Sunday, December 31, 2006

2007 Priorities

I've been pondering my priorities for 2007 during the last week or so, and for some reason my mind went back to the old musical, Godspell. I hadn't thought about it in decades. I remember the first time I saw the movie I was offended at Jesus being depicted as a clown, if I recall. But a friend urged me to see it again, so I did, and this time came away with what I believe is the correct understanding, that the clown motif was not an insult, but was a way to show Jesus in contrast to our culture.


In any case, I remembered how much I liked the Godspell music, so I downloaded the album (legally), was listening to it and was really struck by one of the songs, Day by Day, which contains these lines:
Oh Dear Lord
Three things I pray:

To see Thee more clearly
Love Thee more dearly
Follow Thee more nearly

Day by day

I think God prompted me to remember the musical and download the songs from it, because while I was wondering about my priorities I heard this song with these three prayers and instantly knew they were exactly what my "day by day" priorities should be.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 30, 2006


I just finished reading "Kabloona," by Gontran de Poncins. It's an excellent but old (1941) and politically incorrect account of the author's life among the Eskimo (or now, "Inuit"). The whole book is good - a bit jarring, but good - but I was particularly struck by de Poncins' account of how he decided to pick up from Paris and move to the northern reaches of Canada.

Whether it was a photograph in a shop-window that had first prompted me, or a chance remark negligently dropped in my hearing, I do not now remember nor does it much signify. I know only that some time before that spring day the word Eskimo had rung inside me and that the sound had begun to swell like the vibrations of a great bell and had eventually filled the whole of my subconscious being. I had not been possessed instantly by a conscious and urgent need to go into the Arctic and live with a primitive people. These things operate slowly, like the germ of a cancer. They brood within, they send out tentacles and grow. Their first effect is not decision but restlessness. You find yourself feeling that something is obscurely yet radically wrong with your life. You fidget. Your world becomes progressively more stuffy, less tolerable. Probably you show it, and show it unpleasantly; for your friends seem to you more and more to be talking nonsense, leading a meaningless existence, content with a frivolity and a mediocrity to which you find yourself superior. In their eyes, very likely, unbearably superior. But no matter. The thing is at work in you. Finally, there comes a moment when you waken in the middle of the night and lie still, eyes wide open in the dark. Life, you sense, is about to change. Something is about to happen. And it happens; you have made your decision.