Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Interesting times / Times for faith

Musings on faith during Advent.

"May you live in interesting times." Reputed to be an old Chinese saying or curse, these words have been bouncing around in my head for several months. This country, this era in which I find myself is stretching me to my perceived limits. The American people, the American government, American attitudes, politicians' attitudes, students' attitudes; rage, despair, depression; deficits, unemployment, lack of basic needs and services; consumerist, me-centric culture; all of these are weighing on me. As if it's up to me to fix it all. Interesting times, indeed.

And now: the end of a year, the beginning of a season, the shifting from dark to light, the persistence of the Magi, a child born in Bethlehem all point to faith and hope.

How hard it is, when things get dark, to focus on the light. Yet, that is what a faith-walk calls us to do. Faith is confidence or trust. By its definition, it is applied to what is NOT seen, what is NOT experienced. The times when I least feel faith are the times when I most need faith. This paradox is tough for me. It would be easier to give up, to think that God has lost track of us sorry humans, to believe that no good will come from these "interesting times."

And yet. Martin Luther King , Jr. said "Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that." It is only by recognizing the light that the darkness can fade. Sometimes recognizing the light means knowing the light is coming, it's coming, it's HERE! Sometimes recognizing the light means bringing light back in faith, when there's no evidence of it. When it's dark. When it's interesting times.

...Lux venit...Happy Solstice...For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given... In the beginning was the Word...

"Faith is a bird that feels dawn breaking and sings while it is still dark." - Scandinavian saying.

May I be that bird in these interesting times.

Friday, December 3, 2010

It's that time of year....

My version of the Christmas Waltz.

It's that time of year, when the students melt down,
Ev'ry word you hear is a whine: "No one told me...
It's your fault, I'm gonna COMPLAIN!!"
And this song of theirs, full of "it's not fair"s,
Will give me and mine migraines.

Finals end Dec. 17. Yes, I'm counting the days.