Thinking Out Loud

November 26, 2017

Short Takes (1): The Bubble

All this week — except for Wednesday — we’re doing a series of shorter subjects.

My youngest son recently spent four years attending a Christian university. Now that he’s interacting in the wider community, we’ve had some discussions about “life outside the bubble;” the idea that the broader world does not consist entirely of Christian people and is not some ongoing fellowship meeting.

Last night I attended a community choir concert in which my wife was a participant. There was a crowd of several hundred people attending, but I realized there were only four people there who I knew by name, and those mostly superficially.

I work in vocational ministry and my friends are church friends and my activities are church activities. I realized that like my son, my life consists entirely in the Evangelical bubble, and whereas he is now forging relationships with people outside that sphere, my situation remains static; my relationship patterns are unlike to undergo major change.

How can we be the salt of the earth when as salt we have nothing to season? How can we be the light of the world when the light is mostly shining on ourselves?

Furthermore I like hanging out with Christian friends. I like discussing Christian ideas. I have great trouble relating to people outside the bubble even though it appears to outsiders as though I can hold my own in conversations on a variety of subjects.

So…on a scale of 1 to 10, where do you see yourself; where 1 is deeply ensconced in the world of Christianity and 10 is completely enveloped by the broader culture?  (Note how I set the numerical values the opposite to what you might have anticipated!)

December 6, 2013

Knowing the Whole Person

Filed under: relationships — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:46 am

Today a name came up of someone I know rather superficially.

I think I know what energizes him.  I know what he’s passionate about. What drives him. What he talks about when it’s his chance to control the conversation. What is probably the first thing he thinks about when he gets up in the morning.

And in a way, that’s how people know me.  They know what energizes me. What I’m passionate about. What drives me. What I talk about when it’s my chance to control the conversation. What is probably the first thing I think about when I get up in the morning.

Sensing a pattern in them paragraphs?

But there’s a reason why I say know this person rather superficially, and it occurred to me in the car driving home from work.

I don’t know what breaks him.

To borrow from my old sociology notes, I know what holds him together, but I don’t know what tears him apart. This is the problem in the church, we really don’t know each other.

And in a way, that’s what people don’t know about me.

They don’t know what breaks me.

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