This is a poem that I originally wrote in November 2019 as a companion to an article I had written for Rooted. I had recently finished reading Jamie Smith’s book On the Road with St. Augustine: A Real-World Spirituality for Restless Hearts and was particularly inspired by his chapter on ambition — how Augustine’s ambition had to be refined by a new telos or purpose: friendship with God. I hope it benefits you as you reflect on your own calling and ambition in this life.
The gift that cannot be lost Joy sustained despite the cost Spending and straining Reaching and gaining Vigor expended for you Insatiable, the will to dominate Craving deeply, go generate Looks and praise Capture, amaze Formless, faceless mobs Incessant game, fated to play Aim low, undo, lose the day Slowly try Changing why Savor a peace ever longed for Fire kindling a new lit source Love’s rest propels a goodly course Excel, aspire Receive, admire The free wild of the Beloved
First of all, I want to give a warm welcome to anyone who is reading this inaugural post! I am honored that you would be interested in my site and reading anything I have written. I am glad that you are here and hope that what you read here will benefit you.
I have been exploring and enjoying writing more and more over the past two years on the side of day-to-day pastoral ministry. After publishing some articles through a few organizations, I have been considering an outlet for more regular writing, particularly a space for things I want to write about that may not fit the sites and organizations with which I am already affiliated. I also wanted a creative outlet for sharing my poetry and a hub for any other work I have done and will do. This website and blog is the fruit of these desires. Over time, I hope this to a place for my writing to develop and for readers to be encouraged.
I have named the site and blog “Moment-by-Moment” drawing from the phrase Francis Shaeffer uses in True Spirituality (and I’m sure other places) to describe the Christian life:
Justification is once for all. At one moment my guilt is declared gone forever, but this is not once for all. This is a moment-by-moment thing – a moment-by-moment being dead to all else and alive to God, a moment-by-moment stepping back by faith into the present world as though we had been raised from the dead. Here is the real positive, after the proper negative.
Shaeffer works out this idea even more later on in the book:
I became a Christian once for all upon the basis of the finished work of Christ through faith; that is justification. The Christian life, sanctification, operates on the same basis, but moment-by-moment. There is the same base (Christ’s work) and the same instrument (faith); the only difference is that one is once-for-all and the other is moment-by-moment. The whole unity of biblical teaching stands solid at this place. If we try to live the Christian life in our own strength we will have sorrow, but if we live in this way, we will not only serve the Lord, but in the place of sorrow, he will be our song. That is the difference. The how of the Christian life is the power of the crucified and risen Lord, through the agency of the indwelling Holy Spirit, by faith, moment by moment.
This is how I hope to live my life: moment-by-moment in dependence on God — trusting in Christ, abiding in Him, glorifying Him, and enjoying Him with the power and emanating song of joy that Shaeffer mentions here. I hope for my relationships, ministry, and writing to express this as well — an awareness to the presence of God at all times in my ordinary, local place, living at Godspeed by grace through faith each moment. I hope for this website and blog to share my experience of this reality and any insight gained from it — whether it be through blog articles, poems, reflections on music I have been listening to, or something else. Finally, I hope that this site would not just be a creative outlet for me, but that it would also be of benefit to you.
Soli Deo Gloria!