We Had Hoped… #bigread12 (@nedlunn)

The best laid plans of mice and men, gang aft agley.

Let me be honest with you. I’m writing this post because I have to. There’s this deadline looming and I’ve said I’d do it and so here I am sat up at 01.51 wracking my brains to write something of some significance so I don’t disappoint BigBible, let the side down and not do what I said I would do.

Did I want to write like this? No.

Is this the most conducive way to express something worth reading? No.

http://12baskets.co.uk/view/images/marked-with-hope

I had hoped to write it on my way down to London at the weekend…

I had hoped that it was going to be easy just sit down and open up what’s going on in my head at the moment (and there’s a load of stuff getting me excited and buzzed) and then stop at the word limit…

I had hoped that I could tell you about Emergent Monism as I promised last week. Pointing out that the dualistic distinction we can make is between the created and the creator but not any type of dualism within the created itself. Bringing in Stoicism and Gregory of Nyssa…

I had hoped that I could talk to you about the stresses of the need to produce a product effects the process and destroys the potential for creative discovery in its own time. I’d explore the fragile balance that needs to be walked between commitment to a deadline and the need to allow creation to happen in its own time.

I had hoped to expand on my last blog post about future talking about how we can walk in the present in a certain direction without a need for a map and remain faithful to God, using the prayer of abandonment by Thomas Merton.

but I got distracted on the way down to London by reading for college and writing for my dissertation which is looming…

I have discovered that my own blog needs to hold onto that thesis about emergent monism within Stoic and Gregory of Nyssa’s thought…

I have already written elsewhere on product vs. process and that just further my frustrations at myself and this situation…

The nature of future is an ongoing thing and that idea isn’t ready yet…

I have a 101 excuses why this isn’t done but it doesn’t make it done… and I’ve given up grumbling for Lent!

So my counter action to grumbling during Lent is to seek redemption in the situation…

So maybe this is ok. Maybe this is redeemable and a lesson in and of itself which needs to be spoken afresh and it starts with,

“We had hoped…”

For some of you these three words may seem familiar; the words of the two travellers at the end of Luke’s gospel. We all hope for something, maybe many things and sometimes we’re satisfied and other times disappointed. When we set out on road of discovery we hold many hopes and expectations and as the time goes on we are either satisfied or disappointed. I want to suggest disappointment is based on the failure of something to live up to our expectations. We have this pre-decided set of beliefs about how something is going to be and we judge it accordingly.

Hope finds itself inextricably linked with expectations and therefore, in some way with disappointment.

There seems to me, at this late hour, something in Tom Wright’s reflections on Mark 3:13-19 which causes me to think there might be some redemption in my missed hope…

Wright talks about clear action taken by Jesus. He chooses twelve people and commissions them with a challenge; an expectation. But the story is in no way over (it’s only chapter 3!) With all this expectation, will they live up to the challenge laid down for them or will they, like me, disappoint? We know the story and if we don’t; they disappoint… repetitively but what if they’re not called in order to satisfy some expectation (wherever it comes from)?  What if they were called to participate in a sign of a promise? A sign of renewed commitment? A sign of redemption for Israel? A sign which was called beautiful precisely when they disappointed the expectation placed upon them?

So this post is disappointing; but I am called, not to necessarily satisfy expectations put upon me, but to be a sign of God’s action in the world; a sign of redemption.

The truth is I am broken, unfaithful, weak and confused but, we’re not meant to hide the scars, or fix them but to bear them to others and have them named ‘beautiful’.

Or at least that’s what I hope.

About nedlunn

Ned Lunn is a minister in the Church of England. Before this he ran a theatre company, el mono theatre, for seven years. He now writes on spirituality, philosophy, poetry and arts and is a member of a community called, 'Burning Fences', in York which explores art, spirituality and philosophy. He's married to Sarah and lives in York.