Sunday, October 5, 2008

A life-and-death TEST

Paul regarded death with holy indifference. For many people, death is the greatest loss of all, but for Paul death was a promotion. Then he would see what he now believed. And so he declares in verse 21: “For me to love is Christ and to die is gain.” Christ was the purpose, power, and passion of Paul’s life.

This declaration poses a test for us:

“For me to live is ______________; to die is ______________.”

We fill in the blanks…

“For me to live is money--to die is to leave it all behind.”
“For me to live is popularity and prestige--to die is to be forgotten.”
“For me to live is pleasure--to die is the worst possible end of the party.”
“For me to live is power--to die is to lose it all.”
“For me to live is everything--to die is to cease to exist.”

Do we see death as our enemy, or as a gift? It's not easy to share Paul's ambivalence; let's at least try for his faith.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Praying & Paddling

For me, nothing beats kayaking down a calm river or around a lake. I get exercise, fresh air, great scenery, and a chance to pray and reflect on how God is working in my life. Unless I'm with another paddler, I can't help but pray while paddling. I've been paddling for about 5 years, and it's the best thing I've done for myself. There are many excellent put-ins in the greater Boston area. I wish I started this decades ago.