Thursday, April 24, 2008
Off to the Land of Steve Prefontaine
Tomorrow early Phaedra and I leave for Portland, Oregon. I'll be speaking at a retreat for artists from Imago Dei Community. We're really excited to be going. It's not only getting hot in Austin and so a chance to drench our heads in cold mist air, it's a chance for us to visit the signpost of the new kingdom of used books: Powell's.
It was only this morning as I lay in bed in that liminal state between dreaming and waking that the little legos of my 3 retreat talks came together. I'll be using St. Augustine's alleged pronouncement, "Love God and do whatever you want," as base camp.
Easier said than done, of course. But for the time being I'll launch off in three directions: Loving God for His sake; Loving God for your sake; Loving God for your neighbor's sake. We love God for His sake by living as His beloved. We love God for our sake by being faithful to the calling on our life. We love God for our neighbor's sake by encouraging him or her as if they were going to give up on their calling any moment now.
Of course we love God for so many other reasons, but as with all artistic projects it's not a matter of what you could say but of what you will--and should--say. And that's what I sense the Holy Spirit guiding me with this group. I hope to stay flexible. You never know. The wind blows however it wills. But I love retreats. They're their own little creatureliness with opportunities for deeper connection with friends and acquaintances that sometimes you plum run out of time to connect in any meaningful during the normal run of your life.
We're happy to be going together. It's fun. Josh and Jan, our Imago Dei arts pastorly hosts, have been great so far. We're really looking forward to getting to know new artistic brothers and sisters in westcoastlandia.
If I have the time, I'd like to tip my hat to fellow runner Prefontaine's resting place.
(PHOTO: Part of my family jumping with zest on Easter Sunday in our backyard.)