“I once heard an Italian winemaker say that to produce good wine the grapes must struggle, they must suffer. The taste of good wine is the taste of struggle and suffering mellowed into beauty. There’s a deep truth there that applies to far more than winemaking—it also applies to the formation of the soul. All the great biographies of the Bible involve suffering. The great souls grown in the Lord’s vineyard all know what it is to suffer. American Christianity, on the other hand, is conditioned to avoid suffering at all cost. But what a cost it is! Grape juice Christianity is what is produced by the purveyors of the motivational-seminar, you-can-have-it-all, success-in-life, pop-psychology Christianity. It’s a children’s drink. It comes with a straw and is served in a little cardboard box. I don’t want to drink that anymore. I don’t want to serve that anymore. I want the vintage wine. The kind of faith marked by mystery, grace, and authenticity. The kind of Christianity that has the capacity to endlessly fascinate is not produced apart from struggle and suffering. It’s the pain of struggle and suffering that confers character and complexity to our faith.”
Many friends and professors had no idea what was going on only that I seemed different. I just wasn’t turning in assignments. I wasn’t spending time with friends. I am pretty sure I cried myself to sleep a couple times, for a degree I was not sure I even wanted anymore; even as I walked across the stage at graduation a new anxiety gripped me. An echo of a new fear resonated in the auditorium, it overpowered the cheers and mass celebrations of the crowds, and it trumped the sense of victory that finishing the race should have brought.
The same phrase reverberated not just within my head, it seemed to shake the very foundations of the auditorium.
Diets. Relationships. Faith.
What do they all have in common? Continue reading “Linear Progression: A Skewed View on Success”
We must all come to accept that in life things will not go our way, that pain will occur and that sometimes relief is far on the horizon. It is a sad truth that if not grasped will lead to much more pain than necessary. So do we live cynically and bask in our demise? Of course not. Why? Continue reading “Reality”