Two (or Three, or Four…)-way Communication
A key piece of being an open-minded person is the theological dialog that we have. I often don’t think it’s helpful when somebody lays down a piece of biblical interpretation or doctrinal opinion or some theological bend with the expectation that everybody within earshot will fall in lock-step agreement. This is, in fact, a key piece of how I felt the call to full-time ministry.
I love the conversation! And please, it’s not just about Christianity when so many other faith traditions can weigh in against our own traditions. I enjoy hearing perspectives different from my own, especially ones that I maybe don’t agree with, because it makes me pause and examine my position. It challenges my comfort zone. It makes me take it all apart and put it back together again. Usually the new creation has moved around a little bit…sometimes, a lot!
This is the intersection of the streets we live in as people of the world. If we stop moving along the street, or we get off the street entirely, there is no intersection and the conversation stops. I think we have to continuously add to the dialog, because if the conversation stops, fundamentalism begins in whatever tradition we adhere to. And, we stop growing. Let me encourage us to grow and journey, differently…together. It adds to the conversation.
Recently someone dropped by my office to share a poem with me that she likes to carry around. Yes! This adds to the conversation. Actually, in some way this could BE the conversation. I liked it so much that I threw it up on my facebook, and I share it here.
The poem is called “Fully Alive” and it’s by Dawna Markova:
I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.
May we challenge ourselves to converse no matter which god we pray to. May we have the courage to be fully alive. May we choose to risk our significance. Amen!
Scott Foster is pastor at First United Presbyterian.