Thursday, April 5, 2007

probably not a big deal for you

the other night i was struggling to shut my brain off and fall asleep [a fairly common occurence in my world], when i began to think about why i'm here.

now, typically, when i begin to wonder about that i've got more than one good answer; i mean, i never have a difficult time hypothesizing about why any of us are here [yes - i am familiar with the westminster short catechism] or why i'm here as a dad/husband/son/friend/pastor

but the other day was different

i just felt like i had to get specific

why am i alive
and on the earth
and a pastor
and a black-sheep pentecostal
and a dissident emergent
and a canadian in exile in my other home
with a penchant for media
with a creative mind that never shuts off
who likes knowledge
but hates academia and fights hard not to give in to pomp and pretense
who loves jesus and the church
but hates the western deterioration of christian spirituality into maxims and slogans





am i [specifially me, with all of who i am - good and bad]

here [on earth, today, in michigan]?

well, leaving michigan aside for present purposes
i've become crystaline in one particular lens
which really does speak to my out-of-placeness among other pastors
or artists, or musicians
and perhaps even addresses my pathological obsession with local church ministry

i think i'm here
to create venues of spiritual interactivity and relationship

i'm here
to create
- because i'm an innovator
- because i'm a creator/artist/playwrite/musician/writer/thinker/programmer

i'm creating venues
- because i think space is sacred
- because i feel there are certain places that elicit certain emotions and legitimate spiritual responses to the working presence of the spirit of god
- because environmental worship shares much of the same benefits are environmental learning experiences, which immerse us into another world/perspective/esprit

these venues are spiritual
- because i'm not interested in making art, i'm here to help facilitate people who long to connect more meaningfully with god
- because humanity is spiritual, but ignorant of our true identity as image-bearers of god, and i want to help us remember that

these venues are interactive
- because presentation is not the only legitimate form of spiritual intersection
- because our knowledge of god cannot simply be gnosis [head-knowledge], but must also be noetics [the knowledge of lived-experience] and allowing space for interactivity draws people out of themselves and into moving with god's spirit and engaging him in those moments

those venues are relational
- because i really do find things that are uber-cool to be deathly monotonous without the randomization of laughter and open conversation
- because i think god resides in and among his people in collections as well as in isolation
- because the whole rest of the world is so fragemented we ought to be a haven of family networks and relationships, a surrogate home

this has been really helpful for me to articulate
i've thought about it a lot since i first landed on this thinking
and feel like i've tested it enough for it to remain true

so i've put it here for those of you who care
who - by the way - always bless me by demonstrating that care
because you are my friends

and my mom


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