Here's an important one, I think.
It pushes you places you don't want to go.
It's not learning unless there's challenge. Otherwise, it's just reinforcement. There's nothing wrong with reinforcing what you already know, but call it as it is. For me, the places I don't want to go have spreadsheets and formulas.
The places where concrete facts and logic reign.
But growth is usually uncomfortable.
Black and white.
I'm making a conscious effort to listen with new ears, and you know what? Some of this actually makes sense. I sat with Matt this weekend and tried to understand the spreadsheet in front of me. I read a chapter in my Stats book for comprehension instead of just completion. I stopped fighting it and could actually see how all of this has benefit. Maybe my world has a little space for some black and white. Thinking outside the box for me may even involve a system and a spreadsheet.
I'm freaking trying.
And while this is so not a big deal in the big scheme of things, I'm learning from it. I've thought about what it looks like in terms of faith and learning.
The places I don't want to go have evolved over the years. What's funny is how much I used to think in black and white. But then life happened. In my experience, my faith couldn't survive in black and white. It would have cracked and shattered into a thousand pieces.
In fact, it did.
But God in his loving kindness put it back together in deeper, richer ways that'll take eternity to understand.
I tend to clash a bit with black and white thinkers. I'm most comfortable in process; they with their feet firmly planted. We're both connected deeply to the root system, but while I need the freedom of feeling the sway of the wind, they need the security of the trunk. Neither is right or wrong. Life is just wonderfully diverse. We both need the tension of the other.
Some people have an intense desire to defend their faith.
Stand up for truth.
But those are the things that sent my running from Jesus, not to him.
Concrete facts aren't my signposts.
For some they are.
But, I'm willing to keep an open-mind.
To approach black and white with grace, praying for wisdom.
Hoping the two can walk with each other instead of under or above.