Excuses are like a parking brake to stay where we are. We just keep paying the meter and the fines; the meter is ticking – put it in drive and move forward.
Gentleness is not apathy but is an aggressive expression of how we view people. We see people as so valuable that we deal with them in gentleness, fearing the slightest damage to one for whom Christ died. To be apathetic is to turn people over to mean and destructive elements, to truly love people Is cause for us to be aggressively gentle.
The use of the word hope in the Bible seems to swing back and forth between the noun and verb side. Sometimes I’m not sure which it is. But I know that I must activate my hope in order to have faith for the things I’m praying for. Biblical hope is expecting what God has promised because He is faithful! I can activate my hope and trust Him. I can remember that hope is a verb and have hope, hope, hope for the impossible by faith because of God’s goodness and greatness and faithfulness.
Waking up is the dangerous act of worship. It’s dangerous because worship is meant to produce lives fully attentive to reality as God sees it, and that’s more than most of us want to deal with.
I think of painting and music as subcutaneous arts. They get under your skin. They may get deeper than that eventually, but it takes a while, and they get there to some extent tinged by if not diluted by the conditions under which you saw them or heard them. Writing on the other hand strikes me as intravenous. As you sit there only a few inches from the printed page, the words you read go directly into the bloodstream and go into it at full strength. More than the painting you see or the music you hear, the words you read become in the very act of reading them part of who you are, especially if they are the words of exceptionally promising writers. If there is poison in the words, you are poisoned; if there is nourishment, you are nourished; if there is beauty, you are made a little more beautiful. In Hebrew, the word dabar means both word and also deed. A word doesn’t merely say something, it does something. It brings something into being. It makes something happen. What do writers want their books to make happen?
Are you going to live cautiously or courageously? I called you to live at your best, to pursue righteousness, to sustain a drive toward excellence. It is easier, I know, to be neurotic. It is easier to be parasitic. It is easier to relax in the embracing arms of The Average. Easier, but not better. Easier, but not more significant. Easier, but not more fulfilling. I called you to a life of purpose far beyond what you think yourself capable of living and promised you adequate strength to fulfill your destiny.
– Run with the Horses