Being correct and stuck behind a bus

The school bus was stopped and even though the lights were flashing, the door was not opened and the driver side "stop sign" was not out. It was not clear if the bus was waiting for a student or if there was even a driver at the helm. What was clear was that we were all stopped behind this bus. 

We waited there for a while when the driver between me and the bus threw her hands up in the air and looked in her rearview mirror as if to say, "I don't know what to do. I know the five cars behind me are waiting for me to act, but I don't know what to do!" 

Sensing her angst, I looked right at her. I began to nod my head while I gave her a thumbs up with my right hand and a gesture with my left hand motioning to go around. It was okay. Go around the bus. 

Once she as the lead car was went around the bus we could all see the driver was not on board. I could also see the driver in front of me giving me a thumbs up which I interpreted as "Thanks."

This is what happens when we put being correct over being connected.

Many times we are in our little bubbles isolated from one another and just sort of stuck, not going anywhere. We all know that it is correct to not go around a school bus and so we don't go around the bus. We are correct. Stuck and not going anywhere, but correct.

This is the dilemma that I feel like I am in most days. There are people that are hell bent on being correct. Politicians say they are correct while pointing out others are not correct. Fundamentalists (religious and secular) point out they are correct and argue for others to "look at the facts". The journey after truth is so rampant in our time that, frankly, I grow tired of it. 

We are all think we are correct. We all have our sources that support and validate our positions. We all think others who don't see like us are not correct and they need to be converted. So we argue, debate and yell our points thinking that if only we could convey our correctness (and our correct supports) then others will join us.

When was the last time you were convinced by a debate? When was the last time you were swayed to change your mind when you were in an argument? When was the last time you gave way to the other's point of view and adopted it as your own when there was yelling? 

Frankly, I am much more interested in being connected than being correct. When you seek out connection and when you are connected with others you are at your most influential and it is also, in the greatest bit of irony, the time when you no longer are looking to influence people to your point of view. 


Imprints - Clergy making an imprint on God's world through publishing

In the book Culture Making: Rediscovering Our Creative Calling, Andy Crouch makes the argument that the only way to change culture is to make more culture to give options for people. So if you don't like something, like a movie or a book or a tradition or whatever, instead of critiquing or condemning it, if you really want to change things you have to cultivate and create new cultural options. (Thus another reason I like the idea that we have to be the change we wish to see in the world. We have to do the work of cultivating and creating in the world rather than consuming, copying, critiquing and condemning.)

Yes, Imprints looks like the Five Thousand Words Publication (see the "About" page for more info about Five Thousand Words.)

Yes, Imprints looks like the Five Thousand Words Publication (see the "About" page for more info about Five Thousand Words.)

I have created a magazine that I call Imprints with this in mind. 

Imprints is a magazine that will be a curated collection of the published works of the clergy of the Central Texas Conference. It is a single source that people can see what "imprint" the clergy of my conference are making in the wider Christian conversation. It is my hope that this resource might help us in the CTC build relationships of mutual support and respect. We need to be a clergy group that is willing to share the work of our peers in order to build one another up. And what is good for the clergy for the CTC is good for the CTC.

Bottom line, I believe in the work of my clergy peers and feel like what they contribute is worth everyone taking a look at. There is some amazing work out there and you may not know about it just because you happen to live in Fort Worth and don't know the people in Waco. 

Take a look a Imprints here or on the top menu bar. As a new edition comes out I will post so that you can read/see it. 

If you subscribe to this blog you just got a free magazine subscription. Thank you Central Texas Conference clergy for your imprint on God's world.


"Very Good" is not perfect

It may be obvious, but when someone says something is very good it is assumed that the thing is not perfect. In fact the use of the qualifier "very" denotes that "goodness" is collection of shades of grey. Something can be very good, good, sorta good, kinda good, almost good, formally good, etc. There is no grey in perfection. Something is either perfect or it is not. If something is kinda perfect means that it is not perfect. 

This is important to remember when Christians read Genesis this point that God does not declare creation as perfect but "very good". Creation was never perfect. Even the garden where Adam and Eve trotted was not perfect. It was very good. 

There has never been a state of perfection that we "fell" from. There are only shades of good. 

Which means that we can see places and times in the world that are very good. We will never see perfection. But when we see very good, we get a glimpse of what God intends. 

Looking for a geographic location for "Eden" is a red herring. Creation is infused with good and the very good. Stop looking for perfection. 

It was never made.