Friday, August 26, 2016

The Process or the Answer?

We are so fixated on giving the right answer so that we don’t give the wrong answer that we don’t focus on the process, and if we don’t understand the process and work through it and refine it then we are not equipped to work through the next problem or situation.

Is this a result of our pursuit of trivia? Trivia does not demand a critical process, only a regurgitation of data.

Is this a result of insecurity and an absence of identity – are we so insecure that we dare not reveal that we may not know how to arrive at the answer?

Is it a fruit of our nanosecond culture where sustained thought fatigues us and interruptions beset us?

Is this what happens when society relies on “experts” for answers?

I would often rather have a wrong answer from someone that is the result of working through a process than a right answer that was arrived at by a shortcut. There is hope for growth in the person who worked through the process while the person who took the shortcut, who arrived at the right answer because he asked someone else, is ill equipped to negotiate the next problem on the horizon.

This is true in business, it is true in church, it is true in all of life. Business leaders who give their people the answers don’t help them, but those who coach them how to think about finding the answers serve them well. Pastors and small group leaders who do all the talking, who give people the “right” answers, interpose themselves between their people and the Biblical text thereby creating a dependency that the church should only have on God. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Sleeping on a Pearl?

A fisherman in the Philippines has been sleeping on a pearl that is probably the largest on record at over two feet long and weighing around seventy-five pounds. He found it ten years ago, didn’t realize what it was, put it under his bed, and only recently showed it to others who realized its value. It is estimated to be worth around $100 million.

He found the pearl when the anchor of his fishing boat became wedged beneath a giant clam, once he dislodged the anchor and discovered the pearl in the clam he took the pearl home as a good luck charm.

How many times in life do our anchors become wedged and rather than seeing these situations as possibilities we see them as inconveniences to be dealt with as quickly as possible so that we can move on with our own agendas? How many times do we miss the treasures that our kind heavenly Father has provided for us? How many times do we view things as “luck” rather than as God’s provision?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Disgrace at the Olympics – Lies and more Lies

Not to excuse the lies told by some American swimmers regarding a drunken night out, and not to excuse the term “I over exaggerated” (what does that mean?), but honestly, what do we expect when our society itself is drunk on immorality and lying (we call it “spin”) has become a way of life?

Our politicians and corporate leaders lie, many of our religious leaders and academic leaders lie – but they are too powerful for us to do anything about…or we are too lazy to do anything about the lies…when we take time to investigate them.

Perhaps the mistake the swimmers made was in not understanding that they are not rich enough or powerful enough to be admitted to the fraternity of those who can lie with relative impunity.

The swimmers are us – just as our politicians are us – that may disturb some of us, while some of us may think it is life as usual and as long as our needs and wants are being met we don’t really care.

I don’t think we are all that upset about the lies the swimmers told, it is just that they were stupid about it – haven’t we taught them better, haven’t we taught them that if they lie they ought not to be caught, and that if they are caught they are to spin and spin and spin and to do it well. That is not a stroke they have mastered in swimming in our society - they are not yet gold medal lying material...let us hope they never will be.