COVID-19

You’re an Elitist, even if you don’t know it.

Read Time: 7 min.

It’s unfashionable these days to cheer for elitism. It’s more honest to admit however, that in not cheering for elitism (or shaming people who do), one simply joins the ranks of a different elite.  Before I explain, let me tell a story. Don’t forget to think about college… It’s only been a few years since I’ve been doing it. My wife and I regularly, but subtly encourage ...

Forget #YOLO and “No Regrets”

Read Time: 7 min.

A few years back, there was a massive forest fire near where I was living and working in the Pacific Northwest. Friends of mine had to evacuate their home for weeks while emergency responders fought the fire. The fire burned a major section of forest along a scenic riverway, closing down stretches of highway and rail lines for long periods. Even the river itself was closed to marine traf...

Changing the Mind of a Sheep

Read Time: 7 min.

I like historical fiction—books, movies, TV. I especially like the kind that has a plot based on some kind of shadow agency, secret society, or cabal that is mysteriously at work in the story yet lurk in the background. The Illuminati. The Culper Ring. The Trilateral Commission. All kinds of stories include groups like these meddling in world events, often for the sake of power. The identity of th...

Our Golden Age?

Read Time: 5 min.

We tend to think about past times, especially good ones, in terms of a Golden Age. Reflecting on those times often makes us nostalgic. Growing up, I’d often hear older people, using cliched aphorisms, tell about their early life experience. “When I was a kid, I had to walk to school through 2 feet of snow uphill both ways.” Indeed, such sayings were good for a (half-hearted) laugh. But by saying i...

Perpetual Long Division

Read Time: 8 min.

If you were gripped with fear when you read that title, don’t worry. We won’t be talking about mathematics here.  Rather, a different kind of division is our concern. Social division. Just last week I saw a Twitter post from a person I really respect. He is the editor of a reputable Christian magazine and has a significant following. I’ve never agreed with him on everything. But he often has ...

Making Decisions in a Time of Panic

Read Time: 7 min.

The other day my youngest (toddler) daughter hurt herself while playing outside. My wife and I weren’t immediately sure how bad she had hurt herself, but certain indications made us wonder if we needed urgent care or possibly a visit to the emergency room. But this decision was suddenly more complex than it was a few weeks ago. The current pandemic has caused many of us to face the process of maki...

Overcoming the Feeling “I Am Not (Doing) Enough”

Read Time: 7 min.

It is probably safe to say that humans regularly compare themselves with one another. We wonder, for example, if we are as happy, good looking, physically fit, smart, or successful as those around us. We’ve likely been doing this since the beginning of our existence. Yet, it seems in our time we have endless opportunities to compare ourselves with others.  One obvious place we see this is soc...

We Are Not Our Plans

Read Time: 6 min.

David Brooks recently observed that moments of suffering help us to realize that all of us think we are “our plans.” Our lives and identity are shaped around what we are planning for ourselves and our futures. Most of the time we take this for granted; we don’t think about it. But moments when our plans are thrown into question and our expectations are dashed, these are the times when we...

The Meaning of a Single Hug

Read Time: 5 min.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a 20th century martyr. He was killed for his involvement in a conspiracy to kill Adolf Hitler. Prior to his death, he was in Nazi custody for more than two years. Bonhoeffer was a pastor but served most actively as a teacher before his arrest. He spent a majority of that time at Tegel prison in central Berlin. Not far away was the home where he spent much of his youth a...