Do you have any real cracks in your personal foundation? Do you really have some significant flaws in the walls of your life that you have secretly kept hidden from all those people with whom you associate? I will bet that just like you, we all have some hidden things deep within our hearts, minds, and bodies that we seldom, if ever, openly display to the general public or even our closest personal friends or family members. They really represent “Cracks in our Walls” and they can either be properly handled and repaired and then later be used to our great advantage, or they can be buried or hidden even deeper within us and eventually they will resurface and may even destroy us in the long run. The choice as to how we individually wind up managing these “Cracks” is totally up to you, the individual. They are your cracks and you alone can either resolve and repair them through prayer, forgiveness, and repentance…or you can bury them deeper and only increase the pain, guilt, and suffering they will always wind up producing in your life by denying their existence and failing to bring these ugly issues to a full resolution.
Here is what I know for sure. The longer I live the less I seem to know for sure.
That sounds to me like about 50% heresy…but it is actually 100% honesty on my part.
When I was a much younger man than I am today, I had a lot more definite answers than I do now. Life and the things that are in it were absolutely black and white. Few, if any, grey areas were any part of the people or happenings within and without of my existence. These life happenings, associates, and events were either yes or no, right or wrong, and/or in or out situations. My personal evaluations and an instantly complete understandings of people and events in and around me were made almost instantaneously…yea for nay. That’s it, Period! Now let us move on.
But now as I age and learn more truth of life; as I read more, travel more, think more, converse more, and generally increase my level of knowledge about life and the Creator God who made it all,…the less simplistic things and life seem to become.
I have now come to find myself more and more uncomfortable listening to or reading about broad and sweeping generalities…with neat little categories and well-defined classifications in which to quickly put people and their positions on significant matters using little, if any, serious thought or true evaluation. Permit me to take for an example,…people,…all people. They cannot be squeezed into pigeon holes. People and their situations are far more complex than most of us are willing to admit. Whether you know it or not:
Not all Episcopalians are liberal.
Not all liberals are foolish and ignorant.
Not all athletes are thick-headed.
Not all Republicans are Christian good guys.
Not all collegians are rebels.
Not all artists are kooks.
Not all movies are questionable.
Not all questions are answerable.
Not all verses are clear.
Not all problems are easily solved.
Not all deaths are explainable.
Maybe this list of “Not-alls” shocks or irritates you. Great if it does! All irritations are fine if they make you stop and seriously think. All of we evangelicals are very good at building solid and rigid walls out of dogmatic stones…cemented together by and with the thick mortar of steeped tradition. We all seem to erect these walls in systematic and unbending circles then place within each our over-simplified, ultra-inflexible “positions” of understanding and acceptance or rejection of the truths of life. Within each fortress we build human machines that are programed not to think, but rather to say the “right” things and respond the “right” way at any given moment on any given subject. Our self-concept remains undisturbed and highly secure since no challenging force is ever allowed over or through the stone walls we ourselves have erected.
On rare occasion, however, a very strange thing happens—a little restlessness springs up within these walls. A few of our sacred ideas are challenged. Serious questions about our beliefs or personal positions on various topics are raised and further questions about these hard-fast positions are entertained and openly discussed. Alternative options or interpretations are then released. Talk about a great threat! Suddenly our super-protected, cliche’-ridden answers don’t cut it anymore. Our oversimplified package really offers no workable solutions. The stones comprising our walls begin to shift as the mortar begins to crack and fall away.
When such events occur there are only two common reactions available for us to use:
1. We can maintain the status quo position and patch the cracking
wall by resisting any change with complete rigidity…….or,…….
2. We can openly admit, “I do not know,” as the wall crumbles to
pieces right before our very eyes. Then we can do some new
thinking by facing the facts as they actually are.
The first approach is definitely the most popular. We are all masters at rationalizing around our inflexible behavior. Foolishly we imply either directly or indirectly that change always represents a departure from the truth of the Holy Scripture.
Please permit me to say to you that some changes really do pull us away from Scripture. These type events and people must always be avoided at all costs. But let’s be absolutely certain that we are always standing on solid “scriptural rock,” not traditional popular and secular sand.
As Born-Again Believers, we have a changeless message—Jesus Christ—but He must be proclaimed in a changing, challenging era and environment. Such a condition and situation calls for a complete break-down of our own self-constructed stone walls, and a break-through of fresh clean and keen thinking all based upon time-tested and proven Scriptural insights. No longer can we offer tired, trite statements that are as stiff and tasteless as last year’s gum that is stuck to the bottom of our pew seat.
The reasonably intelligent and forward thinking person with whom we work and deal deserves an intelligent and sensible answer to the serious questions he or she poses to us. Such folks are weary of over-simplified bromides mouthed by insensitive robots all living within the walls we ourselves have erected around us.
By this time in our discussion these words may sound closer to 90% heresy. All I am asking of you is to please personally and carefully examine your own life up to this point in time and what you have been able to do with the living of it. You may well be surprised to see what you discover about yourself.
The great philosopher, Socrates, once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
If you’ve stopped thinking and have started going through unexamined motions, you have really stopped living and just started existing. If you find yourself wandering endlessly around in circles coming back to the beginning with little or no real production, change, or accomplishment then it is indeed time for you to start making some necessary changes.
Merely existing and not really living is truly not much fun, nor is it very rewarding. I would call it about 100% heresy…and only 50% honesty.
Why not begin making the needed changes in and to your life right now,…today!
Peace and Love to All of You………………………Poppa Bear