So, you think you have faith narrowed and reduced to a strategic formula and defined in rational theological words? You have memorized the accepted answers to the correct questions. While, the incorrect questions, the ones that force you to wonder, the ones that take you on a journey, the ones that force you to imagine, remain unasked and locked out. The incorrect questions, the questions about doubt and risk and uncertainty and wonder, long for a safe place to be asked.
Have you found it? …that safe place? Do you have conversations there that meander and linger into the next week?
There is a crying need in our culture for conversations outside the lines, discussions that open the lock-box inside us, chats that are about the journey more than the destination.
Our “social networked” world is forcing us to re-examine our reality. We may have hundreds of “friends” but still feel more alone than ever. Even virtual and digital friends via Facebook and daily posts, peeps, and tweets leave us with Conversation Deficit Disorder (CDD).
When was your last conversation that lingered longer than a day?
One of mental blocks that keeps our wheels spinning is our inclination for “right” answers, the push is to be right in a world filled with wrong (conformed to Political Correctness). Another is our addiction to rules and simple formulas.
Stop! Let’s imagine a time without these mental blocks; let’s, for just a brief moment, explore a boundless world without any blocks.
Paul reminded the Colossian believers: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6 NIV
We have rallied around positioning and posturing too long. It’s time for conversations that explore. In a spirit of wonder, God has placed bits of wisdom in ordinary people all around us; have you discovered that first hand?
It all started with a simple question at Starbucks: “When you think of God, where is he? In the sky? Outer-space? Clouds?”
Jeffery said, “Wow, I never thought about it, but when I’m watching a ballgame on TV and a believer hits a home run, lots of times he raises his hand and points to the sky. I’m like that, I think UP.”
“Wait,” Pam added, “don’t we teach our kids that Jesus lives in their hearts?”
“Hey, if God is up, then why do we look down when we pray?” asked Mike.
(So where do we get this God-in-the-sky idea?)
Others offered insights and “growing up” stories, then a stranger piped in, “Can I add my two-cents? I think religious people tend to be fearful of God, so maybe that’s why they put him up in the sky, at a distance.”
The conversation that began with a simple question just got complicated.
The chairs were moved in, coffee cups refilled, and messages checked. The conversation was irresistible and compelling. It was a real, no-holds-barred discussion, nothing except religious talk was off-limits.
We discovered that genuine conversation rolls on; it isn’t bound to a place or time. It travels under the radar, off the grid, into a world where everybody is equal, where everybody is a somebody with something to share. It muses and meanders. The old mental blocks about God in the heavens or God under the steeple, crumble at our feet.
So, as author Jim Palmer suggests, “let the conversation begin…”
Do you have a question ready? Discover the redemptive power of honest conversation. It’s time for an “incorrect question” with out-of-the-box responses.
Start with this posting of Faith Notes. Send it to a friend and ask the “Sky-God” question. The goal is not correct answers; the goal is conversation filled with grace and seasoned with salt.