Tuesday, July 11, 2006

How we come across to others . . .

Zidane, the French soccer superstar, lost his cool in the World Cup Final and got ejected from the game. I found an interesting post about that incident here by a Yahoo writer on health.

I've read a few pieces by this writer before, and there is a holistic spirituality in what he writes - but always, as in this article, he takes his wisdom from eastern sources.

Actually, I have no problem with his sources. I think everything he quotes is true. The wisdom is real wisdom about human nature and life. It's Truth.

It also just strikes me how different it sounds when this writer gives a Zen proverb, and how if a Christian writer were to pen a similar piece it would sound when that writer would quote scripture. I'm guessing here, but I suspect that the "Christian" writer would be heard differently.

The writer from a Christian perspective would be suspected of being authoritative and exclusive - of trying to make a definitive, deny-all-other-truths truth statement. I think many people see Christianity in that way - not helpful, but belligerent. Someone who doesn't play well with others, who only wants his own way. Who dictates and never listens.

I think many would see a "Christian" article to be subtlely calling for a conversion, to accept the Christian view. Of being implicitly "against" other views.

I doubt that anyone would read the article by this writer and think that he's out to convert his readers to Buddism or Hinduism. It's non-threatening, non-confrontational, because it seems like he's just trying to help. He seems to be helping people understand the problems of anger, and help them live differently. Actually, that approach may result in readers becoming very interested in Zen proverbs and the teachings of Hindu gurus.

I want my faith to come across that way . . . that I am simply trying to help. I hope that when I share the wisdom of scripture I don't seem confrontational, but open and helpful.

Which all makes me think about how Jesus came across when he was teaching . . .

Friday, July 07, 2006


Somehow, by an act of God's grace, everything seems to be getting done that needed to happen today. You have no idea how unlikely this seemed at 7:30 this morning. And it's only 12:30!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Statements of Belief

Any statement of what I actually believe would simply be a snapshot of a moment on this journey of seeking God. It might be useful for helping someone put me in a convenient pigeonhole . . . and it might be helpful for my own personal reflection. But to make a belief statement of "here I stand" might also tend to hold me back from where I need to stand.

God knows where I need to be standing. Sometimes I know where I am standing. I am never certain how much those two places overlap or share space.

I would like to have a statement of what I aspire to believe, rather than a statement of what I currently believe. Something like . . . I hope to believe in the mysteries of God, of Christ, of faith, of the Holy Spirit, of the resurrection, of baptism, of the second coming of Christ, of the Church, of righteous living . . . of loving God first.

But all these are mysteries in that to God they are fully known, and to me they are partially known. I don't even know how much (25%, 50%, or 80%?) I actually know.

I want to believe in all that God is, and stand firm on the pursuit of Him. I stand hopefully and humbly on my understanding of any of the mysteries of God. It seems that what we Christians share in common are not statements of belief as much as aspirations of belief. When I see others in terms of what they hope to believe rather than what they actually might articulate as belief today or tomorrow, I can certainly be gracious.

Being gracious is good. I hope to stand firmly in my belief in graciousness.