the daring, dangerous heart

in the past season, reality has started to sink in;

that all of life is sinking sand, and each step we

take, each choice we make, takes us deeper,

deeper, deeper… we are scared of entering

darkness, afraid we will enter into the unknown.


never again to see like we have always seen. what if

there is no light, no hope, no life in that dark unknown?


we cannot know the answer unless we allow ourselves;

to surrender

to the reality

of uncertainty.


there is nothing more real than being afraid and unsure.

we are creatures who crave control, stability, certainty,

comfort. yet we are also creatures prone to being out

of control, unstable, uncertain and, despite our attempts

otherwise, prone to ending up out of our comfort zones.


i think we deceive ourselves when we claim we are choosing

to get out of our comfort zones. we are biased in this regards.

we will never, of our own doing, willingly walk into sinking sand.


we will always

stop ourselves

before we fall.


we will always

tiptoe our way

around failure.


in this past season, there has been a lot of change,

a lot of chaos, tears, wrestling, praying, yawning, etc.

saying goodbyes, packing boxes,

scrubbing sinks and walls and tiles,

starving my heart and mind of fear,

fumbling through emails and diaries,

tumbling through planes and alarms.

there is only so much we can tolerate of chaos,

only so long we can walk in the dark without

trying to find a light, something we can see.


and there is only so long we can handle

unknowns and uncertainty before we

suddenly lose our ability to handle anything.


it is a threatening existence in the dark;

to be engulfed in known unknowns.


this is only terrain for the

daring, dangerous hearts


hearts willing to fight fear, to find light;

hearts willing to walk into sinking sand.



let’s talk about what denotes

a daring, dangerous heart


in scriptures, the heart is said to be deceitful:

“the heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

jeremiah 17:9


how interesting, that last rhetoric – we cannot know

what life has to hold (life in the abstract noun sense),

but neither can we know,

what life has to hold (life in the concrete noun sense).


for life is defined as a state of living, the ability to

breathe, grow, reproduce. when life is lost, or life is

risked, or life is saved – this changes our state of living.


the state of life is always defined, one way or another,

whether we care to admit it or not, life is both:


concrete (physical, tangible, in the real world)

abstract (conceptual, intangible, an idea not real)


when something is concrete it can be known

through our senses, it is a characteristic of reality.


when something is abstract it can be known

only by intellect, it does not exist to be touched.


is this not the most insightful yet intimidating

contradiction, juxtaposition, paradox to discover?

that life itself is both concrete and abstract,

both a known and unknown state of reality.


our hearts are deceived into believing there is more:


more of life to be given and received

more of life to be spent and earned

more of life to be dreamed and desired

more of life to be obtained and orchestrated


Christmas and New Years are deceptive

just as we learn from scripture

that our hearts too can be deceptive:


we do not know what there is truly to offer

when we strip back the commercialised

and christianised offerings of *this* season

what is left? what is to be gained?



our hearts deceive us when we confuse

concrete and abstract, when we apply

mental states and emotions to unknowns

(imagined futures, illusions of control)

and also when we assign meaning to

characteristics of the physical world

that are tainted by our own perceptions.


(for example, we apply meaning to constructs

that are divinely inspired, and designed to

point us to supernatural truth and wisdom,

and we derive meaning from constructs that

are man-made attempts at societal control.

but. for political integrity i won’t provide examples)


we live in a messy, world. greeted by a messy message

of a saviour who arrives into this world into animal-chaos;

into a manger, a stable of all places, an environment far

from law-abiding, purity-claiming, health-regulating…


and yet this saviour comes to deliver us from said chaos,

is willing to enter into, to inhabit said chaos, and enters

into this chaos of a world, of a kingdom, to demonstrate his

kingship, his alignment, his dominion, his power, his place,

in another kingdom, a kingdom that cannot be shaken…

a kingdom he has been destined to bring to this earth.


it truly sounds crazy, but chaos makes us another form

of crazy, and at least this other historic, supernatural,

divinely-inspired crazy offers a long-term solution, a

pre-mediated, pre-ordained hope for past, present, future,

for life and death; this side of the grave and the other side,

for the concrete and the abstract forms of reality and life.


it’s silly season, but maybe it’s not so silly to take

chaos and turn it into something that defies concrete

and abstract definition; the christian faith is not a rigid,

religious, un-acquainted faith of those who are out of touch

with society and suffering, those removed from chaos, no.


christian faith is for those who choose hope, who choose to

see when there is nothing to be seen, who choose to see

when there is light in the darkness, who choose to see hope in

the wilderness, hope and healing in the aching and breaking.


we start to reflect this time of year on what the new year holds

for us. my prayer is you might choose to weigh up what holds

weight beyond the concrete and abstract definitions of life;

what holds weight in eternity? what is truly important to you?

what will you prioritise next year, that has been placed on your

heart for a divine-inspired purpose for fulfilment?



our hearts are vulnerable to emotion

but they are engulfed by this:

an eternal chorus of renewed joy.


i know for myself, and for many,

this is a scary season for the

daring, dangerous hearts, those

who are willing to touch the real,

raw, fragile, hurting, impenetrable

wounding of our current society.


joy is the silliest, craziest concept for our society

in this current context, our society is too afraid

to feel, to embrace, to adopt anything other than

auto-pilot mode, covid-safe-plan-mode. yet…


we are emerging. we are finding new normals.

and in these normals. joy must be prioritised.

we have been tested and tried. we know what

it means to deny the self of joy and life. and we

are ready to choose joy. so what does an offer

for renewed joy even mean? a joy that does not

exist on a worldly spectrum but an other-worldly one.


if we consult the scriptures, they speak of:

“joy” to be experienced when we meet trials (james 1:2)

and “joy” to be experienced as a fruit of the spirit (galatians 5:22)

and “joy” that is to be great and for all (luke 2:10)

and “joy” that is to be in us, and be full (john 15:11)

and the “joy” that was set before Jesus,

when he endured the Cross (hebrews 12:2)

and the “joy” that is found in hope, in patience in tribulation,

in being constant in prayer (romans 12:12).


and the list goes on. there are too many references to joy.

renewed joy is multi-faceted, it is intentional, is is encompassing,

this joy that Jesus offers is the joy that meets you right where you are at.


it is a joy that is not circumstantial. it is a joy that is eternal.


accept joy. accept this joy. let this joy be your priority in 2023.


blessings. joy. peace. love. and joy. renewed joy. eternal joy.


Respond from the Heart