Plaids are interesting. They allow you to put together colors that would normally never be found in clothes. And strangely, plaids need those surprising contrasting colors to save the base colors from being boring and unnoticeable. They don’t belong there, yet seem to at the same time.
As a person chosen by God to be God’s holy people (1 Peter 2.9) you are the contrast colors to the world. You don’t quite fit in, you aren’t part of the usual script, yet somehow you look good there and belong there. You are not only valuable, you bring hope, breathe life and redeem the fabric of humanity from itself. You do it because the color you bring is the color God gave you.
Wear plaid. Do plaid. Remember.
“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46.10) is often cited and for a good reason. We need to let quiet and breaks from our routine bring space in our lives to be refreshed and to hear God speak again. We had a great time up in Boundary Waters country. Company, food, conversation, food, cards, food, skiing, did I mention food? was wonderful. It was really cold, (high was -3, and typical temps were -25 to -15) but it was beautiful! And there is something about being in the boreal forest of the north that makes the temps not nearly so cold. I’d take -20 up there over 0 in the city anytime. But then being the gimp I spent all my time by the woodstove anyway…
The picture is looking out from the sauna over the North Arm of Burntside Lake. The little ice wall is built from the ice cut from the hole made for people to dip into the lake from the sauna. At night (when we perform this crazed ritual) a kerosene lantern sits there, competing with the moon for providing illumination. The rectangular spot of snow in the right foreground is the “door” covering the hole, snow piled on top, to keep the ice from forming too thickly during the day. Remember, it’s 20 below zero.
If you look in the distance there is a little island 300 yards or so away. it is a white lump against the trees on the horizon towards the right. The teens got daring this year and multiple dips and snow angels in the snow to beat the sauna heat wasn’t enough, so they dashed all the way to the island and back wearing only their, well, you know…
Find a sabbath everyday. Don’t wait for the big trips. Let quiet break in for a short time everyday, and for a minute or two every hour.
Okay, so I got asked what the picture of the pencil in the glass of water (could you tell what it was?) had to do with a culture of discontinuity. Well, the pencil is discontinuous as it goes from air to water… at least our perception of it is.
Water is baptism. Baptism is entering the Body of Christ, the Church (capital “C”hurch), which is a point of radical discontinuity for us, even though we (like the pencil) are still the same person on both sides. Baptism is a mark of discontinuity for the church. And baptismal waters never stop running. God’s claiming, changing, shaping, reviving power is always at work within us as individuals and communities. Seems like a great graphic to me.