When I think of a bio, I think of Paul: “the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved it is the power of God.” I first learned the of gospel at a time when I had disqualified myself from a full life, and certainly forgiveness – or so I thought. I could have never predicted a turn.
Also I would never have chosen to be a pastor.
I never imagined that I would be compelled to walk away from a job that I loved. I never figured to be interrupted while mending nets – asked to step out of the boat.
I imagined marriage, however I never would’ve been able to imagine Amberly. I would not have chosen a way so difficult. I would not have known a way so beautiful.
Again, I generally could have imagined children, but I never could have imagined Morgan nor Athan. Morgan orders everything she touches, with grace. And Athan, despite his challenges, leaves his joyful mark on many.
In chronological order, these are the things that have come to constitute life for me. Though I left ranching for a different vocation, I have never been able to get away from agriculture. I love to garden and to see my children with their hands in the dirt. I also enjoy constructing houses, furniture, poems, and wilderness trips. I especially enjoy reconstruction, and finding unnoticed or discarded materials with which to build something new. As Eugene Peterson says, in a well-told story there are no throwaway lines. This is precisely what I’m learning about the contemplative life.
Ryan contributes as chaplain to the Abbey.