Wed, 12 September 2018
Cass Midgley interviews David Hayward.
David Hayward was baptized Anglican as a baby, came to faith in a Baptist church when he was a teenager, changed to Pentecostal in his late teens, married another Pentecostal named Lisa, was ordained Presbyterian, pastored a Vineyard church, and planted others. He has a Masters in Theological Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, as well as a Masters in Religious Studies and Ministry from McGill University in Montreal. But in 2010 David left the professional paid clergy. He is still passionate about how people can find and follow their own spiritual path with courage and joy, as well as in how people can freely gather and form community in healthy ways. David started a blog called nakedpastor in 2006, and initiated his public analysis of religion, religious community and spirituality through his writings, art and cartoons. Thousands of people are challenged and entertained by nakedpastor every day. His art, cartoons, writings and book have found their way all around the world. David lives with his wife Lisa on the beautiful Kennebecasis River near Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. They have 3 grown children close by.
I just want to relax. on wishing anything were different. I am most healthy when I release and accept...that which I have no control over. We don't really realize how destructive expectations are, do we? Imagine someone your sideways with comes to you, humbles themselves and tries to repair the breach and because you were expecting it, the beauty and miracle of it is lost on you. It may not have measured up to your expectation and thus lost on you. The degree in which I wish things in my life, over which I have no control, were different has a direct and immediate effect on my satisfaction with my life. Release and accept. Say yes to what is. Because, unlike my Christian life, where I was compelled to carpe diem, to keep pressing in. One scripture that I memorized and quoted almost everyday in my quiet times was Philipians 3:7-13. And it demonstrates a disdain for satisfaction. Even now, that machosim, that rigor appeals to something in me, but I now consider it to be something life-draining, and that is...never let a guy relax, be content for a goddamn minute. It's saying no to what is and constantly trying to get better, be better, be more pleasing, be more spiritual, and just reciting that again sounds exhausting and reminds me of the debilitating effect that had on my fatigue and frustration. Today I want to be satisfied, I want to relax. I want to say yes to what is. To quote Nietzsche (and I'm paraphrasing), "“I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful that which is out of my control; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati--the love of fate: let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. The only thing I will say no to is looking away. I will not look away. I will not bury my head in the sand and deny that shit is happening. I will look at my life with eyes wide open. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer. It's my formula for human greatness: amor fati: that I want nothing to be different, not in the future, not in the past. Not only that I would endure what is necessary, much less to hide it from myself, such idealism is wishful thinking and a lie, in the face of reality— , but instead to love it...to embrace it as mine to learn from, within which to find truth. Amor fati: this is the very core of my being—And as to my hardships, failures and mistakes, do I not owe much more to these than I owe to my successes? To these I owe a higher kind of health, a sort of health which grows stronger under everything that does not actually kill me!—To these, I owe even my philosophy, which is great suffering is the only and ultimate emancipator of spirit, for it teaches one that living fearfully and suspiciously is constantly making mountains out of molehills. Only great suffering; that great suffering, under which we seem to be over a fire of greenwood, the suffering that takes its time—forces us philosophers to descend into our nethermost depths, and to let go of all that which we formerly staked our humanity which was a trust that everything happened for a reason, that life was good and fair. No, acknowledging that chaos runs the universe, not order; that absurdity is the norm, not meaning or purpose. Suffering. Beauty in it all. Not hating it; loving it. By saying saying yes to it. Release and accept."
In this talk with David Hayward, we discover that he and I were both muscians in the Lort's service. Writing Christian songs. Well, just to show how truly shameless I am, I'm going to play a song I wrote and recorded in 1983 as a 17 year old, and it's the opposite of the philosophy I just prescribed from Nietzsche, and directly taken from Paul. It's about never being satisfied. Contrast that with today when all I want in these last two or three decades of my life is satisfaction. Relax, release and accept.
We taped this conversation on August 19th, 2018.