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when you've got an answer, it's time to find better questions

Truth on earth cannot be what it is in heaven. In heaven there it Truth; on earth there are truths. Absolute truth cannot exist for any human being. And so Truth is cast out of heaven and down to the earth. There Truth is shattered into pieces, fragments of it everywhere, so many that they are impossible to count...

And human beings will search forever for truths within themselves and throughout the entire world. Life will be an ongoing act of creating, revealing, and discovering. Each person, each culture, each religion has part of the truth; none has it all.

every truth has the potential to lead to a wider reality

If you listen, really listen, to your spouse or your child, your boss or your perceived enemy; if you allow their point of view to sit alongside your own, it's incredible how you and the situation can be transformed.

You may even see that the ideas you are willing to fight to the death for are the very ones you're most unsure about; the fierceness of your answer a mask for uncertainty.

You realize that we never have any independent opinions that are wholly ours, points of view that we came to on our own. We've inherited them from our parents or rebelled against their views; we had a childhood trauma or a fear that has influenced us greatly. Never mind the television we watch or the books we read.

Context is everything.

At the same time, we must be careful not to simply say that since everything is partially true, nothing really matters, as if there aren't standards of right or wrong.

Martin Buber: Faith is so much more richer, so much more meaningful and authentic, if we can also doubt.

Life is a dialectic between being lost and found, found and lost. When we've lost God, it's time to look deeper. When we've found God, it's time to get lost.


Most Read

Why Some Experienced Clergy (and Lay People) Have a Hard Time When Younger Clergy Take Renewal Leave

This is a guest post from my very own dad! He's a United Methodist pastor serving in Bend, Oregon. I enjoy chatting church leadership with my dad and it's fascinating to see how our generational differences bring different perspectives to our calling as pastor. We need each generation to walk with each other as we figure it out in this new world. We've been reflecting lately as I finished up a renewal leave and he prepares to retire this June. 
By David Beckett
I fall into the category of experienced clergy which is a polite way of saying I am old. I’ve been pastoring for nearly 40 years. When I was a young pastor my role models were mostly white males who presented an image of success that equated with dedication, overwork, and sacrifice. My first senior pastor talked about the 20 hr/wk he invested in sermon preparation. And he expected his staff to work beyond their stated hours. During those three years of full time seminary and a large youth group I put in up to 80 hr/…

Why pastors need collaboration, not competition

There's competition in every industry. Some get promoted over others. Some work incredibly hard but their gifts go unnoticed. Others do good work and people assume they're fine but underneath, they feel like they could never be honest about how hard life is in this season. People spend more energy figuring out how they measure up in a work culture instead of doing the actual work.

Competition itself implies there are two sides.

I remember field days at my elementary school in Alaska. The half-frozen spring ground was covered with clumps of dirty gray snow. Jackets were thrown on the ground as the fourth graders tried to beat the fifth graders at tug of war. Rope burns were shrugged off as sweat dripped down our young faces. We were determined to beat those fifth graders. Our pride was on the line.

Whether you're a fourth grader or an ad manager at a fancy marketing agency or a senator trying out for attorney general, competition runs deep in our DNA.

We want to be the bes…

99 sheep

Reading Matthew 18:10-14 on this cloudy Anchorage summer morning. Parable of the Lost Sheep. A guy owns 100 sheep. They belong to him. These sheep are loyal and depend on their owner for everything. But then one wanders away. I wonder if this sheep wandered on purpose or accident?

The guy leaves the 99 sheep grazing on the hillside to look for the sheep who got lost. One word in verse 13 jumped out to me. "Andifhe finds [the sheep]...he is happier about that one sheep than about the 99 that did no wander off." IF he finds it. This guy who owns the sheep probably knows the hillside very well and knows his sheep's behavioral patterns. But he may not find this lost sheep. 

When someone wanders off, it's up to them if they want to get found. 

When it comes to our connection to God, some of us may wander on accident. Or on purpose. 

We wait for someone to rescue us. Bring us back. Make it okay. But we have to turn towards the one rescuing us. God will leave the other 99 sheep…