Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mixed Signals

   The reality of ambivalence in our society grows each day.  We are bombarded with mixed signals.  It's more than conflicting opinions; it's the weariness and wariness that accompanies too many choices.
   I just finished reading Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove's "The Wisdom of Stability".  I met Jonathan last year at Duke.  He's an interesting young guy, travelled, educated at Duke and really centered.  He started a monastic movement based on putting down roots in an urban area of Durham.  Engaging the community where you are will mean transformation for that community when believers "live in ways that speak to the deeper yearnings of the human heart."  Even well-known author/speaker/professor/theologian Tony Campolo wrote on the dust cover about this book calling Wilson-Hartgrove's approach "like the prophets of old..."

Stability....sounds really firm!
   Then, last week's Christian Century (Apr 5, 2011) came in the mail.  One of the pages had Luci Shaw's poetry, entitled "States of Being":
Stability is greatly
               Why would I ever want to sit
                              still and smug as a rock,
                                        confident, because of my great
                                          weight, that I will not be moved?
               Better to be soft as water,
                         easily troubled, with
                         at least three modes
                             of being, able to shape-
                                  shift, to mirror, to cleanse,
                       to drift downstream,
           To roar when I encounter
           the rock.
   So, my ambivalent friends, is stability smug or wise?  Or is being fluid, soft and pliable the way to go?  Both sounded pretty good when I was reading.  Maybe real wisdom is to let some things cook a little longer.  Extremes are what's overrated - except maybe for what God did for us at Calvary.

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