift with recreational marijuana legalization on the rise, soon to affect Vancouver, my home city.
We assume we should milk what we can and spend as we like, as if we were mainly citizens of the mall, devotees of capitalist consumerism rather than Christ. Humans, animals, and ecosystems are all suffering as a result.
Everyone wants margin in their lives but few have the courage to give themselves such a thing. It takes courage to have space. It takes courage to do less. It takes courage to say no.
You feel indifference bubbling in the pit of your stomach. In your work to help others, you take in the hurt of those around you, and feel your compassion slipping away. You register the nightmare of someone else’s reality, but your eyes glaze over.
Imagine sexual desire freed and focused within the union of husband and wife. There is love, pleasure, and beauty in sexual expression during those seasons when it is a core facet of marital fidelity and love. Our sexuality was designed to be a willing servant of love. It becomes distorted by our willfulness or our fear. It is being remade into a willing servant of love. Love makes sexuality like a laser beam: its power under control, its intensity focused, nothing wasted or promiscuously scattered.
My life is spent in holes more times than its not. Some are deep and some are not so deep. I have this maniacal tendency to go from one hole to another, rarely staying above ground long enough to understand what above ground looks like. Instead, I’m repeatedly looking up from the bottom of some hole that I don’t necessarily remember falling into. But…here I am again.
In our “hurry-up” society, however, the race, which lies ahead of us, promises constant stress from the pressures associated with our busy lifestyles. Yet even though the stress in our lives may be inevitable, we can learn how to control or minimize the degree to which a situation is stressful to us.
The Hebrew word “Shabbat” comes from a root that means “to repose, to desist from exertion.” It means literally, to rest. And that is exactly what I’m suggesting.
Feeling that the medical system has failed is an increasingly common reaction when problems aren’t fixed or diseases aren’t cured. No area of medicine can escape this sense of failure.