LifeWalk

______________________ LIFE, FAITH, ETCETERA

Click September 13, 2011

I recently read this post on facebook:

“Sharing enlightenment is practically impossible; it just does not transfer very well.”
– John Fincher

I have to say I agree. Well, kind of.
I’ve learned that we can put our life experiences, things we’ve discovered, our insights and even our questions “out there”, but like seeds, they fall where they will. We simply sow.
Maybe we’re not sharing our enlightenment as much as we’re expressing its results.

I’ve had many people thank me for my various writings and posts.  Some have said the stories, insights, and sometimes rather personal information have helped them find new freedom, or at least to ask new questions.

There are also those who find my views heretical.  They think I’ve lost my way.  That I’ve been seduced by the dark side (insert heavy mechanized breathing). They seem to think if I’m still “saved,” and that’s a big if, it’s by the skin of my teeth.
The same information that helps some can irritate and even anger others.

Author Rachel Held Evans stated “it’s still really hard for me when people question whether I’m actually a Christian.”
Sometimes it seems like the more “Christ-like” ones views become the more they’re challenged by traditional religion. That makes sense in light of how Christ himself was treated.

I think that our responses to ideas that are different from our own says a lot more about where we are in our journey than they do about the ideas themselves.

I had a friend years ago who tried to tell me that I didn’t understand grace.  He tried to sell me on “eternal security.”  I let him know that I understood grace just fine.  Maybe he wasn’t using grace as an excuse to sin, but certainly he was leading people down the path of that possibility. Maybe his salvation was intact, but what about all the people he was misleading?
My fundamentalism was is full force.

The thing is, he could never have argued me out of my beliefs.  No one could.
No one could have argued me out of my right-wing fundamentalism.
No one could have reasoned me out of my limited view of grace.
No one could have convinced me that issues of social justice weren’t just predominantly forms of anti-God secular humanism.
I knew right-wing politics and “true” Christianity went hand in hand.
And all that “green” tree-hugger nonsense? Well, we won’t even go there.

I’ve never known anyone to be argued out of their long-held, deeply ingrained beliefs. For that kind of change, something has to “click” inside them.  I don’t know how or why this happens.  It’s probably different for everyone.  I’m only vaguely familiar with how or when it happened to me.  The “click” isn’t the actual change in beliefs.  Change is a process.   And as I’ve said, there is no growth without change.

But the “click” is, I think, a necessary precursor.  THEN the seeds of the knowledge and experience of others (their enlightenment) past, present and future, start to take root. Once that initial switch is thrown, lights everywhere start coming on.  The false glow of the light we thought we had may finally go out. The journey takes on a “life” of its own, and all you can do is hold on. (We must also remember though, that all of our life up to any given “click” has also been an integral part of the journey. Realizing that can help prevent some tendencies of beating oneself up over what “should have been known”.)
I’m still convinced that one of the greatest “new” pieces of knowledge is the realization and acknowledgement of how little we do know.  Then we can be less afraid, and more importantly, less combative of the ideas outside of our theological clique.

This is one of the great flaws of most religion, certainly of fundamentalism.  “I don’t know” is not a comfortable option.  Instead, everything has to have a concrete answer.  I mean, just look at all the apologetics books.  Everything must have a clear, locked-down explanation. AND we must be able to defend it tooth and nail.

I had an extended “run-in” with one young fellow who loved the phrase “spot-on.”
“Do you think that’s spot on?”  “Is your belief spot-on with the Bible?”  For him, there was one right answer, and he knew it!
I’m  not saying that there are no absolutes.  But we don’t have to dig too deep in our own lives to realize our understanding is certainly not absolute.

Naturally, when we discover a new facet of ultimate reality, or a new-found freedom, we want to share it.  The rude awakening comes when we find that not everyone shares our enthusiasm.  Not everyone believes you should think, explore, investigate, or be allowed to experience life the way it comes to you. Mostly, this is fear.

So yes, “sharing enlightenment is practically impossible.” Enlightenment arrives on it’s own terms.
Still, we sow.  And we reap from the sowing of others.  And the sowing can play a large roll.
Especially when at last the switch is thrown and something clicks.

It may start with letting go of the need to be “spot-on.” We start to see that life and perceived truth might be a little more fluid, rather than carved in stone.  It seems to me, that without a strong ability to be comfortable with “I just don’t know,”  we can never really grow, because when we think we know all the answers, we stop searching, and we make the fatal flaw of no longer asking the questions.

———
To read more quotes by John Fincher, you can “friend” him on facebook.
You can also check out his bussiness at: USMaterialHandling.com

Rachel Held Evans is a blogger, speaker, and author of “Evolving In Monkey Town.”
Check out here site here: rachelheldevans.com
Read my review of “Evolving In Monkey Town” here: EIMT

Disclaimer:
Neither Mr. Fincher nor Ms. Evans are associated with this blog. The view expressed are those of the author (Me.)
– dave

See also:
Comments On A Comment
and
Tribbles…

 

6 Responses to “Click”

  1. Tana Schott Says:

    Yes, the switch is key. And it’s nothing I do. THAT’S when I learned I knew nothing of grace before. The switch felt like being carried over a chasm by Something else and knowing that once crossed, I’d never go back, never want to go back. But I had little to do with it. Great post. Thank you for sharing.

  2. lifewalkblog Says:

    This article was recently picked up by Plain Truth Ministries, and published in their e-Update.
    [ http://www.ptm.org/uni/resources/ptmupdate/110711/1.html ]

    Here’s a partial response from one of their readers:

    “Once again, I have been incredibly blessed by an article PTM has shared on its email update.
    I have certainly felt this way since I have been given the wonderful gift of beginning to understand the grace of God. I (finally) had something I truly wanted to share with others regarding faith in God: I had begun to understand that the “Good News” was truly good! But I know I can no more make it “click” for anyone else than someone could have made it happen for me.
    And I can’t believe it, but I’m not mad at God for “making me wait so long” 🙂
    As it was stated in the article, “…all of our life up to any given ‘click’ has also been an integral part of the journey.”
    So many points in this article “clicked” with me! I, too, am only vaguely familiar with how or when the changes in my faith began. I was encouraged to hear someone else say that he can’t recall a specific moment when the light came on for him. However, I completely identify with this sentence:
    “Once that initial switch is thrown, lights everywhere start coming on.” It’s so exciting!
    To all who share in the work of PTM/CWR, thank you again. Please keep doing what you’re doing.

  3. Peter Says:

    Only a couple of days ago I wrote on my blog that it was time to step back. Started looking this morning at what some of my friends have been saying recently and found this, “Maybe we’re not sharing our enlightenment as much as we’re expressing its results”!

    What place cognitive dissonance?

    I’ve been trying to encourage people to think for themselves for a very long time. Maybe my new blog will encourages a few more to do just that.

  4. […] with them. Unless they experience a direct adverse effect, or unless something “clicks,” we’ll rarely get through the religious fog they’re living in. Yes, we have to […]


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