Sunday, July 11, 2004
Where's the Conversation?
I blogged a few weeks ago on "my stand" - writing down a little about what I stand for, how I see Jesus and the Bible and Life and such (links @ top right sidebar). I had some interaction here on the blog, a little more on our email list where I cross-posted to folks there, but no other real conversations outside of those electronic mediums. I know that "flesh-n-blood" friends read my stuff either here or in emails, but no one's come to talk. Those posts were the fruit of a conversation where I was told that no one really knows where I stand, and now that I've posted them - the conversation's over? Am I standing alone?
What I'm seeing today is that no one has conversation much anymore. People have agendas before speaking, whether it's the telemarketer trying to sell long-distance, or the salesperson trying to boost her commission, or the preacher trying to share the good news. Agendas kill conversation - so if we all have an agenda going into a discussion, we kill it before it gets started. I do it, too - I love tweaking the point so that other people are forced to think, and while I think I'm just naturally doing it, I usually do it to get a desired response. My agenda kills my conversations before the words are uttered.
We are a people who tell it like it is, who speak the truth in love, who share what the Bible says no matter what people think because we're not afraid of men and not afraid to be labelled as fanatics. I listened this morning as the congregation was fired up (by video) against the tide of anti-Christianity that's rising in this country - it's a good thing to be made aware of the plans & schemes of the enemy. But the message isn't "how bad the world is". The kingdom message to be proclaimed is "how good Jesus is" and "how good His people can be" in the midst of all this junk. The world doesn't like talking with us, can't stand listening, because our agenda of opposition obliterates the real conversation of repentance and redemption.
My mind works on a different frequency than most, and I'm okay with that. I try hard to be a good listener, to be challenged in new and meaningful ways by the people in my life, and to follow through as I see the Lord leading. But it bothers me when those same people don't try as hard in relation to me, and I'm left asking, "where's the conversation?" I've become more cynical, more distrusting, more skeptical of motives and perceptions - my own included. But at least I've come outside to play - it just looks like the others have gone home, and it's not even dark yet.