I wonder what we’re missing by staying stuck in whatever religious or theological rut we find ourselves comfortable in. One of the voices I’ve found on my own journey is from the God Journey podcast. I’m finally getting around to listening to last Friday’s webisode – and I almost never miss one, so it’s surprising that it’s taken me this long to get to it. I download this before flying on Fridays, because if I have to come home and have a couple of hours of jet noise, I’ll make sure my headphones have something encouraging and challenging to fill my head-full-of-mush over that time in the air. These guys, Brad and Wayne, have a banter back and forth that works through the crusty junk. Either we’re too legalistic, or we’re too squishy, but a real walk with God is about more than that, isn’t it? I think their conversations, and those that I’m able to partake in around here in small group, or in the lobby at church, or with the barista at Starbucks or Panera – I think those kinds of conversations, if we give them space, work to bring about real growth and real change.
I also think it scares folks. By the time you get to be my age, you’ve pretty much set your path. Questioning or doubting hurts, makes us feel uncomfortable, and we think we have enough figured out that these pesky little nits aren’t worth all the trouble. But one of the joys in my life is seeing the light bulbs start to come on, sensing something change in the spiritual that brings real joy and life in the physical. It’s simply amazing when we "get it", and especially when we "get it" together, in community, with each other. That’s deeper than agreement – this isn’t the language of debate or argument or persuasion. It’s a deep understanding of each other and of God, somehow pulling us forward towards Himself, for Himself, with our friends and family.
Real harmony, and ultimately real unity, will only come in the place where we’re allowed to question, to doubt, to wrestle these things together. Maybe that’s what it means to be a friend who "lays down his life for his friends"?