This last week we celebrated the retirement of a woman completing a lifetime of ministry. (Though, as my friend would readily agree, in Christian ministry retirement only means a change of emphasis!) We heard amusing stories of her first job–as the steadying hand for junior highers in their enthusiastic, bumpy road of faith. “She paid attention to me” was a thread woven through the tapestry of many memories. When relatively few females pursued seminary training, this woman plunged into the fray. Through the years she has ministered in churches, communities, in the graduate level international classroom. She tackled an oft-neglected topic as her doctoral dissertation. The microphone that afternoon in the beautifully decorated reception room was well used as person after person lauded her person as well as her accomplishments; words like strong, faithful, consistent, dedicated were repeated.
Then one man posed this question: “Because of your many years of living and working in Europe, can you tell us how American Christians can better understand the often confusing state of world affairs, especially what’s happening now in Europe and the Middle East?” She paused only momentatily and I wondered how this woman of strong opinions would answer without alienating her American audience!
“Know more!” was her emphatic answer. Among other things she added, “Don’t just listen to your three favorite (and here I add, ‘perhaps biased’!) media outlets. Read and listen widely. Just know morei”
It’s easy to become lazy when information comes from every side. Like infants, we become accustomed to being spoon fed. We don’t stretch beyond our familiar and comfortable physical, mental, spiritual, emotional borders. We rarely ask questions of our preconceived and culturally soothing ideas and beliefs, leading to cemented minds and hearts.
It doesn’t take intellectual prowess or supposed “deep thinking” to consistently be on the alert for “knowing more.” Discovering why people think and act deepens relationships. Reading the newspaper with map or globe nearby gives us insight into events and people worlds away from our shores. Author Julie Gordon encourages us to ask, “How am I gaining more insight into God’s ways and becoming more complete in knowing God?”
Why not join me in a lifetime goal of knowing more?
PS Several people have asked me to include a question or suggestion (Action Point?) at the end of most blogs for personal or group thought and/or action. Feel free to use these in any way that is helpful. If you wish to respond to me, click on Comment or reply to me at Mymondaymoments@comcast.net.
Action Point: Purchase a globe and when you hear or read about a nation mentioned by newscasters or reported in print media, find the nation on the globe. Notice not only where it is, but its proximity to other nations. Intentionally imagine yourself in that situation. What are you seeing? feeling? Current examples: girl hostages in Nigeria, fighting in the Ukraine.