So, yeah. I’m still chewing on Gelinas’ Finding the Groove. Not because it’s big and tough. But because it is packed with thoughts that I need to digest. For instance:
Gelinas and I have the seemingly the same spiritual formation. For years, the time I spent with God could be reduced to catch phrase: Quiet Time.
I guess at some point I drank the Kool-Aid and bought into the idea that a personal, quality time with God was only experienced through silence and stillness and solitude. Don’t misunderstand– I’m all for the practice of spiritual disciplines. Especially in the radically plugged-in world we find ourselves, we need regular times to remind us of Psalm 46:10.
But suppose you spent an hour with a creative genius like Robin Williams or Chris Rock. What if you spent the morning with Dane Cook or Jerry Seinfield? Would you describe your time together as ‘quiet time’? Then why is it any different with the Creative Genius of the Universe?
“When Adam and Eve looked at their sundials and saw it was time for their daily walk with God, I don’t think they were looking forward to a quiet time. They were on the edge of their seats. What is he going to say today? What is he going to show us today? Maybe he’ll explain the platypus!” [p.51]
The methodology (praxis) of our faith is withering from lack of creativity. Yes, there are some greatly creative ways of evangelism and ministry going on. But shouldn’t that be the rule, not the exception?
Jesus communicated the gospel in innumerable ways. He seldom healed two people the same way. One blind man was touched once. Another was touched twice. A third time, jesus made mud from dirt and spit and smeared it in his eyes!
We serve the Lord of Paradox. A God of ‘impossible possibilities’. Resist your enemies and love them. Ignore hypocritical spiritual leaders and obey them. Forget what’s in your past and be careful to remember. Flee from evil and stand firm against it. Don’t judge and judge rightly. There is a mystery to be embraced in the Scriptures because, in the process, we discover God in a different way. After all, it is God who chose to reveal himself this way. The ancient Hebrews called it “halakic reasoning”–holding both strands of a paradox in tension and balance, and knowing that, with God, both sides must be true. (While it’s pretty inherent with postmoderns and beyond, doing that doesn’t come naturally to most Boomers, Busters, Moderns, etc..)
We have to grip what we perceive as ‘competing truths’ (which aren’t really..) equally and see where they take us. We should be able to do this easily for, while the Bible contains many paradoxes, it contains no contradictions. Grab both sides and see that they actually complement each other. Like the funk groove of the drummer, layered by the swing of the stand-up bass, followed by the melodious counter-melody of a saxophone. In jazz terms, “Play what you want as long as you play the song.”
Where do you find tension in your faith? Or in ‘living out’ your faith? How can we use unresolved tension to enhance and deepen our relationships with God and each other?