I like exploring the phrases we use, it tells me a lot. Some of them, once you unpack it, it doesn’t actually mean anything, or maybe it’s totally false. “I’m not motivated” is one such phrase: it’s actually not true. You probably disagree with me right now, and that’s okay. Allow me to explain.
Sometimes prayer is easy and feels great, we just know God’s love. Other times if seems like we’re reading a phone book. What gives? Turn out, God knows what we need (surprise!) and sometimes that means He needs to purify our intentions. St. John of the Cross, famously known for the “dark night of the soul”, explains.
P.S. Be a hero today
Labels can be useful, they can tell you descriptive things. But that’s not how we usually use labels on social media. You’re more likely to see a group labeled, vilified, and dismissed. Dismissive labels make you come across as rude, snarky, and uncharitable. That’s no way to behave on social media.
Peek inside my prayer life as I ponder Genesis 41: Joseph’s brothers get jealous and sell him into slavery in Egypt. Rough. Except he goes on to help the world through a massive famine, even helping out his brothers who betrayed him. Whoa.
“And the Lord said to Adam, you may eat of the fruit of any of the trees of the garden, but you must not eat this marshmallow.” – Unsong
On a plate rests a large marshmallow, and small child stares at it. “I’m going to leave and come back in 15 minutes,” the researcher tells the child. “If the marshmallow is still there when I get back, you’ll get another one. But, you can eat it now if you want.” It’s the now-famous Marshmallow Experiment. Each child gets to choose: one marshmallow now, or delay gratification for two later? And, they tracked the children long-term, finding those who could delay gratification showed success in other areas of their lives, such as higher SAT scores. What can this teach us about the Christian life?
Do you ever wish there were more hours in a day? Or feel like your schedule is crowded with external demands and you don’t have time for the most important things? With a money budget, you realize there are more things you can spend your money on than you actually have money, the same is true of your time, and thus you need a time budget.
I wrote much much more in a guest post for Brian McAdam, you should check it out!
Virtue is an intangible thing, you can’t really see it but you can sometimes see its effects. Earlier, I wrote about how cool it would be if you could see virtue. If virtue were made visible, we’d strive after its beauty and not after sin’s ugliness. But what if you could smell virtue? How would that change things?
Every story is a carrier of a worldview: we have to ask ourselves whether that worldview is true. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was a great action movie, but unfortunately doesn’t teach us a lot of true things about God. I wrote a whole guest post on it, so you should check it out!