Monday, February 20, 2012

By Way of Introduction—A New Conversation Begins

When I was in junior high and high school, I didn’t relate very well to my peers. I liked to sit down with adults, and say, “Let’s have a meaningful conversation.” I’m not even sure what I meant by that at the time, but I do remember I was thinking and wondering about what life was all about. I wanted my life to connect with something bigger than myself.

In college, I found that connection in the person of Jesus Christ. I really came to believe—not just in my head but in my heart and soul—that Jesus is the Lord of the universe, and so I wanted to follow him. Since then, I’ve been learning more and more what it means to live my life as Jesus would live it if he were me. It’s a progressive journey. It’s what I care about. It’s what I think about. It’s what I talk about. I guess you could say I’ve given my life to keeping those meaningful conversations going. 

The thing is, I don’t just care about this for myself. I’m passionate about connecting others to this conversation.  As a parent, I really want to help my children connect to the deeper meaning of life questions and to the Lord who loves them and made them. And as a pastor, I’m trying to connect people to what I consider the ultimate conversation: What difference does God make in my everyday life?

Ours is a large congregation, so I genuinely grieve the fact that I can’t have meaningful conversations with each person who sits in the pews. But the truth is, I cannot. I have limits. I am one person. And the truth is, I don’t need to because I know there are lots of meaningful conversations happening  without me--between individuals, in small groups, and in other settings. I’m glad for that.

Still, I would like to have conversations with more people, so I’m embracing a new medium— blogging—to give that a try. It’s an experiment that I am taking on during Lent as a personal discipline. But I also have to confess this exercise fulfills a requirement for class I recently took on Christian spirituality. I don’t like doing assignments that don’t connect to my life, relationships, or ministry. So I asked my professor if I could write a blog instead of submitting a paper. To my surprise and delight, he agreed. So this is simply an introduction. A new conversation begins.

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