Life feels edgy, uncomfortable, uncertain, fluid, and, on better days, exciting. On rough days, life feels out of step, out of whack, out of sync, out of breath, out of cash, and way out of control. There is a lot going on, on a lot of fronts.

I’ve noticed that there are a lot of people reinventing themselves these days. New life styles, new priorities, new ideas, new friendships, new families, new jobs, and in between jobs. There is so much reinventing going on—people, institutions, communities, social priorities, global arrangements—there just has to be more going on than meets the eye. Human beings are evolving and any one person’s personal reinvention project is just the tip of the iceberg of human evolution.

This world we live in raises questions that keep me up at night: how life works, what makes us human, how we get bigger and grow deeper, and what’s next. When I finally roust myself out of bed in the morning, another set of questions has stealthily taken up residence and won’t be put out:

  • What does spirituality have to do with exciting, uncomfortable times?
  • What does religion have to do with what’s next?
  • How do we encourage and support one another’s evolution?
  • What do faith communities have to do with all of the above?

Life is full of radical suggestions these days, like “humanity must evolve and you need to get with the program.” Personal evolution blends 12-step “working the program” and the civil rights movement’s “keep on keepin’ on” into practice becoming who you are. I’ve been up to my earlobes in practicing becoming for a while now, when all of a sudden (2012) life suggested that it was high time to get real and add in the who you are.

I decided to pay attention to the questions that kept me up at night and the others that awakened me in the morning. There they were, hidden in plain sight: each one an obvious clue. So I picked up a thread from my deep past and decided it was time to evolve into an Ecumenical Catholic priest. That was a big surprise—with a long past. It may not mean what you think.

In the faith tradition that formed me as an adult (more elsewhere) religion has to do with depth, not platitudes; spirituality has to do with inner discovery, not escapism; faith has to do with life-giving images, not antiquated beliefs; community has to do with living on the edge, not sitting on the bench.

I’ve been re-imagining what religious conviction and spiritual practice are about for a long time. Now that journey has taken a startling turn and I get to put the puzzle together again. The pieces are much the same, but a new frame with a new shape opens up all kinds of possibilities for a new picture.

I hope that you’ll be a part of this exploration. Let’s walk together a while.




4 Responses to context

  1. Joe Schwairy says:

    I think religion is a hoped for conduit to our spirituality. It is also an expression of our wish for commonality? …community? connectedness? …threads that bind (connect) a bunch of individuals together.


  2. Joe Schwairy says:

    David, this makes so much sense for you. With the amount you record and journal, a blog is soooo perfect. I haven’t been paying much attention to my FB messages and I almost missed your note. I am very glad that you are doing this.
    The eerie synchronicity of finding Belinda Waldron and de Chardin here, coupled with the opportunity to read/listen to/absorb your stuff without the clamor of hour:minute:second is appealing. I’ll be back.


  3. David,
    I am much intrigued by what you’ve written here. I am toying with the idea of writing a book about the evolution/reinvention of our species!! I am stopped by feeling that I must read Teillard de Chardin first…


    • David says:

      Oh do I identify with the “stopped-by-the-feeling-that-I-must…” experience. I know that “toying” isn’t necessarily the same as conviction, but on the other hand, it might be the first sign of falling nervously in love with a grand vision that might consume a lifetime—or chew it up if it weren’t pursued. I don’t know what I know until I try to write and I can’t even form the questions until I try to figure out the puzzle in front of me. So I vote for plunging in and consulting Teillard along the way. It’s arguably an urgent topic for exploration. Thanks for stopping by.


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