Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

The contrast between last week and this week is significant. Last week I was at St. Andrew's Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in the high desert. This week I've been at home. Trying to maintain a sabbatical discipline was much easier at the monastery. I suppose that should not surprise me.

This week has been more like a series of days off, which is a good thing. Usually, when I'm working, I only get one day off a week. I find that having just one day off a week really challenges me to rest, especially when there are things that need to get done around the house. But this week is going by quickly, and I have felt more fatigued this week than last.

My reading today focused on the Prodigal Son, and how he missed out on his father's love when he lived at home. The lack of that love came to fruition for him during his wild and crazy times out on his own. He was, in the words of the old country song, "Looking for love in all the wrong places!" The parable teaches us that there are really two ways that we act out when we have not experienced a father's love: in wild, usually immoral, living (the prodigal) and in extreme obedience, often religiously (the other son). Seeds for contemplation. I ordered Henri Nouwen's book on the Prodigal, because the book I'm reading quotes him a lot, and because I have a weekend seminar in August on Nouwen. It should be an interesting study, since I love Nouwen and because it deals with the main focus of my sabbatical study.

I also ordered Abraham Joshua Heschel's book, The Sabbath, as a follow-up to my study of Mark Buchanan's The Rest of God.

Yesterday I started some work in music. I'm not sure if I will take up the trumpet or not, but practicing the guitar and learning some new skills on it is definitely a "go!" Also working on Spanish, which is going ok. I'm not using Rosetta Stone as I had planned because of the extreme cost, so I'm using another program called Byki, which is ok. The main thing I need to do is start practicing with native Spanish speakers, but that will come.

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