Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Spiritual Rhythms of Life for Today

Appropriate trust is like a virus that infects us with courage when it comes to reversing an inappropriate fear of self-deception about belief in God. Spreading through our hearts, minds, emotions, and senses we begin to be able to understand that trust pertains to who we are, to who God is, and to what kind of world we live in. Life is far more than a perception of the material world. Notions of selfhood and revelation are therefore valuable to the comprehensible. Reflect on our capacity to be here and there, in story, geography, and dream as we are revealed to from beyond ourselves. Imagination is a key that can contribute to unlocking access, edging us past the seen to the unseen, so that we become trekkers into the transcendent.


Living Spiritual Rhythms For Today


Angela said...

Beautiful thoughts, Greg.
One question:
What do suppose imagination and
being "trekkers into the transcendent" should
look like in our creating?

Greg said...

Thanks. I think it should open up creative possibilities for expressing the here and the there in story, film, music, art, and in a real way daily living.

Angela said...

You write: "Reflect on our capacity to be here and there, in story, geography, and dream as we are revealed to from beyond ourselves."

By the here and the there, I think you mean the
now and the not yet, God's kingdom here but not
completely here?

And do you mean, in your response to me, that we
are to reflect this now and not yet in our creating?
If so, I'm not so clear on how this is done. In some
ways our mere creating will reflect our creatureliness before God, whoever we are.
As Christians, as we seek God in our
creating and draw upon skills we have learned,
but how could we possibly show the transcendence
of God or "Thy Kingdom Come"?

One thought that comes to mind is trying to create
something of a deeper or lasting quality, but that
can't be all. And maybe some art is only meant for
a season.

Greg said...

Yes, the already and the not yet or transcendence - imminence are part of the here and there. I think that I was also wanting to articulate this here and there capacity as part of selfhood, as we can soar into the trusted unseen.

On creating. True, there is, as you point out, a creativity that emanates from creatureliness - it just happens because we image God. But then there is also the incarnational-redemptive creativity that has a goal or target to emphasize the relation-distinction of the seen and the unseen. Creativity that is lasting or deeper would be part of this, but another example would be to aim to formulate expressions of the transcendent through what we say and do.

Anonymous said...

You mentioned our creating (as Christians) should "aim to formulate expressions of the transcendent through what we say and do."

I think you mean more than just referencing God
through writing, music, art...whatever expressions
we're making.

I guess, to use a specific example, if one is writing a piece of music for say cello and piano how do they reflect this transcendence or the seen and unseen you are speaking of. I think theory and
craft have something to do with it, as would seeking God input and leading while writing.
Of course there isn't a formula, but maybe there
is something more.

And what about music for worship...does it
automatically reflect transcendence since it is
either about or to the transcendent God? I don't know that this is so! It's messy and complex.

And then, a person can listen to or look at music
or art that was by an atheist and celebrate the
transcendence of God because of the mere genius
of the artist.

So, how as a Christian are we to do and be anything
different? Perhaps in answering my own question
I would say we are to reflect transcendence through
craft, authenticity, and desire for lasting quality
while seeking God's input into our time and endeavor. Would you add anything to this.

Thanks for grace in my straying and questioning.

Greg said...

Thanks. Perceptive questions and comment.

Perhaps, the notion of world making is fitting. This type of manifestation in music or art might reflect the transcendent God by its ability to engage the listener - viewer in pointing them beyond themselves or the material world to the something more. True, this could be done by an atheist, who may not recognize it, but nevertheless is an image of God.

As I see it, a Christian though would be not be interested in only the music and art, but also in the kind of life represented by them. Consequently, the work of art - piece of music will have a referent - the life of the one who produces it and for the Christian this life would include the Creator God, the incarnated Christ as redeemer, and the HS as fulfiller. That is to say, the music and art may not be all that different in sound and appearance, but what's more important is the life that produces them. Neither music or art are the end of the story for a Christian.

So, yes, seeking God's input, in addition to taking an incarnational and redemptive orientation, and the embracing of a destiny towards transformation would be important for representing the seen and unseen.

I agree with you about worship music. Sometimes it is theologically insufficient and other times of lamentably poor quality - so it does not necessarily reflect the transcendent God.

Angela said...

Thanks Greg, that's helpful.
I didn't know I was "anon" on that last comment.