It is embarrassing to witness the level to which differences can create gridlock. While not wanting to focus on the sides of the issue that have created the government shutdown in the United States in these days, I do think it is instructive to look at the process to see how we may be complicit, or worse, how this dynamic creeps into other areas of our lives. Where else have we “shut down”?
Life is not easy, and often we find ourselves in situations where we differ with others – we don’t see life the same way. Whether it be our family, our roommate, a professor, our Church, or our political party, we deeply desire unity and the world is screaming difference. Trying to know where and when we should stand up for what we believe or be willing to accept the approach of another is one of life’s most difficult challenges. Does agreeing to disagree mean that our interaction (emphasis intentional) ceases?
Jesus often calls us to metanoia – a change of mind and heart. I have seen moments in my own life where I have shut down and regressed into the stubbornness of my own ways of acting, thinking and speaking – all to my own and others detriment. As we view the intransigence that has locked our government, may we acknowledge those very same dynamics at work in our own lives, and not fear that, especially when it comes to Jesus, we cannot afford to shutdown simply because we do not agree with where He is calling us.
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