Wednesday, October 9, 2019



I am currently considering currents as a currency for my ministry.

Ocean currents, river currents, currents in the air, even electrical currents - always on the move, silently, invisibly, irrevocably. They bring life, power, relief, destruction. Currents are the currency of our lives.

(As I write this our power company is turning off the electrical currents peremptorily in much of California because of fire danger. The life and lifestyles these currents support will be much harder for a few days. We lose power here on the coast every winter for days on end - hard and boring, but doable.)

Currents are all about running, “courire” is to run, in Latin. Currents are the “couriers” of the seas, air, wires. In Finding Nemo the California Ocean Current is pictured as a superhighway “running” down the west cost, transporting life from Alaska to Mexico.

“Currency” runs around, moving value from one person or place to another.

All is motion.

Poet and Yale Divinity School Professor Christian Wiman says his calling to be a poet was not a choice - it seized him for a lifetime run. Describing his anguished college decision to leave Econ studies for poetry, he writes, “Could I navigate this strong current and remain myself while losing myself within it?” A current or a calling “moves” us, takes us where it will. It may bring life or loss, or both.

Look at this map of the world’s ocean currents. To describe this system I’ve often used the metaphor of a giant conveyor belt, carrying food, detritus, life, death, renewal, relentlessly, around and around. It even looks a little like a power grid - more currents!

Maybe a better, less mechanistic metaphor for ocean currents is a bustling highway or a relentless marathon runner. Thanks ocean currents for life, climate, beauty. May we navigate all currents, run all races, with endurance and grace.
____ for ocean pilgrimages and service trips on Monterey Bay.  I post these Wednesday ocean devotionals here and on Facebook.

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