Taming the Busy Trap

3461156831_79c3049815_zBy Allison Backhous Troy

I’m emerging from one of the busiest seasons of my life.

My wedding and a move from Michigan to Wyoming have filled my summer with enough checklists and tasks to keep me running around until one in the morning, until I finally put myself to bed, the set of tomorrow’s tasks stuttering in my ear while I try to sleep.

I’ve been asked numerous times how I’ve held up under the stress. How I deal with feeling overwhelmed and exhausted and stretched too thin.

And, to be honest, I’ve had to say, “Well, it doesn’t feel too bad, actually. I’m doing fine.”

I have felt fine. I’ve been sleeping regularly and haven’t resorted to a diet of coffee and junk food. Maybe my seeming lack of stress is due to the fact that I got to spread these tasks over my thirteen-month engagement.

Maybe I’ve been channeling some inner peace that makes this series of beginnings and ends more tolerable, serene, easy to handle.

Or, perhaps I’m not as stressed as people think I should be because, in the regular routine of my life, planning this life transition has felt like a vacation. Like a pause in the midst of a usually numbing busyness, one that turns every hour into a blank slate, waiting for tasks to fill it. [Read more...]

No Better Place to End, Part 2

By Brian Volck

aubreyworkContinued from yesterday.

In describing the nature of things, the sciences and faith also remind us of the following:

The universe need not be intelligible.

When Isaac Newton published his Principia Mathematica in 1687, he didn’t explain what made objects fall to earth or planets revolve around the sun. He showed instead how gravity works mathematically. That Newton’s equations suggest gravity works across a vacuum and at a distance infuriated followers of René Descartes. But the Cartesians’ complex theory of gravity, full of vortices whirling in invisible ether, ultimately lost out to Newton’s mathematical simplicity. [Read more...]

No Better Place to End, Part 1

By Brian Volck

aubreyworkThis post was made possible through the support of a grant from The BioLogos Foundation’s Evolution and Christian Faith program. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of BioLogos.

Not long ago, while walking on the Navajo reservation after sunset as the southwest horizon’s showy magenta yielded to purple and black, I spied the planet Venus, dressed as Hesperus, the evening star. Just below, closer to the now hidden sun, stood the fainter disk of Mercury. [Read more...]

The Day I Became Elijah

Ma_Yuan_Walking_on_Path_in_SpringBy Martyn Wendell Jones

In his essay “The Wounded Word,” French philosopher-poet Jean-Louis Chrétien describes prayer as situated in “an act of presence to the invisible.” People who pray are disclosed to God and, secondarily, themselves, illuminated with a “light from elsewhere.” I was six when I first experienced this in its full measure.

“It troubles me,” our teacher said, “that lots of you said “ooh” and “wow” when the football players were getting tackled in the first part of the video, but no-one said anything when the football player told us about what Jesus had done for him during the second part of the video.”

We squirmed in the benches. The grass outside was positively shining; a second teacher blocked the door to keep us from running out to play in it. Fans spun overhead, not dissipating the heat so much as mixing us into it.

Finally we were released. My peers ran and played.

I, on the other hand, received a call from the Lord. It didn’t come down from the sky with thunder. Instead, I remember a quietly emerging sense of destiny. When our keepers called for us to reconvene in the classroom, I wandered towards a path my father had shown me earlier. It led into the woods. [Read more...]

Redrawing the Tree of Life in Yellowstone

4750506867_a977032a46_zBy Kathleen L. Housley

This post was made possible through the support of a grant from The BioLogos Foundation’s Evolution and Christian Faith program. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of BioLogos.

At Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park, brilliant orange and yellow microbial mats ring the turquoise blue water. Spreading outward from the scalding-hot pool is a thin whitish crust across which shallow water flows, depositing minerals as it cools. The water makes its way to the nearby Firehole River into which it sizzles and steams.

Across the glistening crust, bison tracks meander in the direction of the pine-covered hills. Humans cross this surface on boardwalks, but bison take their chances on the crust. Bison skeletons, boiled clean, have been found in hot springs, testifying to the risk.

Park visitors love to see the geysers, hot springs, and large animals, including the bison and elk. But in terms of the overall wellbeing of the biosphere, indeed, of their own well-being, they should probably consider the microbial mats, which are composed of abundant and diverse archaea and bacteria that thrive on the potent brew of chemicals and geothermal energy.   [Read more...]