Unlike-Minded

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There used to be like-minded people in the world, but now there are only unlike-minded people.  I used to pray for harmony, for unity, for getting along.  Now, I pray nobody gets hurt.

This is terrible, the state of things.  It’s a plague.  This is the kind of polarized thinking that tears down nations, and friendships, and churches.  Is there anything we can do to fix this?

A world filled with unlike-minded people will surely rip itself apart at the seams.  Surely this is not what our children want to inherit.  Surely this is not what Jesus taught us.  If you keep standing over there, and I keep standing over here, the chasm between us could swallow us whole.

What is to be done?

One answer is simple but a challenge:  We have to learn to like each other again. We have to try.

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. –Philippians 2:1-2

When I relearn how I like your funny stories, your excellent skills as a chef, your passion for Fleetwood Mac, and your dedication to discipleship—then I remember your humanity, and that you are a person of worth.

And if you relearn how you like my doodles, and how I treat my kids, my ability to fix anything, and my willingness to step out in faith—then you remember my humanity, and that I am a person of worth.

We will still have some heated discussions about the issues, and sometimes we’ll be loud and proud about it, but our capacity to listen will be vastly multiplied.  We may never agree with each other on all the issues out there, but we will remember how to value each other as children of God.  Doesn’t that sound nice? Healthy even?

I’m tired of being unlike-minded.  I’m going to start liking again.  People.  Sisters and Brothers in Christ.  People I disagree with.  Would you like to try, too?

Well, look at that.

Something we have in common.

Have a great week,

Mitch

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Absent Minded

One Sunday, several months ago,

I missed my exit.

I was so lost in thought, running through that morning’s sermon in my head, that I drove right past my exit on I-70.

I was already running late, and the next exit where I could turn around?

About 15 miles up the road.

That made me half an hour late. I just barely made the service. Yikes!

Stuff like this happens to me all the time.

Now I don’t think, at the age of 42, I’m being plagued by “senior moments” yet.  Honestly, I’ve been doing spacey things like this since I was a little kid.

I think the term for my condition is: Absent Minded.

Yep, that’s me.

I’ll “zone out” in a middle of a conversation because something somebody said sends me down a mental rabbit hole.

I’ll walk into a room and have no idea why I’ve gone there.

I’ll spend more time pondering how to do something than actually doing it.

It’s true: Sometimes my mind has a mind of its own.

I think it began when I was a child. I never felt perfectly comfortable in my environment, so I developed a rich interior world.  My imagination became a comforting place for me, a creative alternative to the boredom or uncertainty of the physical world.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been more aware of the strange dual-residence  in which I live. Sometimes I live here, in the world of jobs and schedules and people and problems, and other times I go wandering inside my own brain, into the world of ideas and dreaming and endless possibilities.

I wish the two parts of my life could better live in harmony.

Psalm 139 has this important reminder:

1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
3 You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.

God is a part of both sides of my life.  In fact, God made me to be integrated, so that my inner thoughts and my external path are created to work together.

When I am absent minded, it means I have not integrated my life the way God wants me to.

So, is it possible?

Is it possible to live focussed both inward and outward?

I think so. I’m gonna work on that.

But my recent Sunday morning side trip reminds me…

trying to be present and  absent?

That’s unimaginable.

Have a great week,

Mitch