I had a friend tell me several years ago that he only reads and listens to people he knows he can trust (i.e., people that support what he already believes to be true). The argument goes something like this: “My time is so limited that I have to make good use of it and can’t waste it on things that are not in line with my general point of view.” That’s too bad.
The moment I decide to listen only to those who agree with me is the moment I stop learning. This in no way means that I compromise my own convictions. I am firm in what I believe to be true about the world around me and how it works. But, I also have to allow room for the possibility that I may be wrong. If I believe the world to be flat and only listen to others who believe the world is flat, how will I ever discover that the world is actually a three-dimensional, multi-sensory, complex creation?
In my life as a pastor, I’ve seen the damage done to people whose first encounters with God were in environments with a one-dimensional view of God. I’ve also seen people in various stages of healing from those limited expressions of belief. I’m glad that God is infinitely bigger than our efforts to box Him in or control how others engage with Him.
I recently landed on my “sweet spot” or the thing that, when I am fully engaged with it, I am most effective, most fulfilled and most useful. What is it? It’s “communicating to entertain.” Out of curiosity, I looked up the definition of “entertainment” at dictionary.com:
to hold the attention of pleasantly or agreeably
I’m particularly committed to communicating the story of God and how He desires to engage with each of us in ways we may not expect. For my money, there is no better story. Everywhere I look I see the creative thumbprint of God in expressions that extend well beyond the obvious. As a pastor and follower of Jesus, it’s my desire to communicate God’s story in ways that will hold people’s attention in such a way that they are moved to consider what He has to offer. I can’t do that if my view of God is in the context of a flat world. That isn’t the world He created and it’s not the world we live in.
As I continue down my path I want to proclaim the glorious, beautiful complexity of a God who has a simple message of hope to offer anyone who will listen. That’s something worth living for.