by JD Leman
April 28, 2022
Sometimes I struggle with my own processing speed. More than once in the past week, my brain and my mouth have colluded and declared something that I most certainly hadn’t processed fully. One of the more notable examples was at our Sunday night dinner where I declared that if your theology is set and stable it is dying or already dead.
Since then, I’ve had time to reflect on what I said and process why I pronounced it so definitively. Here’s where I land… If I look around, the things that I love are all dynamic in their constant evolution. Of course this is easy to see with growing children, a 20+ year marriage, an evolving community of faith, and my two favorite trees around in the yard. However, this transformation is also present in things others may consider static. For example, our home décor shifts seasonally creating a welcoming environment as the calendar turns. The van I’ve driven for 11 years has its 4th set of new tires, a few new parts and a couple of features that no longer function. In all cases, these ‘things’ are constantly changing, expanding, contracting, and fluctuating… and we all seem pretty cool with it.
Yet when we apply the same logic to our faith, there is a sudden rigidity that is really difficult to comprehend in light of the change we encounter moment to moment.
Why do we hold so tightly to our beliefs about divinity? Furthermore, if we’re so confident that we’ve got it correctly figured out… why do we keep asking for new, fresh revelation? When that revelation materializes (as it often does) how do you respond, particularly if it lands outside of the box you’ve been trying to keep your faith inside? Ugh, the mental gymnastics are mind-melting or as the social scientists like to say, “It requires a level of cognitive dissonance.”
Birth, death, growth, decay, change… Life demands that we evolve, in virtually every aspect of life. Change is coming. I want to be pliable enough with my theology that I am truly being Spirit-led. I know the small voice of the Creator and I also know when something presents itself outside of the lines I’ve previously drawn for my faith. Like everything we experience, can I find ways to expand my understanding of who God is and to be transformed in the process?
Perhaps that reflects the beauty of being transformed from glory to glory. By making ourselves open to the dynamic growth in our faith, we become co-creators with God, leaving goodness and mercy in our wake.