Last weekend several of us who are reading the Furnace small group book , I Sold My Soul On eBay, got together at my place for some (burned) hamburgers. During our conversation I was surprised to find that a couple people had considered not reading the book because 1) it was written by an atheist, and 2) what would they gain to hear the perspective of someone who obviously doesn’t want to be a part of our faith. I was amazed at this! I had absolutely no idea that there were even good reasons to consider not reading the book!

That’s the point.

Have you ever read the same passage of scripture and found a totally new interpretation than the last time you read it? A new, deeper understanding? Does that mean that the first time you read it you did not have the Holy Spirit guiding you in learning? Did it mean that you had it wrong and now you have it right? Of course not! That is one of the wonders of the Helper – he reveals new mercies every morning.

If we had the fullness of truth the first time, then we would not need the Holy Spirit. We wouldn’t need anything. If God were that easy we wouldn’t need him.

He would be something we could put in a book on our shelf and never read… (oh, wait.)

When I didn’t recognize that a different perspective existed I proved the need for the different perspective. I proved the need for community and conversation. Without it, I became one-sided. This is the kicker though: if “right” is related to the amount of truth one has, I was right. (And I still am. 🙂 But now that I am aware of the other opinion I am more right! Because I have more truth than I did before they shared with me.

We may think we have it down. When we do, I pray that God stumbles us. We do not have it down; there is so much more that we don’t even recognize we don’t have. I pray we are always open to rethinking what we know and renewing our faith. It may be better and bigger than we imagine.


The Uselessness Of Hands

Am I alone in this, I wonder? When I go to church, when I start to praise the Lord, as I stand for the songs, I sometimes notice that my hands feel heavy. They just sit there. What do I do with my fingers, I ask myself. I’m too tall to comfortably rest my hands on the seats in front of me. My arms are just long enough to touch them. I end up with an odd fingertip-barely-touching stance. Then I put them in my pockets. On occasion I will cross my arms.

(I wonder at those times if the worship leaders notice and wonder why I’m glaring at them.)

Then I see it. Well, dream it would be more correct. I think of worshiping, really worshiping – which in my mind always seems to include raising both hands to the sky in a fierce upward movement – and then light comes and washes over me.

But the me I see this happening to is in front of the me that is watching the other me.

I’m really just dreaming about what I could be doing.

The dream is exhausting though. So I stop the dream and go back to watching the other people in the room (some of them actually living my dream).

My arms are heavy and not long enough.

What should I do with them, I wonder?