My latest in the Christian Courier.


Over the past months, a few friends and acquaintances of mine have been reading Jon Acuff’s book Finish: Giving yourself the gift of done—it’s a book you will find on the “motivational” or “self-help” shelf (or would, if we still had bookstores!). Acuff has written Finish with the goal of helping readers get beyond their perfectionism and busyness so they can actually finish something—finish reading a book, finish an exercise regime, or finish a personal project.

Acuff is the kind of writer who makes you think anything is possible. Reading the book is like listening to a hilarious and wise friend tell stories over a beer. There’s the time his young daughter said she was going to live off his dead fund once he was gone (his life insurance!). He wonders aloud about sending his kids foraging and dumpster diving, rather than prioritizing meal preparation. He admits that his lawn is 1-part grass to 10-parts weeds, and that he’s ok with it. His writing is smooth and funny, and a profoundly inviting vision for getting things done!

Among other advice, Acuff suggests that we bomb some things—suggests that we need to intentionally stop doing some things in order to get other things done. Expressed in less war-like terms, it’s about deciding what we won’t care about, so that we can give time and energy to something we want to finish. A simple example, he suggests burying the email app deep in our smart phone (in a file on the third page) so that it doesn’t incessantly demand attention. It’s about caring less about email so that we can, for example, get a column written!! Continue reading


Monday Sabbath (a new poem)

Monday Sabbath

The preacher lives a Monday Sabbath
as the world rushes to the quotidian;
the city-bus groan, office politics,
classroom chaos, breakfast to go.

Resist the voice that insists on
Refuse the myth of indispensability,
lie that dies slowly,
deserving a quick burial,

Roll from bed into a day rife with
possibilities neither created nor
imagined – only to be received.

Pages of non-fiction delight and enliven –
Pastoureau’s The Colour of our Memories.
Tomato seedlings cry for planting, for
fresh air, for freedom to extend roots.
The camera begs to be taken up to capture
and be questioned by a living world.

Only see and hear and touch and receive.

The preacher lives a Monday Sabbath,
and suddenly knows whereof he speaks.