I seem to have developed a bit of a reputation for asking the awkward questions to which there are no easy answers. I realised a few months ago that I have a faith that I don’t have to defend. I know I don’t have all the answers and I know that we don’t have to have all the answers. Because at best, we can only see part of the picture, I don’t expect others to understand some of my thoughts.
I recently found this note of mine from about ten years ago (obviously prompted by what someone else had written). I guess I’m one of the dawdlers who doesn’t have to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s:
When people have a lot of theoretical knowledge, if they come under pressure, they will desperately try and remember and apply all the good advice they had been given – taking away their attention from ‘just doing it’. We need a balance between the two – purposeful and critical on the one hand, but able to enter and enjoy a state of relaxed reverie in which the mind does its own thing – the need to dawdle along our mental byways if we are to catch the nuances – and not be trapped by our own assumptions and beliefs!
About the same time I wrote:
There seems to have been a clear message (not expressed in words), “I have brought you so far on your own, but now I want you to go back – it will not be easy – there will be inevitable problems. But I want you to share your experiences and depth of understanding – that foundation with its ‘retrofits’ that still needs to be improved. I want you to share, as you have never been able to share, with some of those who are struggling to understand, and maybe even with some who have given up. In this way, by learning from each other, you will all be better able to listen to me (the importance of listening prayer) and be better equipped for the last part of the journey of life – a journey that should never be done alone. As a result of working as part of a team you will have the chance to learn something of what you have missed in personal relationships practically all of your life”.
At the time I thought I had something to share with others. Little did I know that this was to be the beginning of a new learning curve – learning so much about why people believe what they believe, often as a result of divisive, denominational theology.
As my friend Grant (who died several years ago) said, “you are encouraging thought – you are putting out a challenge – maybe asking the right questions that others haven’t formulated”.
Do we know the truth? Do we know what we believe? Are we sure that we are right? What do we really think of God? Have we shared these thoughts with others?
Do we really know what we think until we hear what we say, or read what we have written? Do we then allow others to question these thoughts?
Have we really been reconsidering the foundation of our own faith?
I have written separately – “Aspergers Syndrome” – on how this might have affected me over the years.