10 January 2007

Tough Questions

Why do I snicker when a spectator shouts, "Make this one for Jesus!" just before a player shoots a foul shot during a basketball game between two local Christian high schools; but would be the first to think "You gotta make this one for the fans" while watching my beloved Tar Heels on ESPN?

Or why do I compliment a co-worker who hangs red and green tinsel from her desk at Christmas time; but would secretly think to myself that another is a "little weird" if they were to hang little mangers of baby Jesus from their desk?

Is it just me? Am I wrong? Am I guilty of separating my faith from the rest of my life? Is it that I think God is too big to be concerned with the success of a foul shot in a high school game? Is it that I think the incarnation of God is too miraculous of an event to be turned into a simple decoration?

What are your thoughts?

And, more importantly, what are your own tough questions?


miller said...

i guess i wonder whether the spectator would have yelled it if Jesus were sitting next to him...

i wonder if the office worker would have hung the mangers if Jesus were her boss...

these things probably come from pure hearts but are they appropriate?

i have struggles with these kinds of things. they seem trite and poorly thought out...

but i really strive not to judge because i know the heart is probably as well intentioned as my own.


troy. said...

Great thoughts, Miller. Insightful and well-rounded. I wonder too...

This will help me immensely in gaining peace and answering my own questions, esp. in the sense that its the process of coming to that peace that is key (even more so than the answer itself).

P.S. I'm thankful its a bum ankle and not a bum mind.

Anonymous said...

Here is my tough questions...

Why is it when I hear a person use God or Jesus as a curse word, or I see someone harm a child or mistreat a spouse or parent, I think to myself, "Hell will be to good for those people"?

Why do I want them to spend eternity in Hell apart from the love of God?

Why doesn't my heart break for those folks?

Why don't I make the effort to lead them to Jesus?

Anonymous said...

You know...I think part of the problem is that "meaning" has become so shallow. One of the things God has graciously done in my life over the past two years is to help me to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. Like colors for example. How amazing are those? We've become so numb to the miraculous. I want to look at a nativity scene and marvel at the wonder of the story--not put it somewhere so that I can make a statement about my beliefs.
I saw Charlotte's Web last night, and Fern's Mom is worried about her because she believes in the miracle of the words of the web. So she asks the doctor, "It can't possibly be real, can it?" And he responds by saying, "Isn't the web itself a miracle? Nobody taught the spider how to spin a web. When the words, appeared, everyone said they were a miracle. But nobody pointed out that the web itself is a miracle."
Perhaps there is something in us that reacts to the triteness with which people sling around Christian symbols. I feel it too. But I would venture to say the pathway to truth seems not to do away with the symbols, but to rediscover their the depth of their significance.

troy. said...

Thank you. There is a lot of truth in these thoughts.

Take heart, friend, this is a struggle for many. I’ve shared my own struggles in this area here and here. I encourage you to read those posts and the comments that follow – really solid thoughts.

I’ll also add that simply recognizing the state of your own heart is a major step in fostering change, as the tone of your comment seems to imply that you’d like to change. And the place to start is your own heart – ask God to change it. And then just keep asking. I’ll add that it’s a dangerous request, but worth it in the end. It’s also important to understand Satan’s play in this – he uses your love of Jesus and “what is right” against you; to turn your light into darkness.

Change will come by focusing on the Light. And seeing others how the Lord sees them – with compassion and love and understanding.

Prayers I send with you on your journey.