For years, I have felt stifled in my ability as a pastor to communicate honestly, openly and directly my spirituality. This inhibition is best illustrated by an experience I had interviewing at a church in 1997. It was right after the shootings at Columbine H.S. The interviewing committee had asked me to do a sample sermon. My sermon was an effort to wrestle with the pain, grief and horror we were all experiencing and where God was in the midst of it. I had the audacity to say as part of it that, “I was pissed off.” As the senior pastor and I were debriefing later, he said something along the lines of, “We love everything you bring except why do you need to say, ‘Pissed off.’ Couldn’t you say, ‘Very angry’ instead?” I responded that the church was asking me to connect with younger generations and that part of the reason that younger generations are not present in churches is because we are not real or authentic. In the context of the mass slaughter of youth, “Very angry” doesn’t cut it. In what I believe was a sincere effort at coaching a young pastor, the senior pastor responded that language like that is not tenable if you want a long career as a pastor.
We were both right. If I want to communicate effectively in a church, I can only push as far in language and concepts as the people present are willing to go or they literally can’t hear what I’m saying. Saying “Pissed off” is so offensive, they don’t hear a single thing that follows. But honestly, in the culture outside the sanctuary, that phrase is so milk toast mild, especially in the context it was uttered, it’s almost laughable.
This blog is my effort to communicate in my deepest, most authentic voice. It is sometimes poetic and pretty; at other times, raw and gritty. But, I always, always work to, “Keep it real…” which I believe is where God meets us. Life is not always pretty or coming up roses nor is the spirituality I have encountered in the Old Testament, the New Testament or the parts of other faiths I have embraced. It is OK when “Babies heads are being dashed against rocks,” to be pissed off. God God’sself expresses that sentiment more times than I can think of.
Inside an ecosphere, life thrives because all is in perfect balance. That is what this blog is about. How to work for and have balance, health, wellness and peace even when life is way, way out of balance. In it you will find the latest tips, tricks, information and life hacks on health, exercise, recipes, spirituality and conflict management/resolution. I welcome comments, challenges, alternative opinions, flip sides, pointed arguments and all feedback. One of my rules is that we refrain from abusive language especially profanity directed at people. (Please check my “Rules post” for other rules of engagement.) Welcome to the EcoSphere Blog.