Hey, how are you? Have you learned anything interesting recently? Anyone say anything funny or instructive? Life is full of interesting intersections we can learn from if we but pay attention; at least mine is.
Here is a sampling of questions I have been asked lately. “Hey, how come you look so fat in the pulpit?” I’m not sure EXACTLY how to process that question. Did they mean I only look fat in the pulpit, or did they mean I look particularly fat in the pulpit? Another question I was asked was, “How do I get closer to God?” Hum. Where to begin? I won’t, at least not yet. A third question recently directed to me was actually more of an accusation, and a remarkable elevation in my ability, when they were incredulous that I wanted it to snow and indicated they would be PRETTY unhappy with me if it did.
So, let me ask a question. Aside from the fact that all these questions were asked of me and I am presenting them, what do they have in common? I can think of several things. First, they all assume or exhibit a significant confidence in the relationship. Second, they all really are attempting to gather information. I must confess, my first reaction to the fat question was to say that I tripped and fell down and a bunch of calories stuck to me but I didn’t. I could choose to be surprised or offended but there was no malice in the question, just genuine curiosity: so while I still don’t know how to answer the question, I am not upset by it. As far as how one gets closer to God, that is a much more complicated question but I appreciate the person having the faith that I could help there. Maybe I can: how about telling less and listening more? Now about the weather, I must confess that I don’t have any control over that at all – but thanks for thinking that I did!
How would you have reacted to those three questions? I am grateful that my church family loves me and trusts me enough to ask almost anything; that no matter what it is, they don’t feel the need to filter their questions and will ask what is really on their hearts and minds. And the bottom line? How the world looks to us depends on our attitude.
Oh, and while you’re at it, go read Psalm 139—that may answer some of your questions.