Tuesday Tip with Rich
One of my many privileges in life, and there are a lot of them, is to live in a place of great natural beauty. Accustomed to seasons of changing leaves, barren trees, snowfall, the budding, fragrant spring, and the majesty of a summer thundershower in my childhood in Germany, admittedly the low rate of seasonal change in California took some getting used to.
There’s the way we are, and there’s the way we imagine we can be. Between the two lies a struggle and a dance. If we reject the way we are, we fail to appreciate the immense goodness and potential we already possess. Likewise, if we’re overly attached to what we imagine we can be, we’re never fully grounded in the present - the only place change can take place.
A couple of years ago a friend bought me tickets to what I thought was a traditional writer’s conference, but it was really a Donald Miller conference. Whether through writing, marketing, or inspirational talks, Miller’s whole focus has become to help people live a better story. It’s a noble enough goal.
Take a writer with a gentle sensibility, probing curiosity, and fierce intelligence with, say, a PhD in Creative Writing with a passion for the Christian Mystics, place her, her husband and children in an intentional Mennonite community in rural Ohio full of idealistic vigor, then knead, proof, bake, and cool.
It’s been a trying time. Within my own extended family in the past couple months there has been a failed adoption, several trips to urgent care, a surgery, and a layoff. A line from Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Crossing keeps coming to mind: “Doomed enterprises divide lives forever into the then and the now.”
One of the most well-known and celebrated mystics from the Christian tradition is teacher and preacher Eckhart von Hochheim or Meister Eckhart. He had a wide and varied career, taught some controversial principles, and became touchstone for interreligious dialogue in the 20th century, especially given some of his Neoplatonist teachings.