Spiritual Formation

I write this on November 1, All Saints Day. We all know about Halloween, that crazy day in our culture when little kids trick-or-treat for candy and college kids revel in costumes for fun.

I am convinced human beings are not primarily designed for productivity—at least not in the way the world defines it. By my rough calculation, we only have about 50% of our lives available to “get stuff done.” We are not God’s work horses designed for efficient productivity.

Our relationship with money often reflects our relationship with God. In college I was challenged to start living a lifestyle of generosity. Since then I’ve learned a lot about God’s generosity, but it hasn’t always been easy.

For many of us, summer is a welcome change of pace or environment. What is your summer situation? Home on semester break? Still on campus for summer semester as an undergrad or for ongoing research as a grad student? Studying abroad? Working a summer job? Any vacation plans? Summer can be a gift, but it also can present some temptations, like taking a little vacation from God.

Sometimes I walk while I pray to avoid getting antsy. On one of my prayer walks, God stopped me in front of a loquat tree in my neighborhood. Loquats are a yellowish pear-shaped fruit that taste like a mix of mangos, peaches, and citrus. Curiously, I’ve taken this path many times but had never stopped to notice this tree before.

Galactic war is trending now, courtesy of the Star Wars Empire.  Fictional as it may sound, there is an actual cosmic war happening around us.  Good and evil, God and Satan are battling it out as t