Real Live Preacher

EVERY path may lead you to God, even the weird ones. Most of us are on a journey. We’re looking for something, though we’re not always sure what that is. The way is foggy much of the time. I suggest you slow down and follow some of the side roads that appear suddenly in the mist.

One thing is clear to me. You can't know everything you'd like to know. You can't do everything you'd like to do. You can't read everything you'd like to read. You must hold onto some things and let go of others. Learning to make that choice is one of the big lessons of this life.

I’m telling you, things are getting out of hand. Or maybe I’m discovering that things were never in my hands.

Forgiveness does not always lead to a healed relationship. Some people are not capable of love, and it might be wise to let them go along with your anger. Wish them well, and let them go their way.

And so faith is closing your eyes and following the breath of your soul down to the bottom of life, where existence and nonexistence have merged into irrelevance. All that matters is the little part you play in the vast drama.

See things as they are and write about them. Don’t waste your creative energy trying to make things up. Even if you are writing fiction, write the things you see and know.

The only comfort comes in thinking about how nice it was to know them, and how nice it was to brush against goodness for a season.

Fidelity to commitment in the face of doubts and fears is a very spiritual thing.

God, I don’t have great faith, but I can be faithful. My belief in you may be seasonal, but my faithfulness will not. I will follow in the way of Christ. I will act as though my life and the lives of others matter. I will love. I have no greater gift to offer than my life. Take it.

I don’t think anyone can DO anything that would make him worthy of love. Love is a gift and cannot be earned. It can only be given.

It's not foresight or hindsight we need. We need sight, plain and simple. We need to see what is right in front of us.

I believe love is primarily a choice and only sometimes a feeling. If you want to feel love, choose to love and be patient.

My life is the story of a man who always wants to carry too much. My spiritual quest is the painful process of learning to let go of things not essential.

When someone allows you to bear his burdens, you have found deep friendship.

Integrity combined with faithfulness is a powerful force and worthy of great respect.

Forgiveness is the healing of wounds caused by another. You choose to let go of a past wrong and no longer be hurt by it. Forgiveness is a strong move to make, like turning your shoulders sideways to walk quickly on a crowded sidewalk. It's your move.

It really doesn't matter if the person who hurt you deserves to be forgiven. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. You have things to do and you want to move on.

You can pray for someone even if you don't think God exists.

There isn’t much better in this life than finding a way to spend a few hours in conversation with people you respect and love. You have to carve this time out of your life because you aren’t really living without it.

The universe seems wondrous to me, with or without God. It has powerful lines and uncompromising ways. Patience and time sit like sages on the planets, strong and impersonal. There is a stark beauty to all of this.

Love the ones you can. Touch the ones you can reach. Let the others go.

You can forget a lot of things, but you cannot forget a woman’s name and claim to love her.

You can't love anyone until you understand that you can't love everyone.

No one forgives with more grace and love than a child.

Some things you do because you want to. Some things you do because of the needs of others in your family.

When you really trust someone, you have to be okay with not understanding some things.

Knowing that there is worse pain doesn't make present pain hurt any less.

When someone is giving you their theology, their God words, you should listen hard and be very gentle. The time to deliver your God words is when you are asked.

If you want to write you must have faith in yourself. Faith enough to believe that if a thing is true about you, it is likely true about many people. And if you can have faith in your integrity and your motives, then you can write about yourself without fear.

I write because I'm afraid to say some things out loud.

Your world is made of your memories, and your memories are given to you by your world. The whispering voice of happenstance is always in our ears. 'This is the world. This is the way things are. Look. Pay attention. Remember.'

Dignity comes not from control, but from understanding who you are and taking your rightful place in the world.

External signs of wealth and success are often cheap storefronts that hide internal mediocrity or even incompetence.

I’m searching through all that has ever been hoped, in praise of what can never be known.

Good writing takes more than just time; it wants your best moments and the best of you.

I think people want their illusions and writers are mostly illusion. When you read their words, you read a flattened, incomplete version of the writer.

This isn't good or bad. It's just the way of things. Nothing stays the same.

I have been truthful all along the way. The truth is more interesting, and if you tell the truth you never have to cover your tracks.

This is the challenge of writing. You have to be very emotionally engaged in what you’re doing, or it comes out flat. You can’t fake your way through this.

The human heart cannot love the whole world. And if you try to put the whole world into your heart, you will eventually lose touch with your own humanity

We think having faith means being convinced God exists in the same way we are convinced a chair exists. People who cannot be completely convinced of God’s existence think faith is impossible for them. Not so. People who doubt can have great faith because faith is something you do, not something you think. In fact, the greater your doubt the more heroic your faith.

One of the joys we have in being human is in exercising our freedom to choose and to take each case as it comes to us. We are not robots who are forced into behaviors by their programming. We see things; we think about things; and we choose our course of action or beliefs appropriately. And as long as that remains true of us, we will live every day of our lives on one slippery slope or another. There is no reason to fear this.

Doubting God's existence is okay and perfectly acceptable within Christianity as long as the person doubting remains obedient and committed to the Christian path.

When life seems chaotic, you don't need people giving you easy answers or cheap promises. There might not be any answers to your problems. What you need is a safe place where you can bounce with people who have taken some bad hops of their own.

Memory is a giggling sprite and will not be tamed. She takes flight the moment the present becomes the past.