Forget my name. That is okay. But don't forget that I am...

Within the bible is a story about Moses encountering God. It is a more iconic story you may have heard of it. In this story Moses asks God what God's name is. Specifically Moses wants to tell others that he was sent by a powerful God named _____! God responds with the phrase loosely translated as "I am what I am." 

The idea that God claims the name of "I am" is important in a number of ways in the bible, but perhaps one of the unappreciated ways is that "I am" is how humans introduce themselves to one another. "Hello, I am Jason. It is nice to meet you." 

In our culture we place a lot of emphasis on learning people's names. It is important. However, when we place the emphasis on the individual name of the person, we miss that when we introduce ourselves we are invoking the "I am" phrase. To put it another way, when we introduce ourselves we are reminding others that while I have a unique name, I also carry the name of God (I am) with me. And so do you. 

I am Jason. I have within me a mark, reside, spark of the divine. And so do you. While we may have different names, we all share the same "I am".

You can forget my name. That is okay. But don't forget that "I am" is in all of us and that we ought to treat each other as such. 

Vomit on you and me

I get angry. I know it is not something that is becoming of a minister, but I do. I get angry at things like Sin and injustice. I also get angry at people doing a half ass job or when I do not  meet my own deadlines. 

There are a number of people who have given me advice on what to do when I get angry at another. Some tell me to lean into that anger. Others tell me to forgive. Others tell me to ignore it. Others say anger at another is really just anger in myself displaced. 

What I am learning is that when I am angry I am quick to pop off and spew my anger on another. It is not healthy and I have gotten much better, however I can use my words to really cover someone with my anger. 

The truth is that when I have done this in the past, I feel better for a little bit then I look down and see that in spewing my anger at another I covered myself in my own hate vomit. I have covered another and myself with sickness and toxicity.

And you know, it takes a while to get all that cleaned up. 

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.