The Group Letter, December 2011 – Fear & Trembling

by Geoff Hall on December 29, 2011

December, 2011. Fear and Trembling

 

Mentoring support of word, image and performance arts

Dear Arts Mentoring Group,

Another year falls into the category of ‘the past’!

It’s been an incredibly productive if not altogether fruitful year, a year of many advisers telling me to stop what I’m doing because if God was in it, I’d be successful by now! It is my conviction that perseverance as a fruit of the Spirit is much under-rated, that we need to continue until harvest-time, otherwise there will be nothing to show for the hard work of planting and nurturing. We so often don’t receive, because we don’t abide!

 

I was reading Søren Kierkegaard’s ‘Fear and Trembling’ over the Christmas break, as you do! I have a problem I suppose with Kierkegaard’s classification as an ‘Existentialist’, mostly because he has such a transcendent view of human suffering, his reference point is always God. However, in my sojourn with fear and trembling it spoke to me of Abraham and the promises God made to him.

 

When I told my friend Barry that I was refusing to wrestle with God like Jacob and wanted to pursue the more gentile spiritual practices of Abraham – that is, sitting at the door of the tent and waiting for God to pass by and then have that friendly, hearty meal with the Father of faith. Barry said to be careful, because God was ‘tricksy’ with Abraham! How many years between the promise and the birth of a son? Mmm, I pondered, so I either limp or wait 25 years for God to show up again! Not what I was thinking at all.

 

Kierkegaard writes,

 

What is it to be God’s chosen? Is it to be denied in youth one’s youthful desire in order to have it fulfilled in great travail in old age? But Abraham believed and held firm to the promise. [p51. ‘Fear and Trembling’, published by Penguin Books, 2003.]

 

Perseverance, through The Wilderness of isolation, to community and transformation has been expounded in the books we have sown in 2011. Next year we will begin to see the fruit of those things and we pray that the film will also come into being. (My Name Is Sorrow has received opposition, but we persist, we abide in the vision to see it realised, we hold firm to the promise of the Promisemaker).

 

Kierkegaard writes of the sacrifice of Isaac, as being like fruit which is plucked out of season and therefore has no meaning.

This profound statement from a spirituality of suffering and sacrifice leads only to one conclusion; that we all must in our abiding, persevere with our calling and vocation so that the fruit is grown to maturity and reaches its full potential of meaning when plucked. We so often miss out on the promise, because we do not continue through the seasons and travel the difficult terrain of our calling and then to live from its fruit.

As difficult as this year has been, we press on. 2012 is a year full of promise so don’t believe the naysayers, don’t receive their guilt and their condemnation; don’t give up. Press on to the mark, the finishing line of your calling. Receive the prize!

A Happy and Fruitful New Year to all of you.

 

Peace and Love,

 

Geoffx

 

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