Thomas McKenzie
by grace alone
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St. Thomas' Day 2005



Today is St. Thomas Day, 2005. It is also the Winter Solstice. It is the longest night of the year. It figures my saintly namesake would get the shortest day of the year.

I woke up this morning and played with my two little girls for a couple of hours while my wife went to an appointment. They made two roads through our upstairs hall. One connected their castles (bedrooms). The other led to the dark forest (a.k.a. the guest bedroom). The roads were made by drawing road-like stripes on 50 or 60 sheets of printer paper.

I asked them if one of the roads was bad and one was good. After all, one led between castles, and the other led to a dark forest. S., the younger, said "no." They are both good.

I wonder if my road will be good, even if it leads to a dark forest. I wonder if I will go from castle to castle. I wonder as I wander, as the song says. And that is the point, I guess.

You may or may not be vaguely interested to know that I am the leader of a religious community. A.k.a. I am the pastor of a small church, about 18 months old. I've been paid to be a Christian minister for about 12 years, a solid 7 as an ordained person in the Anglican Communion. I'm 34 years old.

This blog is for me. Its a chance to put some stuff down, and let others read or comment if they ever feel like it. So, welcome.

Walking along today.

I walk from my office to this place with some places to eat, and the local little coffee shop. So, I'm walking along and I'm praying. I'm using my rosary. And it breaks. Beads fracking everywhere. The only thing left is the crucifix, San Damiano if that means anything to you. I went straight from "praise God" to "*$%@ this." Didn't even pause for a breath.

The Abbot of my favorite monastery (I go there for a week a year) wrote this in his letter today. "A story of one of the early monks comes to mind. He went to an “abba,” a spiritual teacher, and asked for a “word.” He was given the phrase from Psalm: \"I will watch my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will set a curb on my mouth.” The monk went off and never came back for five years. The abba, the spiritual teacher, wondered what had happened. The monk finally told him: I have been working with that phrase and I still cannot have complete control over my tongue."

I think I won't ever have control over my tongue, because I won't ever have control over my heart. And I don't think I want control. I think I want to submit to God. Not the God of my understanding, as we say in the Program, but the God who really is. I think I want to know that God. And so, I'm on this hajj.