I wonder sometimes…

about the line between duty and dreams, the things we wish we could do and those that life has somehow attached to us.

Part of what makes a person mature is the realization that the world is as it is and the lofty aspirations of youth somehow always seem to get grounded by the realities of life. Yet the aspirations, the dreams, never seem to leave. For the most part the business of life drowns out their whisper but every so often when stillness comes they can be heard again reminding us of the passage of time, of things left undone, and dreams unfulfilled.

Such is a broken world, a world where yearning never ceases even in the waves of the mundane and people with more time behind then ahead remember what they were when everything was new. It will be a half a century for me this year, God willing, and still the fire has not died away…

Sen. Harry Reid…

was right. There may have been more than a few people who voted for Barack Obama not in spite of racism but because of it. I wonder how many people simply assumed that Obama, as Sen. Reid put it, a light skinned African American without a “negro” speech pattern was more intelligent and capable than he was simply because he didn’t look or sound like a rapper thus defying our stereotypes?

Did our  rehearsed images of African Americans combined with then Sen. Obama’s apparent difference  disable some people’s ability to critically evaluate him? An interesting thought.

I had the chance…

last  night to get back in touch with things pentecostal at a Friday night jam session.

The place was Whirlwind Ministries. The event was a Gospel jam. Pizza, sound system, plug yourself in and start to sing. Been there, done that, have good memories, and for a moment I got to relive it all again.

In my college days I wasn’t a very good pentecostal. I liked the music, savored the passion, but often found myself alone in a sea of people singing in tongues wondering what it was that was wrong with me. I wanted it to be real but never quite got into the center of things. Yet I loved the people and their desire to be closer to God because it was mine as well.

Flash forward through the years and a part of me is still back in the Assembly of God, if not by faith then at least by feeling. Times have changed. I have changed. Yet the idea of a big God, a God bigger than me, a God who can still waters with a word and is present and powerful, remains. In the Protestant world it seemed the pentecostals were among the few that understood this and its probably why I hung around with them even when it didn’t seem to rub off on me.

Yet my hours at Whirlwind Ministries reminded me of how good it is to be Orthodox. Yes, I can still rock with the praise band but the steady, measured, and ancient hymns are what brings quiet to my soul.  And yes I can share the fervor but I realize that I’m in this for the long haul and therefore the moments of emotion are not the substance of faith.

I guess that sometimes you just have to step outside your walls for a while to get some perspective on what you really have.

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