Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Monday, October 23, 2006


In The Purpose-Drive Life Rick Warren proposes that the purpose of all existence and life is "the greater glory of God." It's such a heavy word, "glory," that it's possible to miss his meaning. Thankfully he quotes from C. S. Lewis a lot, recognizing that giving glory to God is fundamentally about recognizing and appreciating the goodness of God's nature as reflected in creation, not just mechanically churning out hoseannas. It's getting pretty close to Aquinas' theology about the nature of creation -- the universe is an essential manifestation of God's nature. It is this way, because it is in God's nature for it to be so. The universe is the expression of God. How could it be otherwise?

And yet . . . this all seems to run counter to the whole notion of afterlife. If God's glory is fully revealed in Creation, then why bother with an afterlife? If the play is good and complete, why include an epilogue? The whole notion of Heaven seems to reflect a dissatisfaction with the world as it is -- "This couldn't possibly be all God intended . . . there's gotta be a second act, because this place sucks."

Again, this doesn't disprove afterlife . . . it just leads me to believe that it would be that much more grand if you could see life right now, as it is, as the manifestation of God, without needing to hope for some spa resort in the sky. Sometimes, especially when I'm anxious or bored or frustrated, I stop and say to myself, "You are already in Heaven. You are already in the midst of God." I don't always believe it, viscerally, but it stops my head. All my fear and concern and anxiety just bobs its head in Xander-like fashion and says, "I'll just shut up now."

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